We are allowed to dream, aren't we?
"If you won the lottery, say $130 million, what would you do with it?"
It's a conversation I hear, and engage in, often. We probably all do. In this case, there were three of us.
"Well, first of all, I'd build a big house - the biggest in town, with a huge Olympic-size swimming pool, a stocked pond out back and build a golf course for just me and my friends to play on whenever we wanted," said the first to respond. "I'd buy a house in Hawaii, a plane, about 12 sports cars, a Hummer, a nice big boat and a house in the mountains. I'd also hire a personal masseuse, a butler and a chef that only cooked pizza. Whatever I had left, I'd just blow it."
Our pretend second lottery winner had a similar plan.
"First thing I'd do is get a chartered plane and all my friends and we'd go to Vegas," he said. "We'd go gambling, and I'd spend about $5 million that night. Then I'd hire AC/DC and Willie Nelson to perform at my birthday party, even if it wasn't my birthday. Then, whoever was left, we'd just travel around the world - to London, Rio, Greece, Rome, China, wherever we wanted to go. We'd have a great time."
When it came to my turn to dream, I paused, deep in thought.
"What would you do with $130 million, Len?"
"I would start a foundation to provide college scholarships for underprivileged children," I said solemnly. "I would use about $40 million to fund that. Then I would tithe at least $13 million. The rest I would donate to missionaries working in third-world countries in an effort to combat world hunger and eradicate guinea worm disease."
There was stunned silence for at least a minute before the first guy to speak chimed in.
"Yeah, I meant I would buy a big house and all that after I started a foundation to combat world hunger and elaborate worms."
In all my times of having that lottery dream dialogue, I have never heard anyone respond, "If I win the lottery, I'm going to risk my fortune by starting up an illegal, underworld dogfighting operation."
But that's apparently what Michael Vick did when he won his "lottery" - the richest contract in NFL history ($130 million over 10 years, not counting endorsements). Sure, he bought a big house and some fancy cars and the Mr. T starter kit. And then he bought a house in Virginia and started "Bad Newz Kennels," according to a federal indictment that accuses the Atlanta Falcon quarterback of being the financier of, and participant in, an interstate dogfighting enterprise.
In addition to holding records at Virginia Tech and with the Falcons, Michael Vick has now set another distinctive mark: He is the biggest dummy in the world.
Sure, Vick hasn't been convicted and professes his innocence. I realize that. But after reading the indictment, where witnesses identify him at dogfights, and the fact that one of his co-defendants has pleaded guilty and is testifying against Vick, I think calling him "the biggest dummy in the world" is a safe, reasonable verdict at this point.
To really understand how stupid Vick is, you need to read the indictment. For instance, the highest purse of any fight his dogs engaged in was $26,000. That's .0002 percent of his base salary. He risked his career, his fortune, his reputation, and worst of all, the possibility of going to jail, to watch some dogs fight?
Somewhere - probably in a gutter in Honduras - Mike Tyson is saying, "Tsk. Tsk. Michael Vick is an ignorananimous."
I concur. Suddenly, having AC/DC and Willie Nelson perform at your birthday party seems like a wise financial investment.