I read the court docs fun gus back in 2007. Don't have them in front of me, but IIRC Vick did start his venture in 2001 and 2002. But he spent the first 2-3 years building it up. They were buying dogs, breeding dogs, and training dogs. They really didn't begin the going across the country to secret dog fights until 2004 or so. Nothing overtly suspicious in a guy who owns a kennel and supposedly breeding pit bulls. Yes, if you are one of those people that believe any black person that likes pits is a dog fighter. But at least in this case, I don't think Arthur Blank was one of those people. It's no different than the guy that smuggles coke out of Colombia that spends the first few years getting his pilot's license and spending a lot of vacation time surfing in Costa Rica, Panama.
Bad Newz is a nickname for the city of Newport News, Virginia (my hometown) because of its high crime rate over some of the other cities int he Tidewater/Hampton Roads region. To an outsider looking it, the name Bad Newz is an obvious indicator to nefarious activity. To anybody familiar with the area, it means absolutely nothing. It's no different than someone from Newark calling their business venture "Brick City whatever ..." or "Sin City ...." from a person from Vegas.
I'm sure Blank was well aware that Vick was from "Bad Newz, Virginia" and thought nothing of it when he discovered that Vick had named his business venture as such.
And I still don't see why these incidents would make a person like Blank connect the dots. Sure, someone that already saw black guy, Bad Newz, pit bulls and was initially suspicious of Vick's business venture, and then see some minor legal transgressions might think "Oh, no, we better check this thing out."
But I don't see how Arthur Blank should have been that person.
Was Blank naive? Short-sighted? Foolhardy? If you want, you can certainly label him as such. But I wouldn't say he was fully cognizant of the illegal activities in Virginia, nor would I say he was probably suspicious of illegal activities. Not Michael Vick! Not my favorite son. So, he's surrounded himself with some nefarious characters. Happens all the time. But Mike has a good heart, is a low-key family man, no way would he be capable of doing something this cruel.
IMHO, that's exactly the thought process that Blank had come April 2007 when he most likely first became aware of this stuff.
Oh and for the record, I agree something fishy did occur at the Miami airport. It's not illegal, but it operates outside standard operating procedure for evidence to be destroyed. Was it a conspiracy concocted by all those sources mentioned? Probably not. But someone decided that it wasn't in someone's best interest if that evidence still existed.
In 2006, the difference between Brady and Vick was 7.4 yards a game and 0.75 points a game. That makes me very curious as to how Vick could be the 30th ranked QB.
And when you look beyond yards and points, then you see a huge difference between Vick and Brady. Otherwise, if we just looked at those measures, then in 2006 Jon Kitna was an elite QB as well.
There are 4 passing factors that go into a passer rating: completion %, touchdown %, interception %, and average yards per attempt. Pro Football Reference (the site I usually use for my site research) has also added adjusted yards per attempt (AYA), net yards per attempt (which basically accounts for yards lost due to sacks), and adjusted net yards per attempt (ANYA). I won't get too much into detail into AYA and ANYA, but their research has usually indicated that AYA and ANYA (more so than passer rating) tend to be more reflective of what most people feel are the great QBs. At least when you adjust those numbers to what were the league averages at the time. For example, in 1964 Johnny Unitas had a career high in AYA, which was 9.0. In 1964, the average QB in the NFL had an AYA of 4.6. In 2004, Daunte Culpepper had an AYA of 8.4 (his career high), but the league average in that year was 5.6. So you can interpret that as for every pass attempt Johnny U got +4.4 yards than the average QB of his time. While Culpepper's best year, he was "only" +2.8. Still good, but it's indicative of why Unitas is considered a great player because he was significantly better than his peers, while Daunte at his best was just considered good because he wasn't nearly to the same degree. As for ANYA, it just is AYA with sacks included.
IMO, when you are comparing QBs, I think it's essential to do what Pro Football Reference does and compare it to the average QB at the time.
So looking at those 4 rating categories, plus the 3 added measures from PFR, in 2006, he was what the average QB had:
Completion% = 59.8
Touchdown% = 4.0
Interception% = 3.2
Average Yards/Attempt = 6.40
Adjusted Yards/Attempt (AYA) 5.4
Net Yards/Attempt = 5.6
Adj. Net Yards/Attempt = 6.6
Now look at Vick:
Comp = 52.6
TD = 5.2
INT = 3.4
Avg = 6.38
AYA = 5.4
NYA = 5.0
ANYA = 4.1
Comp = 61.8
TD = 4.0
INT = 2.3
Avg = 6.84
AYA = 6.3
NYA = 6.2
ANYA = 5.6
Now, by examining this year, you discover that Brady was "below average" in only 1 area: ANYA. He was average in TD%, but every other category he waas better than your average QB in 2006.
On the other hand, Vick was above average in only 1 category: TD%. He was average in Avg, and slightly below average in INTs, but was significantly below average in the remaining 4 categories.
So now you should start to understand why Vick can't hold Brady's jock.
And the factor that people keep forgetting that try desperately to compare Vick with the greats of his era is the most important test of all: the Eyeball test.
There's simply no way that anybody watching Vick play and Brady play would compare the two together. I used to be a Brady hater, until I was in the Dome that day in '05 where Brady played a near perfect game against the Falcons.