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ESPN Gets On The Same Page For Vick

Given the sheer size of ESPN’s roster of NFL writers and analysts, the closest thing to a monopoly in the sports world often has conflicting reports and/or opinions regarding any given issue.
Indeed, it’s virtually impossible to ensure that so many people will be saying the same thing when it comes to any one topic.
And ESPN probably likes it that way.  Folks of different mindsets will be guaranteed to find something with which they can agree, and the resulting variety of voices ensures that every angle will be covered.
But when it comes to the only man who has been able to distract ESPN from the Summer of Favre, we’ve noticed a curious trend.
No one on ESPN is saying anything bad about Vick.
No one.
Tuesday night’s SportsCenter special essentially presumed that reinstatement is looming, with no one ever saying that Vick should receive an additional suspension or, at a minimum, that we should all wait to see what Vick says and does before deciding whether he is worthy of a second chance, in light of the conduct in which he admittedly engaged.
And accounts of Vick’s behavior — conspiracy to engage in interstate dogfighting, conspiracy to engage in interstate gambling, and the admitted killing of dogs — have at times been described by ESPN on-air talent via the relatively innocuous “financing a dogfighting ring.”
Even the arguable criticism of Vick from ESPN.com’s Lester Munson can be interpreted as excuse-making for a man who fell victim to others who abused his trust and led him unwittingly into a life of crime.
So what has created such unanimity for a news organization that has thrived on diverse reports and viewpoints?
In our view, it’s the “get”.
We think ESPN desperately wants to be the first news outlet to score the “exclusive” interview with Vick, boxing out the likes of non-sports outlets such as Oprah and Larry King and 60 Minutes.  And so ESPN is taking great pains, consciously or not, to avoid giving Vick’s agent and lawyers and publicists any reason to believe that the person from ESPN who would be asking the questions would be lobbing softballs instead of throwing high heat.
The only other thing that might be driving the ESPN positivity is a collective desire to witness (and report on) an historic story of redemption in sports.
Regardless of whether ESPN or someone else scores the first sit-down with Vick, we’ll be paying as much attention to the words posed to Vick as we do to the words emanating from his mouth.

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36 Responses to “ESPN Gets On The Same Page For Vick”
  1. Mini Ditka says: May 20, 2009 4:56 PM

    So because people have a different opinion then Florio it must be because of an agenda

  2. fredhoiberg says: May 20, 2009 4:57 PM

    With the guy you despise, Vick, you are milking for all the exposure and money you can generate from by making a stance on post after post after post.
    Does it make you feel dirty?

  3. Chin35char says: May 20, 2009 5:02 PM

    No, I remember someone on NFL Live said he should be suspended 1 more year… I think Merril Hodge or maybe Trent Dilfer… but I know for a fact 1 of them says he needs to be suspended 1 more year

  4. neil144 says: May 20, 2009 5:03 PM

    This is also the same network that repeatedly said Vick’s legal problems would be small and ignored the issue when the draft hit a few weeks later. They’ve never been willing to get behind this story. That’s one of the reasons people read pft.

  5. sactown2525 says: May 20, 2009 5:05 PM

    One side: the guy did his time, let him back in the NFL.
    Otherside: If I got arrested, went to jail, had a felony on my record….My former employer would not hire me back, that is a fact! And I know as well I would not have the same type of salary…if a salary even existed for a recent felony conviction.

  6. whatthehellisgoingonoutthere says: May 20, 2009 5:08 PM

    If ESPN wants an exclusive interview, all they need to do is camp out in front of the Vikings digs at Winter Park. He’ll be there by training camp now that they’ve throw away Zygi’s “code of conduct”. Desperate teams go to desperate measures.
    Besides, they already know they aren’t getting a stadium AND it’s not like they have to worry about losing their fan base, since they barely have one as it is. If anything, it’s just a few extra tickets the TV stations will have to purchase to save their advertising revenue by preventing the games from being blacked out. They’ll make up for that with all the coverage they get to do on Vick coming to Minnesota.

  7. pedrostarr says: May 20, 2009 5:08 PM

    The man has paid his debt to society – why the hidden agenda against Vick at every opportunity that you can get. Fce it Florio – he will play in the NFL once again.

  8. FurryCupChamp says: May 20, 2009 5:09 PM

    The ESPN and Vick marraige is the main reason for why I don’t watch or like ESPN.
    They have had a stiff “Pole” for this guy for ever. To me, a news media demonstrating such favor for something or someone is indicative of bias…Hey did I mention ESPN sucks….oh! They suck, thank goodness for PFT.

  9. jwill007 says: May 20, 2009 5:13 PM

    Florio,
    LOL your WANT for him to never return is laughable at best…the stay another year out that you mentioned on NFL Radio is insane….Should he get more suspension as I followed up your call (James in Atlanta) I said anywhere from 2 to 8 games but he will be back this year man….I know you dont like it but its coming….LOL

  10. dystopianow says: May 20, 2009 5:16 PM

    Geez Florio, I know you’re upset by the Pat White story but this is a little overboard, dontcha think?

  11. uchuskies08 says: May 20, 2009 5:19 PM

    I think ESPN just wants to do what they can to see that Vick comes back. It’s a good story for them in that it’s something they can talk about everyday. They can show “Vick arriving at team facilities,” then “Vick’s first practice,” “Vick’s first-preseason time,” “Vick’s first play in the regular season,” “Vick picks his nose,” etc. etc. etc.

  12. whatthehellisgoingonoutthere says: May 20, 2009 5:19 PM

    jwill007 says:
    May 20th, 2009 at 5:13 pm
    Florio,
    LOL your WANT for him to never return is laughable at best…the stay another year out that you mentioned on NFL Radio is insane….Should he get more suspension as I followed up your call (James in Atlanta) I said anywhere from 2 to 8 games but he will be back this year man….I know you dont like it but its coming….LOL
    —————————————
    English teacher fail!

  13. winkel33 says: May 20, 2009 5:22 PM

    Interesting.
    If I am Vick, I give my first interview in a non sports channel. If you look at polls about what should happen to Vick now, they are mostly favorable if the poll is on a sports web site. But I have seen polls on news sites that are almost all heavily against allowing Vick to return. That is who he needs to convince, because while those people might not care about football, they are the ones who will create the PR storm

  14. theendzoneview.com says: May 20, 2009 5:29 PM

    Vick should be reinstated. The NFL shouldn’t prevent him from returning, but if 32 owners don’t want to hire him, then so be it.
    If I worked at McDonalds and I went to prison, got out and went to interview for my old job and they said ‘no thanks’, I’ll go next door to Taco Bell and apply there. Then I’d go to the other 29 restuarants before I’d try to get a job with the hot dog cart guy (aka the Oakland Raiders).
    What does ESPN have to gain from piling onto Mike Vick? Nothing. What does a blogger have to gain? Some more readers.

  15. ReverendTom says: May 20, 2009 5:37 PM

    Florio making news out of nothing. All you are is a conspiracy theorist at best

  16. EskinSux says: May 20, 2009 5:43 PM

    ESPN is like Twitter and people who comment here 50 times a day, sometimes under assumed names.. …It’s there 24/7, but nobody really pays it any mind….

  17. Bob S. says: May 20, 2009 5:48 PM

    Mike,
    Surprise! Surprise!
    ESPN did the exact same thing when the first reports started coming out about him way back then and reported by others and this website of yours.

  18. CycloneHog says: May 20, 2009 5:53 PM

    Like O.J. Simpson and Mike Tyson–famous athletes that served jail time–the media will scramble to land the exclusive first interview with Vick. It would be wise for Vick to lay low and not make any public comment. There’s no shortage of opinions on Vick’s crime and punishment. As you can see here, the debate is heated and any public comment from Vick could only add fuel to the fire.
    http://www.newsy.com/videos/vick_s_release_sparks_debate

  19. ZN0rseman says: May 20, 2009 5:54 PM

    It’s like Rush Limbaugh said…
    “The media has been very desirious that black QB’s do well.”
    Even though he was a terrible QB, Vick was ESPN’s guy for years. They’ve been backing him since he was drafted, making him out to be God’s gift to football even though they knew he was terrible all along. The sad part is, a lot of people really bought into the propoganda, just based on ESPN’s extremely favorable media coverage toward Vick. I would have thought that illogical desire to back guys like Vick (and Vince Young, Aaron Brooks, ect) would have ended with Vick’s apparent hobby of torturing and killing man’s best friend… but I guess not.
    $0.02,
    –Z

  20. depleted_uranium_balls says: May 20, 2009 5:57 PM

    Most teams shouldn’t be interested in Vick anyway. Apart from the character issues, you aren’t going to win a SB with him. And he really is annoying. There was the thing where, after losing a playoff game, he was more concerned with plans for his NYE party than the fact that their season just ended.
    One thing though:
    “And so ESPN is taking great pains, consciously or not, to avoid giving Vick’s agent and lawyers and publicists any reason to believe that the person from ESPN who would be asking the questions would be lobbing softballs instead of throwing high heat.”
    Florio, you’ve got to switch the softballs with the high heat in the above sentence.

  21. dahoopsta says: May 20, 2009 6:03 PM

    I’m so tired of hearing people unload on Michael Vick.
    Let me say first – I do not condone dogfighting.
    That being said, I guarantee that a number of people that talk about Michael Vick so badly are hunters. I do not understand why it is ok to kill deer, doves, or whatever animal that people hunt, but then try to say that it is worse for Vick fighting dogs.
    Either you are for animal rights or you are not. It is hypocritical crap to say that it is worse to fight dogs than it is to kill deer with a gun. The death of an animal is the death of an animal, period.

  22. ZN0rseman says: May 20, 2009 6:19 PM

    dahoopsta says
    [quote] is hypocritical crap to say that it is worse to fight dogs than it is to kill deer with a gun. The death of an animal is the death of an animal, period. [/quote]
    Uhhh… yeah, let me ask you this then…
    If you had to choose between three methods of dying, which would you choose?
    1: Hunted and then eaten alive by a wild animal.
    2: Instantly killed by a high caliber bullet fired from a marksman.
    3: Have some jackass beat you nearly to death, torture you by connecting a car battery to your nuts, and then finishing you off by popping out your eyes with a screw driver and hanging you upside down from a clothes wire until you bleed to death.
    According to you, you’d be fine with it if someone picked option 3 for you. Because they are all just as bad, right? Idiot.

  23. jimicos says: May 20, 2009 6:28 PM

    dahoopsta says:
    May 20th, 2009 at 6:03 pm
    I’m so tired of hearing people unload on Michael Vick.
    Let me say first – I do not condone dogfighting.
    That being said, I guarantee that a number of people that talk about Michael Vick so badly are hunters. I do not understand why it is ok to kill deer, doves, or whatever animal that people hunt, but then try to say that it is worse for Vick fighting dogs.
    Either you are for animal rights or you are not. It is hypocritical crap to say that it is worse to fight dogs than it is to kill deer with a gun. The death of an animal is the death of an animal, period.
    ————————————-
    Couldn’t disagree more. It’s partly that he killed animals we keep as pets. But it’s more about HOW he did it. Electrifying their nads? Drowning them? That’s not how you kill an animal unless you want to torture it.
    There’s a lot of angles in this Vick case. There’s illegal gambling, cruelty to animals in training them to fight and making them fight, and then there’s just the flat-out torture he engaged in. Someone who’s into dogfighting could just as easily do away with the weak/damaged dogs by shooting them. It’s a more humane way to put an animal out of its misery. Drowning and electrocution? That’s for torture.
    I’ve never talked to a hunter who killed deer by electrocution or drowning. I did know some guys who killed cats and other small animals in grotesque ways. They were not right in the head, and they had no intention of actually eating cat meat. That’s the category Vick’s actions belong in. It’s not to say he can’t rise above it, but normal people don’t torture animals.

  24. darth_vincent says: May 20, 2009 6:31 PM

    hey dahoopsta…. if you have never eaten a piece of meat or fish then you are correct…
    2nd off… Vick went to jail for interstate gambling… he has faced no charges on animal cruelty that I’m aware of.

  25. jarhead_jed says: May 20, 2009 6:41 PM

    so much for your theory Florio, today many ESPN alum have expressed that they feel that Vick should be further suspended from the NFL. Skip Bayless started it on 1st and 10 and the guest host also a member of ESPN (can’t remember her name) agreed and said she would actually prefer a full year. Then on NFL live, multiple members of the staff suggested a further suspension. What next?

  26. LAEaglefan says: May 20, 2009 6:49 PM

    I have never been a fan of Mike Vick, but if some team wants to employ him, that’s their business. He’s paid his price to society. I see no point in suspending him from the NFL any longer. I think the biggest issue will be where do you play him? I don’t think he’s an NFL caliber QB at this point.

  27. MrNatural says: May 20, 2009 6:52 PM

    Get it right, people. Vick has not done his time. He is in custody. Home confinement will be followed by 2-3 yrs of supervised release. He has not paid his fines.
    King Goodell only said that he wanted to see if Vick is regretful of what happened. Well, of course he is! Because he got caught!
    D. Sanders wants us to understand how an African-American child is raised in such a horrible atmosphere that he knows not the difference when it comes to such a common activity.
    Okay, I’ll buy that. But what about that university he attended? Do they perpetuate such behavior?
    If others share the blame for Vick’s criminal behavior, can we include them in his rehab?
    Vick’s crimes are more than killing dogs. They include gambling and financing a criminal conspiracy. Vick’s behavior while under court release in 2007 included drugs.
    I don’t think Vick gets it.
    Warren-the-Sapp believes Vick has paid his debt to society partly because he did his time at Leavenworth. What the Sapp fails to understand is that Vick did his brief stint at the camp. No walls, fences or razor wire. He was never around violent offenders or locked-down at night.
    For all of Leavenworth’s historical notoriety, Vick has not even had a taste of real prison. Just a few lightweight cons and snitches such as himself.

  28. Alpheratz says: May 20, 2009 7:05 PM

    ESPN is the whore for whoever they are covering at the time. Even smack talkin’ Jim Rome turns into Mr. Kiss Ass with whoever appears on his show.

  29. deymond says: May 20, 2009 7:34 PM

    I think you’re onto something, Florio. It’s been forever since they said anything bad about Adolf Hitler, too.

  30. dahoopsta says: May 20, 2009 8:06 PM

    To respond to those who had a comment:
    Thank you for taking the time to respond, I appreciate that we can have a discussion.
    To respond directly to the first question that was asked, I don’t care how I die. Death is final to me, so wether it is by a bullet or torture, the ultimate end is my death.
    And, I eat fish and meat. I’m not saying that I’m against hunting. I just disagree that it is worse to dog fight than it is to slaughter an animal in a slaughterhouse than it is to kill a dog.
    Finally, I’m not sure what the charge was, but ultimately it was for dogfighting and not for gambling.

  31. Bob S. says: May 20, 2009 8:47 PM

    Author: ZN0rseman
    Understand your point HOWEVER there or more possibilities
    “Uhhh… yeah, let me ask you this then…
    If you had to choose between three methods of dying, which would you choose?”
    “1: Hunted and then eaten alive by a wild animal.”
    BUT AFTER A HUNTER MAIMS YOU WITH HIS !

    “2: Instantly killed by a high caliber bullet fired from a marksman.”
    BUT
    NOT all expert marksmen are lee harvey oswalds with magic spector bullets that can always find their target and and they may merely cripple you and leave you in the grassy foliage

  32. smiley says: May 20, 2009 9:14 PM

    Based on what I saw last night on ESPN (which is rare for me) no one said a negative word about him. It’s almost as if they’re his PR machine. I don’t care what dress they put on this pig….it’s still a pig. And yes, he paid his debt to society, well, he did his time, doesn’t mean he should get a chance to play in one of the most private clubs on this planet. He lost that chance when he added insult to injury (literally) by lying to the one man that could have really helped him, Commissioner Goodell.

  33. ZN0rseman says: May 20, 2009 10:08 PM

    To Bob S. …
    Sure, that’s all true, but you need to realize that most hunters are very good shots, and in the end, the absolute last thing a hunter wants to have happen is to wound an animal and have it get away. And, even in the extremely rare case where that happens, the death of the animal is still no more cruel than they would normally face in nature, and it’s certainly a hell of a lot better than being tortured to death by a thug like Vick.
    In the end, though, even the most radical of animal rights activists must admit that comparing hunting and the horrible atrocities committed by Vick is a completely senseless and utterly invalid comparison.
    $0.02,
    –Z

  34. Southernboi727 says: May 20, 2009 10:40 PM

    theres nothing wrong with what ESPN is doing. They’re actually doing the opposite of how they usually portray players.

  35. Stone says: May 21, 2009 12:05 AM

    Genius. Exactly why ESPN can’t be trusted for unbiased, full-coverage sports news. They will always work to serve their best interests in the name of entertainment. Joke.

  36. Pea Tear Griffin says: May 21, 2009 11:03 AM

    @dahoopsta
    “Finally, I’m not sure what the charge was, but ultimately it was for dogfighting and not for gambling. ”
    Errr…WRONG!
    Vick served time for “Conspiracy to Travel in Interstate Commerce in Aid of Unlawful Activities and to Sponsor a Dog in an Animal Fighting Venture”
    This is a RICO law. It has nothing to do with animal cruelty. He never stood trial for that because of his plea deal.
    By the way, I found your previous posts to be ignorant. It seems you haven’t heard about this case until yesterday or you’re just trying to piss people off.

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