(Wilson) didn't feel like he did a whole lot wrong."
That's the part that hurts Wilson, maybe the most since he would apologize to the NFL, to the Cowboys and his family - "I have three young boys," Wilson said. "At no time did I think I was doing anything illegal or against league policy. It was my decision, and I'm paying the price."
Wilson learned of the problem in the spring, then recently met with Goodell before getting the word Friday night of the commissioner's sentence, which he was "taken aback" by the severity of the punishment.
"I was taking a legitimate product for a legitimate reason," Wilson insisted.
Geesh, it's not as if Wilson was taking the banned substance to help him perform. He hasn't played the game since the 1999 season. And it's not as if he took the banned substance to help him coach or to be able to stay up later at night so he might work longer than the normal Joe. And it's not as if the league is accusing him of buying the substance for someone else.
Wilson was just trying something somewhat outside the box to control his diabetes, and this particular product he nor the league named was supposed to alleviate some of his symptomatic problems, like lowering his rising blood pressure, help him sleep better, lower stress, raise his energy, aid his kidney function and help his vision, which he said began deteriorating to the point of needing laser surgery last fall for hemorrhaging in his eyes.
In fact, Wilson said he "disposed" of the substance even before the investigation began because he no longer could control his blood sugars - "They were all over the map," he said.
"That's the main reason that I did it and the only reason that I did it," Wilson said. "Like I said, I don't regret that I did that. I definitely should have gone down a different avenue."
Now there will be those out there doubting Wilson's word, certainly thinking he was doing something illicit on the side. But if he were, if he was trying to hide something, why participate in a conference call with a pack of reporters here at The Ranch on Saturday afternoon?
Wilson very easily could have hid behind the one-page release from the NFL, one which included his five-paragraph statement and a three-graph statement from Jones. He could have been done with this for five weeks, leaving Phillips to answer all the questions on Saturday before the Cowboys announced their 22 cuts.
But he didn't. Wilson answered questions for a good 10 minutes. He was forthright. He seemed honest. He seemed sincere.
See, Wilson did not hide behind a bevy of lawyers. He did not read a prepared statement. And he didn't claim to suddenly - conveniently - have found Jesus in his time of distress. He admitted to what he, at the time, unknowingly did. He said why. He said he thought the punishment was excessively harsh for a man with a clean record. But he said he understood he's responsible for setting a good example, no matter how he qualified this in his mind.
Did this all on his own.
And as Wilson said when asked if he thinks this whole ordeal is somehow surreal, "I mean, good Lord," what must Vick be thinking today? He knowingly did something illegal, and in many minds immorally disgusting, for six years, and continued denying he had any involvement until the feds handed him a 32-page indictment.
Then and only then, after he lied repeatedly to the face of his owner and Goodell himself, did he come clean by pleading guilty earlier this week, and only to benefit himself - not because he suddenly had a rush of morality or some profound ecclesiastic vision.
So let's think about this. Wilson gets five games. Harrison gets four games. Tank Johnson got eight games after spending two months in jail for violating his probation on a gun charge. Pacman Jones got a year after being arrested but never convicted five times and interviewed by authorities 10 known times. Chris Henry got eight games for his series of arrests.
But when it comes to Goodell's toughened personal conduct policy, one that is written only in his mind, none of these guys were handed a 32-page federal indictment. None have been put away for one year, let alone that possibility of two. On the