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Vick’s Fate in Hands of NFL Commissioner

So Michael Vick is a free man again, having been restored his unalienable rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of a quarterback's job. What next?

The thinking here is he probably merits one more year of sanctions, for wanton cruelty, but I could be talked into ending his suspension now. He's been gone two seasons. That's forever to a professional athlete.

Plus, national disgrace is like frigid water to the psyche. Vick has been swimming laps in that. He has paid plenty.

But we won't know much until the NFL commissioner meets with him, which apparently has been about No. 712 on Roger Goodell's list of things to do, just below introducing a salsa musician who is buying shares of the Dolphins. Supposedly their chat should happen in the next few days.

Meanwhile, between working out and trying to convince the world he is reformed and deserves a second chance, every minute of every day for Vick must be productive. Training camps open soon.

We happen to have here a daily schedule from this week to show what Vick has been up to:

7 a.m. - Wake up, shower, have breakfast, check the computer to see if there are any e-mails from Roger Goodell.

8 a.m. - Brisk walk around the block (probably followed by TV cameras), stopping to pet any neighborhood cocker spaniels.

9 a.m. - Conditioning and weight work.

11:30 a.m. - Call home and check to see if Roger Goodell has left any messages.

Noon - Lunch. Also attend ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new Michael Vick animal hospital.

1 p.m. - Call florist and make sure the daily planter for the PETA office has been delivered.

1:15 p.m. - Check mailbox for any letters from Roger Goodell.

1:30 p.m. - Remorse class. This includes Spanish, German and Italian lessons, to be able to say "I know I screwed up and I'm sorry" in four different languages.

2:30 p.m. - As part of community service requirement, visit local pound and council runaway fox terriers.

3 p.m. - Call NFL office, and make sure Roger Goodell has the right cell phone number.

3:15 p.m. - Football workout. Extra laps at the end if the passing completion percentage is not way better than the slovenly 53 percent with the Falcons, which scares some NFL teams nearly as much as the specter of animal rights protests.

5:30 p.m. - Sit for newspaper interview. Discuss how coming back to play again after these troubles could be like another Rocky movie. Mention that the most touching scene in the film was when Rocky went jogging with Butkus.

6 p.m. - Check the sport wires to see if Roger Goodell has been kidnapped, or if he ever made it back down from the top of that mountain.

7 p.m. - Dinner out at a local restaurant. Leave some of the prime rib, and announce kindly to the waiter that a doggie bag is needed.

8:30 p.m. - Call neighbors to make sure no packages from Roger Goodell arrived there by mistake. Also go online to find out just where the UFL actually plays.

9 p.m. - Invite television cameras in for a segment on a night in the life of Michael Vick, which in this case is relaxing with a movie. Tonight's choice: "Marley and Me." Make sure cameras get a good shot of the Kleenex box by the easy chair.

11 p.m. - Peer through the living room curtains, to look outside and make sure Roger Goodell is not driving lost around the neighborhood, trying to find the right address.

11:30 p.m. - Before retiring, complete bedtime ritual of brushing teeth, putting away clothes, and making sure the new poster of Lassie is straight.

Go to sleep, and dream of a smiling Roger Goodell, or NFL general managers who need a quarterback.

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