DOCUMENT: Animals, Sports

Vick To Judge: I'm Sorry

Disgraced QB emptied playbook in handwritten plea for leniency

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Vick To Judge: I'm Sorry

DECEMBER 14--In a plea for leniency, Michael Vick told a federal judge that he was 'not the bad person or the beast I've been made out to be' and claimed that he grew up not realizing the severity of dog fighting, since 'No one really cared or called the police.'

Before being sent up the river by Judge Henry Hudson, Vick, 27, sent the jurist a handwritten letter, a copy of which you'll find here, noting that he 'grew up loving animals' and currently had 'Paso Fino horses, parrots, fish tanks, and lizards.'

The disgraced NFL star also tried to explain why he recently tested positive for marijuana while out on bail. Vick, in a 'deep state of depression' began toking after his father 'attacked me in the media' and 'threatened to do a tell-all story on me.'

Prior to Vick's sentencing Monday (he got 23 months), Hudson received character letters on the athlete's behalf from family members, clergy, and celebrities. A letter from George Foreman, which you'll find here, cites Vick's 'genuine remorse over his misdeeds.' The Foreman missive, though, is more notable for its wonderful introduction of the 58-year-old as a full-time minister, former boxing champion, and a man 'known all over the world as the king of the grills because of the George Foreman Lean Mean Fat Reducing Grilling Machine.' (7 pages)