The NFL Mod Squad – Vick, Plaxico, and Pacman – Every Saturday Morning

Between the days of cocaine suspensions in the 1980s and the steroid allegations of the late 1990s, there was a period where our superstar athletes were known purely for their on-the-field exploits and not their off-the-field antics. This was the early 1990s and at its pinnacle was ProStars, a Saturday morning cartoon on NBC that featured Michael Jordan, Bo Jackson, and Wayne Gretzky fighting crime.

In the spirit of recycling, but in the spirit of the new Batman movies I think the series should take a harder edge. I think ProStars: The 21st Century should embrace this new age of scandal and bring Plaxico Burress, Michael Vick, and Pacman Jones together. I do not think they would be opposed, according to all reports they are quickly doing their best to get kicked out of the league and are destined to file for bankruptcy.

Yes, Pro Stars: 21st Century is the MOD Squad edition. Plaxico Burress takes over as the brains of the group from Michael Jordan. The New York Giants immensely talented receiver is by far the most intelligent since he is the only won to not face possible prison time so far. Instead he simply has a restraining order and has alienated everyone in the locker room, in an attempt to put the Giants season at risk. He no faces gun charges for carrying a concealed weapon into a club and then shooting himself in the league.

One may ask why Burress gets to be the brains. Well the answer begins with Michael Vick. Vick had an elite career ahead of him. He was destined to become one of the best ever at the quarterback position for his rare ability to throw, run, and lead and the chace to be the Atlanta Falcons’ savior. Those skills make a genetic freak and make him the closest kin to two-sport athlete Bo Jackson, making him the muscle of the group. He used that muscle to control the pit bulls of his Bad Newz Kennels dog fighting ring. He also managed to go bankrupt while serving time in prison. Vick had close to 18 million dollars when he entered prison eight months ago and now has filed for bankruptcy.

The sheer numbers in this case boggle the mind. I read Rick Reilly’s breakdown of the money trail and am dumbfounded as to why he continued to let his posse, which helped put him in jail, have anything to do with his money. You would think a man about to go to prison for illegal activities would change it up and shed everyone not related to him by blood or by association of having birthed his child, but no, boy genius kept the gauntlet of stupidity going. For those numerous reasons and the fact that he is going to get out of prison and immediately become a star in the Arena Football League, Vick is Jackson and not Jordan.

Every group needs its comic relief, a character who offers timely bits of amusing distractions to fill the gap between the scenes of the focal points. That player/problem is without question Pacman Jones. What would we have done with our thirst for legal mishaps with this man? The time between Vick’s trials and Plaxico’s breakdown would have left an awkward void. Enter the Pacman. We needed the allegations of his associations with drug dealers, shootings, and beatings to get us through those dull moments when football players were only discussed in terms of their on the field play.

I personally could not imagine a season without the possibility of Jones being kicked off a team or physical battery charges being filed by strippers. Pacman has stayed in the news enough in his first four years (including two years with the Titans, a year suspended from the league, and his latest stint with the Dallas Cowboys) to carry us from Burress distraction to Vick suspension. He completes the team. Now all we need is a Kanye West to sample the theme song, “We Are ProStars” (which is like a Weird Al version of Queen’s “We Will Rock You”) and the ProStars redux is complete and ready for the new audience of children in the 21st century.