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OT: Some interesting comments in USA Today article on the Vick situation

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by MoLewisrocks, Aug 10, 2007.

  1. MoLewisrocks

    MoLewisrocks PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Quite a long but very interesting article - with some direct comments from the Commissioner, Lawyer Milloy, the director of a program in Vick's hometown who like many will continue to ardently support him even though he never supported them, and a couple of Madison Avenue marketing types who say he's finished not just for what he may have done but because of how he mishandled it - which I will excerpt.

    That the NFL has yet to find "evidence" of involvement in dog fighting among other NFL players is indicative of how hard it is to come by. I'm sure they now know it exists, but proving it absent the kind of circumstance that led to the raid on Vick's property is pretty difficult. I'm sure that is why he will make as severe an example out of this case as he possibly can, using the high profile player to hopefully teach the rest of them a life lesson.

    "Although the public outcry against Vick has stemmed from the alleged animal cruelty, the specter of illegal gambling on the alleged dogfights has been largely overshadowed.

    "Not from our standpoint," Goodell told USA TODAY last week while he was in Canton, Ohio, for the Pro Football Hall of Fame induction ceremonies.

    "Listen, we're sickened by the allegations and the predicament Michael put himself in. But there are a lot of things in the indictment that concern the NFL that may not be of a greater concern from a law enforcement standpoint."

    The league's strict policy against gambling — addressed in Paragraph 15 of the standard player contract, which deals with integrity of the game issues — goes beyond betting on NFL games. It warns that violations could result in severe penalties up to a lifetime suspension.

    Under terms of the policy, a violation could occur by associating with any gambling activities that bring discredit to the NFL.

    "Every player has the responsibility, an accountability, to make sure they are representing the NFL in the best light. Because (in Vick's case) it's a star player, it's probably getting more media attention, but as far as what we need to do, that does not matter."

    Goodell says it was during the same week in late April that federal agents raided Vick's property that the quarterback told him during a meeting at NFL headquarters that he was not connected to dogfighting and there was none of it on his property.

    "Now I have to compare that to the facts as best I can," Goodell says, "and try to understand, 'Is this accurate what he told me? Is it inaccurate?' "

    Goodell says he told Vick during the April meeting, "If there was any involvement with dogfighting, if it was happening on his property, that is his responsibility."


    The NFL's investigation is being conducted by former U.S. prosecutor Eric Holder, who helped draft the league's new personal conduct policy. Holder and Vick's attorney, Billy Martin, did not return phone messages.

    Independent of that probe, which will presumably determine whether Vick violated league policy and is subject to suspension, Goodell says the league has been investigating for roughly two months whether other NFL players are involved in dogfighting. He says no evidence of such has been found.

    Does that non-finding prompt a sigh of relief?

    "One thing I've learned about this job: Don't take a sigh of relief," Goodell says.


    After initially drawing a crush of protesters and media, training camp in Flowery Branch, Ga., has been relatively quiet the past two weeks. At least several players say they have decided to view Vick's absence the same as they would had he been sidelined for a football-related reason.

    "The best thing that happened for us was for the commissioner to make a decision about him being in camp or not," safety Lawyer Milloy says. "That really took the distraction away from this team.

    "I'm not saying we're a better team without him. That's ludicrous. But this team is going through a healing process, and we're trying to rally around Joey."


    On the corner of Jefferson and 21st, the Moten Community House has operated in a converted theater for 30 years. People come there not only for programs on stage, but also for the GED program, the computer lab, second-hand clothes and free bread. The marquee outside the building reads: Community Hug for Michael Vick, 6 p.m.

    Linwood DeBrew, Moten's director, estimates 200 people came to the rally and says several tossed their Nike shoes in a pile to be discarded as a protest of the footwear giant's decision to suspend its deal with Vick. He says several police officers were also present at the rally.

    "They thought PETA was going to show up," DeBrew says, alluding to the animal-rights activist group that did not protest at the rally. "Some of the young boys said that if PETA showed up in this neighborhood, they'd better bring St. Peter with them."

    DeBrew doesn't know Vick and says his organization has never received donations from Vick, who wasn't at the rally. But DeBrew says he supports Vick because he believes the quarterback was treated unfairly in being banned from training camp before his case went to court.


    Even if Vick is cleared, experts in crisis management and sports marketing see him facing a monumental task with corporate America.

    "Will Michael Vick be on the playing field again? I don't know," says Brandon Steiner, CEO of Steiner Sports Marketing. "But he won't be on Madison Avenue."

    In addition to Nike taking its action against Vick, Rawlings has dropped him as an endorser. Reebok, the NFL's official uniform supplier, halted sales of his Falcons jersey. Steiner estimates Vick has lost a potential $50 million to $60 million in marketing deals over five years.

    "Poof, gone," he says. "It's sad because he was at a level that very few football players are able to achieve. How many football players have their own shoes on the market?"


    Richard Levick, a crisis management consultant based in Washington, says Vick erred by reacting passively as the story unfolded. Regardless of innocence or guilt, Levick says Vick could have helped himself by reaching out to sponsors, the NFL and the public when the story broke months ago.

    "He did nothing," Levick says. "With his silence, he became a villain."



    http://www.usatoday.com/sports/football/nfl/falcons/2007-08-09-vick-cover_N.htm
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2007
  2. patsox23

    patsox23 Rookie

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    "With his silence, he became a villain."

    Well, that, along with, ya know...electrocution, torture and dog-fighting.
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2007
  3. betterthanthealternative

    betterthanthealternative Rookie

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    The people who sold Vick his dogs have been selling to him since he entered the NFL, and have sold dogs to many players in the NFL and other sports leagues, from every major city on the east coast. The dog selling network overlaps with drug distribution networks. There are some very scary people at the heart of all of this.

    The fighting culture is so efficiently clandestine that they actually have secret fighting pits set up inside Washington DC parks. Amazing.

    This is only just beginning. Expect a number of athlete's names to be legitimately attached to dog fighting in the coming year. And, there will be some fast, behind-the-scenes bargaining to keep names out of the press, as well.
  4. FreeTedWilliams

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    I think the thing that bothers the NFL more than the dog fighting is the illegal gambling. I'm sure that the NFL does not want one of the highest profile players in debt to gamblers. This, I think, is the point of this case that is going to sink Vick the most with the NFL. As appauled as we all are with dog fighting, the NFL is more concerned about associations with illegal gambling. I think it is a safe bet (pun intended) to say that people who bet on dog fights, will most likely bet on anything, including the NFL. The absolute worst thing any sports league can face, is questions about the ligitimacy of thier games (right Sterns). Imagine Vick's dog loses and he loses big, and the guy say, instead of paying me, how bout not covering the spread next week. Now if your a gaurd or a tackle, it may be hard for you to move the spread, but if you are the Quaterback, it is easy.

    Vick is done with Madison Avenue, and he might be done with the NFL too.
  5. FreeTedWilliams

    FreeTedWilliams pfadmins PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #75 Jersey

    LOLLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL
  6. Flying Fungi

    Flying Fungi Rookie

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    not that i am disagreeing, but do you have any references to support these comments?

    thanks...
  7. PatsWickedPissah

    PatsWickedPissah PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    As might be expected the Vick situation has become a racial persecution issue, particularly in Atlanta where many black folks feel that he's being harrassed unduly by the law and the press. However, dogfighting is not a black culture phenomenon. I don't have a URL but about a week ago a story broke about a dogfighting ring here in whitebread NH. This 'sport' cuts across racial and cultural lines and I now believe it is quite widespread. I hope the NFL kicks serious butt and throws the fear of banishment into its players and coaches.
  8. rabthepat

    rabthepat Rookie

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    If he is found guilty...WOW!!!

    If he is found innocent...even more WOW!!!
  9. betterthanthealternative

    betterthanthealternative Rookie

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    Yes, I have a very close connection to the law enforcement efforts being made on dog fighting on the east coast.

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