There are few things in sports which make me fume and fuss and want to hurt somebody. So if you don’t agree with what I’m about to write, just chalk it up as one of Norman’s rants, or perhaps a kinder thought might be that we simply have a difference of opinion. But let me state this very clearly and succinctly: Michael Vick retiring as a Falcon burns me up.

I detest the man who once was the No. 1 draft choice of Atlanta out of Virginia Tech. I feel he should be shunned in all society. Forget Michael Vick on the field. Sure he was talented and could run like the wind and threw well enough and had the ability to make people miss and look stupid. But Michael Vick as a man gets a grade of “F” from me.

Vick ran a dog-fighting ring, and the atrocities he committed against helpless animals are unforgiveable. It is my belief that anyone who abuses animals also abuses their children and their wife or husband.

For all of this, there is no forgiveness. You say he paid his debt to society by serving almost two years in federal prison at Leavenworth. I say he should still be in, or at least so ostracized by his football family and the general public that he moves to Singapore and is never heard from again. And the fact that Roddy White was also retired on the same day as Vick during the same ceremony simply sullies the reputation of the finest receiver the Falcons have had up to this moment. To me this is the darkest day in Atlanta Falcons history and I will never change. Vick is a monster and there is no redemption.

Here & there

The world’s fastest human, Usain Bolt, won his final race in his homeland of Jamaica last week and he says his final race ever will be in London later in the summer.

He ran a 10.03 in the 100-meter dash. … Say it ain’t so. Former NBA bad boy Dennis Rodman is back in North Korea to spread good will and basketball to the rogue nuclear power. … The defending national champion Clemson football team visited the White House and presented President Donald Trump with a No. 1 jersey and also a Clemson jersey to his son Barron Trump. … And speaking of jerseys, former Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson’s jersey is the No. 5 best-seller in the NFL, behind Marshawn Lynch, Tom Brady, Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott. … Kentucky basketball coach John Calipari says the television networks are jeopardizing marquee basketball games by influencing athletic conferences to play 20 conference games. Calipari offers an example of Kentucky’s annual game vs. North Carolina. “That game won’t happen if we have to play more conference games,” he said.

Out & about

He signed with who? Five-star wide receiver Devonta Jason announced he would attend the University of Kansas. He chose the downtrodden program over such powers as LSU, Alabama and Florida State. … Michigan announced that its team’s trip to Rome, Italy, cost between $750,000 and $800,000. An anonymous donor picked up the entire tab. … The United States Senate has introduced a bill to prevent tax-funded stadiums in the future. … The recently completed NBA finals between Golden State and Cleveland drew the highest TV ratings in 19 years. … Stephon Marbury, former super brat at Georgia Tech, has become a legend in China. The basketball star has led his team to four Chinese championships, he has had a statue dedicated to him outside the stadium, granted a permanent passport and now a movie is being made about his life. … This should be a crime. The Cubs are selling ivy leaves from Wrigley Field from 2016 for $200 each.

Saying no to Tide says seven coaches turned down Alabama before Nick Saban was hired in 2006. They were Bobby Bowden, Tommy Bowden, Frank Beamer, Steve Spurrier, Mike Riley, Rich Rodriguez and Butch Davis.

Norman Arey is an award-winning journalist and a columnist for the Rome News-Tribune. He can be reached at NArey@RN‑

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