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Sometimes you really do reap what you sow. Manny Ramirez is a blissful idiot. He’s also no one’s fool. After serving a 50-game drug suspension, Manny still maintains that he didn’t mean any harm—which would be less plausible if it weren’t such a fitting sign of the times. Negligence means turning a blind eye to the rules. Nihilism, on the other hand, means turning a deaf ear to the truth. I’m not suggesting that Ramirez is clean. An innocent man never equivocates, and Manny’s fuzzy denials speak for themselves. But let’s not be too hard on No. 99. In a league where all values ...
Evil is a cultural construct. Michael Vick is a callous thug. He was also, once, a sensitive kid. Between then and now, Vick grew up on the wrong side of Newport News, VA—which ought to give Roger Goodell reason for pause as he ponders the fate of the former Falcon. Free will means being the master of your future. Determinism, on the other hand, means being a slave to your past. I’m not suggesting that Vick’s actions weren’t heinous. Pit bulls are people too, and all violence is deplorable violence. But deplorability doesn’t necessarily imply guilt. In a league where success so often starts ...

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