Commisioner Roger Goodell has begun his tenure at the NFL with a tough as nails conduct policy in an attempt to clean up the tarnished image of the typical NFL player.

Goodell has suspended notorious bad actors like Pacman Jones, Tank Johnson, and Chris Henry for “conduct unbecoming.”

But the rubber has met the road with the 18-page indictment handed down on Tuesday charging Atlanta’s star QB Michael Vick with just about everything concerning dog fighting.

I know I am naive about some things, but where I grew up out in West Texas a dog fight was either quickly settled by the combatants or they were dispersed with a well aimed stream from a 3/4 inch water hose.

Vick has been charged with competitive dogfighting, buying and training pit bulldogs for fighting and also for conducting the awful business across state lines. Vick and three other defendants have also been accused of killing dogs that lost fights and killing dogs that were not aggressive enough.

The entire episode is enough to turn your stomache.

I know that in this country you are “innocent until proven guilty” and there may be some scenario out there that will prove Vick to be undeserving of these horrific charges. But, right now, I could care less if the Falcon superstar ever puts on an NFL uniform again. I don’t care if he is Michael Vick.

The evidence, including graves of mutilated dogs, was found on an estate belonging to Vick. Just to have this atrocity happen at his home, I think is reason to suspend his playing career until this matter is settled in court.

Then if found innocent Vick could be reinstated. If found guilty, Michael Vick needs to receive a lifetime ban from the NFL, including consideration for a spot in the Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio.

This crime is much more offensive to my personal sensibilities than NFL players getting shot up at strip clubs and other places they shouldn’t frequent.

To breed, buy or train dogs to fight in a pit until they permanently maim or kill another dog is just plain reprehensible.

Or, maybe we should pit those convicted of dog fighting and let the dogs show them what it is like in the center of the ring.

Jim is the assistant sports editor of the Waxahachie Daily Light and may be reached at