The NFL smacked Vick for 20 Grand for flipping off fans. The fine for such an act is typically $5,000. It was Vick's first offense of this type.
While in poor taste, Vick's actions did not affect the game, did not cause an injury and was not illegal.
By comparison, Bucs WR Keenan McCardell was fined $12,500 for an illegal chop block on Panther's DL Kavika Pittman. The block destroyed the rookie DL's ALC & MCL. Pittman will never be the same.
Referee Tom White was fined $2,600 for failing to restart the clock at the end of the Seattle-Baltimore game. His error gave Baltimore an extra 40 seconds and allowed them to save their final timeout. The Ravens won 44-41 in OT.
Mike Ditka was fined $20,000 by the league when he gave Saints fans the finger while grabbing his crotch while he was "coaching" the Aints.
In 1999, San Diego Chargers DL Mims was charged with assault with a deadly weapon, battery, petty theft and urinating in public. The victim said that he was attacked after he made a comment about Mims getting out of a limousine and then urinating in the parking lot of a taco stand. The 300-pound Mims shoved his face into a wall, stole his tacos and struck him twice with a belt.
I have yet to uncover the NFL fine levied against Mims, but it's a funny story.
Anyway, Vick handled the heavy fine with class: "I broke a rule and now I'm paying the price. The good thing is I get to donate a portion of it to charity ... I can't really say whether it's fair or not. But the league makes the rules and I broke the rules. It is what it is - 20 Gs. I shouldn't have done what I did."
What upset Vick so much? Did someone try to steal his tacos? Vick said that it was a particularly offensive insult that made him lose his temper. "He just said certain things I won't say in front of this camera."
In related news ...
President Bush had the following exchange with senator-elect Jim Webb (D-VA), a former Marine whose son is a Marine serving in Iraq.
Bush: "How's your boy?"
Webb: "I'd like to get them out of Iraq, Mr. President."
Bush: "That's not what I asked you. How's your boy?"
Webb: "That's between me and my boy, Mr. President."
Now that's what I call sangfroid, French for "fuck you, clown."