Dogfighting is terrible and wrong on so many levels. Enough has been said about that. The NFL's image has suffered in recent years from heavy police blotters, but not everybody cares about that. Michael Vick's sentence was less than what somoeone else would have received for the same crime, but at least he has served that. I do not understand why the #1 reason to permanently ban Michael Vick from the NFL is so rarely discussed since everybody cares about that.
Michael Vick, meet Pete Rose. (But don't shake hands, guys, or else it will look like a wager of some sort.)
Remember Pete Rose? Baseball's hit king bet on baseball while managing his former team--long after his playing career had been over--and received a lifetime ban from baseball. He has spent some time in jail, and he is not likely to ever become enshrined in Cooperstown.
Michael Vick bet on dog fights during most or all of his playing career when he certainly had the potential opportunity to throw games as a starting QB. His INT% nearly doubled from 1.9% in 2002 (7th best) to 3.7% (9th worst) in 2004 (his next full season due to injury in 2003). He also led the league with 16 fumbles in 2004. His INT% plateaued at 3.4% during his last 2 seasons in which the Falcons were 8-8 and 7-9. He received a suspension after changing his story and admitting to some of his alleged wrongdoing before serving almost 2 years in prison (plus some community service time in the coming months).
Of course, the trends in Vick's numbers may or may not have been influenced by gambling debts or payoffs. Kurt Warner's INT% also doubled in his second year, although he went on to have the best in the league a few years later (and 2 other seasons with lower INT%s than he had had in 1999). However, given the uniquely important and influential position of an NFL QB (certainly more so than a major league manager), why would Vick deserve any more leeway or benefit of the doubt than Pete Rose?