Younger Brother’s Keeper

By Ian Gold

I have a little brother who is an athlete, and he usually acts right and stays away from trouble. He is hardly an angel, but understands the spotlight that athletes naturally get put under. I credit myself for enlightening my brother, so what’s wrong with Michael Vick?

Michael, for the most part, is a model citizen. Marcus is a criminal in Vick clothing. Marcus Vick, the recent quarterback at Virginia Tech, has all the physical tools to be an exceptional signal caller. He has all the tools of his genetic equal, a former No. 1 NFL draft pick. Some experts, his brother included, claim that Marcus will be the better of the two quarterbacks. This all makes sense to me, take a sub 4.4, 40-yard dash, a canon for an arm and the touch and offensive understanding that still holds his older brother down. What do you get? A star.

But the Marcus Vick equation isn’t complete yet, add a few emotional problems, a criminal background and a complete lack of respect for the society around him. Instead of a star, you’re getting a supernova; 210 pounds of talent with the ability to melt down and embarrass himself and his family at any instant.

What I don’t understand is what is going on in that family? I can put myself in Michael’s shoes. Of course nobody knows my name and my brother doesn’t run a 4.3, but I do know, if my brother had pulled a single Marcus-type event I would royally whoop his ass. If I were Michael, I would do anything necessary to set Marcus straight.

Virginia Tech is nationally respected because of its football program and with Marcus, it has a better chance of keeping it that way, so obviously head coach Frank Beamer and the rest of the athletic department is going to make excuses and keep slapping him on the wrist. A big brother should step in. Let’s review the opportunities Michael has had to recognize a problem and fix it:

1st problem – Accusation of providing alcohol to extreme minors and statutory rape.

2nd problem – While driving a $100,000 car, he was caught with enough marijuana to blaze the entire state of Virginia, and the means to sell (good decision, Marcus).

3rd problem – Screaming profanities and giving the finger to the crowd (At least he wasn’t read his rights).

4th problem – Stomping on Elvis Dumervil during the Gator Bowl … seriously.

5th problem – Charged with three accounts of brandishing a firearm. The story is that he was waving guns at teenagers in a McDonald’s parking lot.

What could this once-budding star possibly have been thinking? Obviously, there are serious problems with the little Vick. It’s hard growing up and watching your older brother get put on a pedestal. Michael has admitted to spoiling Marcus after jumping to the NFL, and naturally a 16-year-old would get a feeling of invincibility because of his last name. Thus the necessary ass-kicking, come on Michael!

Make a mix tape of news reports concerning your little brother’s mistakes. Play the mix on one of your plasmas and make an event out of it. Marcus has already hurt his draft stock enough – save him before he ruins his life. For all of us that could never run a 4.3 or throw a ball to the next county, you owe Marcus some help.

Ian Gold is a senior in communications. He can be reached at [email protected]