Monday, August 20, 2007

CROOKED CIRCLE

Selena Roberts recently wrote a column in the New York Times that was reprinted in the International Herald Tribune.

VANTAGE POINT: VICK AND THE VICIOUS CIRCLE

The crooked circle Michael Vick drew around himself has tripped and squeezed him.

The first to fail Vick was Davon Boddie, a cousin and personal chef. His marijuana possession charge in April led the police to a white house with black buildings behind it on Moonlight Road in Surry County, Virginia.

The first to turn on Vick was Tony Taylor, a fast friend from Newport News, Virginia, with an arrest record for drug trafficking and a traffic record for reckless driving. He pleaded guilty last month in the macabre dogfighting case that has consumed the National Football League.

The latest to betray Vick is Quanis Phillips, a friend since middle school. Along with Purnell Peace, Phillips, who once served jail time on a drug charge, accepted a plea deal on Friday and implicated Vick as the owner and operator of a dogfighting ring. Vick was Phillips's sole breadwinner. "At certain times," a court summary of facts stated, "Phillips used a large portion of his money for living expenses."

Vick employed friends and housed pals. As several athletes have told me over the years, it's better to set up friends as personal employees than give them, as one said, a "roll of hundreds" every day.

But group dynamics can collapse under pressure...


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