Who Let The Dog Out

Michael Vick was still regaling his fellow inmates with highlights from the Falcons' 7-and-9 '06 season while lawyers and agents were laying out plans for the football player and dog murderer's image overhaul and return to the pro game. After serving 23 months for operating a dogfighting business where maiming and killing pets by drowning and electrocution was routine, Michael Vick was released this week. He will be allowed to serve the remainder of his sentence in house custody, and could be reinstated by the NFL in time to play the 2009/2010 season.

To reignite the electrifying ex-quarterback's star, members of Vick's image-overhaul team met with ASPCA officials to discuss how the gridiron goon might raise awareness for the abuse and suffering these animals endure. Here are the meatier tidbits from that dialogue…

"Gentlemen, the ASPCA board of directors and I have considered your plea on Mr. Vick's behalf, and to put it mildly, we are perplexed. Associating Mr. Vick with the endeavors of our organization seems incongruous to its goals and purpose, like making Adolph Hitler a spokesman for the Jewish Defense League. What exactly does your client hope to accomplish by speaking against the egregious cruelties that landed him in prison in the first place?"

"First, Mr. Sayres, thank you for agreeing to meet us today. I know I speak for everyone on Mr. Vick's rehabilitation team when I say this—Michael will never be able to repay his debt to us or society without your support. I can answer your question about his motives in one word: Redemption. Today Mr. Vick feels morally and financially bankrupt. If there is one way for fallen sports stars to make society forget their transgressions, it is to return to battle. It worked for Mike Tyson, it worked for Kobe Bryant, and it will work for Michael. So many individuals and organizations are committed to Mr. Vick's rehabilitation, he can not fail…"

"Like whom?"

"Like the NFL. At the time of his incarceration, Mr. Vick's number 7 was the League's top-selling jersey. And Nike, of course. Not since Bo Jackson has a football star moved shoes like Michael Vick. And don't forget TV. If you'll pardon the metaphor, every Joe Lunchbox and Cleotis Crackrock from Davenport to Detroit has latched onto Michael's story like a pitbull on a baby's face. Football is big business, and Michael Vick is the game's biggest loser. The bleeding hearts at PETA are running out of vegan supermodels who are willing to pose naked in fur coats. Give the people what they want—everyone has seen Pam Anderson's hairless snatch…"

"Okay—I see your point. If we agree to make Michael Vick the ASPCA spokesperson, what's in it it for us?"

"Dollars, baby—millions of them. If Tagliabue agrees to let Michael play, I think we can convince our client to do ANYTHING. Picture this: halftime at Superbowl LXIV. Laser lights reveal two cages filled with Rottweilers and Staffordshire Terriers on opposite ends of the stadium. Standing at the middle of the gridiron is ASPCA spokesman Michael Vick in a fishnet jumpsuit stuffed with raw meat. Smelling the flesh, the hungry canines erupt from the cages and charge toward the 50-yard line. The fleet-footed QB jukes and jives while The Baha Men play their mega hit "Who Let The Dogs Out," but number 7 is no match for the beasts. When there is no more steak to consume, the dogs begin tearing at Vick's prison-honed muscles and tattooed flesh. If the rehabilitated star can reach the end zone with appendages intact, Nike will donate one million dollars to the ASPCA. If the dogs exact their revenge in more than a pound of Vick's flesh, the NFL will donate 20 million. It's a win/win for everyone—militant animal lovers get to witness their wildest dream, and the Superbowl halftime show gets its bite back after a decade of lackluster performances from geriatric rock gods like The Stones and Bruce Springsteen."

"Sold! Where do we sign?"