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Thursday, August 18, 2011

Article Suggests Vick was Steered toward Eagles by NFL

In a GQ interview, Mike Vick revealed that coming to Philadelphia wasn’t his first choice – and it might not have even been his decision. Here’s the quote from the story followed by some commentary as it appears on Deadspin.com that has a lot of people ticked off:

"I think I can say this now, because it's not going to hurt anybody's feelings, and it's the truth... I didn't want to come to Philadelphia. Being the third-team quarterback is nothing to smile about. Cincinnati and Buffalo were better options."

Those two teams wanted him and would've allowed him to start, but after meeting with commissioner Roger Goodell and other reps from the NFL, Vick was convinced—and granted league approval—to sign with Philly. "And I commend and thank them, because they put me in the right situation."

So can we presume that Michael Vick was forbidden from signing with Cincy or Buffalo for big-time starter money two seasons ago because Goodell and other NFL parole officers thought he should serve more probation as a third-stringer on the Eagles instead? Because I'd be irked by that if I were a fan of either one of those teams if that were the case.

Unfortunately, the post is titled “GQ’s Michael Vick Story Will Just Make White People Angry Again,” which makes it hard to give the post much credit. The title is aimed at the rest of the article in which there’s a lot of talk about people who don’t want to forget why Vick was in prison. I’m beyond bored with the topic of his incarceration and those who want the make it a racial issue in either direction.

However, in terms of the football issue, I couldn’t agree more with the quote above. This is another example of Goodell playing NFL god. Forget all of the clarifications that have already come out and will appear later. Unless he’s going to claim he was misquoted (as I wrote to this post I heard that he is essentially saying just that), it’s clear that NFL representatives, possibly including the commissioner, directed him to sign with the Eagles over other teams.

That’s an absolute disgrace. It’s tampering at the very least. I grew up in the ‘80s. I would have sworn the Dallas Cowboys got every call in the world back then. It enraged me and a lot of other Eagles fans – and there was certainly no one confirming it. Just because the same type of favoritism seems to have now happened in a way that favors the Eagles doesn’t make it ok.

Look at it this way: Imagine he had been deciding between the Eagles and the Cowboys, and he had been pushed by the NFL to Dallas even though he wanted to go to Philadelphia and became a Pro Bowl quarterback. Eagles fans would be outraged when the story came out.

I actually heard some people on the radio suggesting this isn’t tampering. On 97.5 The Fanatic, Tony Bruno went on an absurd rant about how the other teams involved were bad organizations as if that justified the NFL potentially pushing Vick to the Eagles. I don’t even know what that means; it was absurd. The other teams being good or bad organizations is totally irrelevant. The commissioner can’t steer players to certain teams.

(As an aside, Bruno also kept talking about how ridiculous it is for Eagles fans to be upset with Vick for saying Philadelphia wasn’t his first choice. The only problem that no one was saying that at all. Obviously he would have wanted to go somewhere to start, though I don’t know why Vick thought he would start for the Bengals at that time unless they were going to trade Carson Palmer.)

Again, it’s ridiculous to look at this as an Eagles fan, and say, “It’s ok because my team benefited.”

It absolutely throws the NFL’s credibility into question if Vick was steered toward any team by the NFL. Coming at the same time that Goodell has suspended Terrelle Prior, who isn’t even an NFL player yet, credibility isn’t exactly something the commissioner can afford to spare.

1 comment:

Patrick Leer said...

Rob!!! Not look at this as a Eagles fan? I'm quite sure it says Philly sports blog at the top of your page. :) IMHO if Roger Goodell steered Vick this way, well - thank you sir!