This story is a couple days old now, but it's the kind of uplifting turn of events we need to cleanse our palates of the cynicism that crept into our lives with the Mitchell Report. It's a heartwarming tale of dog fighting, federal prison, and the loss of untold millions of dollars. Our hero, of course, is Michael Vick. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution breaks down his monetary losses:
$71 million: Salary in the final seven seasons of his Falcons contract, which the team is expected to terminate when salary-cap ramifications are resolved.
$50 million: Endorsement income lost over the next decade, according to an estimate by the University of Oregon's Warsaw Sports Marketing Center.
$19.97 million: Previously paid bonuses that an arbitrator has ruled the Falcons can recoup from Vick (a ruling currently being reviewed by U. S. District Judge David Doty in Minneapolis).
$928,073: Funds Vick put into an escrow account, as part of his plea agreement, to fund the care of about 54 pit bulls found on his property.
If that seems a bit on the light side, fear not: three banks are suing him for defaulting on loans totaling another $5.8 million. In a related story, I once took out a loan to buy a used Grand Am.