Where ever Mike Vick goes, controversy surrounds him. In a recent preview of an article done by GQ provided by deadspin.com, Vick goes on the record about his return to football. Among other things, he discusses his feelings towards man’s best friend and his feelings towards the media, but it is not what he said about Old Yeller that is going to make news tomorrow morning.
Vick explains that NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and other NFL representatives persuaded him to sign with a team which did not offer the best situation for Michael Vick himself. He is quoted as saying, “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-string quarterback is nothing to smile about. Cincinnati and Buffalo were better options.”
This quote seems to imply that Goodell and other NFL higher ups had some hand in which team Vick “chose” to resign with. He goes on to back up his point with, “And I commend and thank them, because they put me in the right situation.” WHAT!? How is it that an NFL commissioner can influence where an individual signs and does not sign. GQ reports via a Deadspin preview that both Buffalo and Cincinnati would have allowed him the starting job from day one and had put forth strong desires for the man who has turned into the NFL’s comeback kid. These two teams offered Vick what he wished for, a starting job whereas in signing with the Eagles he would have to contend with Kevin Kolb. Somehow after a meeting with Goodell and other reps, Vick was both convinced and then granted league approval to sign with the Eagles.
Does it smell like a tuna factory in here because something is fishy. If this tampering by Goodell is proven some lawyers believe that he should face jail time. Bud Selig faced serious charges under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) when he attempted to devalue the Expo’s while they were “in the process” of becoming the Nationals. The convincing of Vick by Goodell while it may not be as similar in a direct financial matter as Selig, it is just as direct when discussing ticket sales and the future of teams. A player should be given the opportunity to play for whomever he wants and the executives of the NFL should not be directing player movement. While his role in the lockout made him disliked by the fan base, an action like this is deplorable.
The point of the NFL commissioner is to settle disputes amongst teams in a fair and just matter. The position is created to keep all teams on a level playing field and to do what is best for the league as a whole. If these allegations are true, Goodell has not only influenced a free agents decision on where to sign with the league, he has favored a team and thus given them an advantage in both the economic and competitive aspects of the sport. This is disgraceful.
I have never wished to read a GQ article before (in part because of Mark Sanchez) but this small teaser provided at Deadspin.com has me wishing I could read the article right now at 3:00 in the morning. I had always felt as though Goodell was the unfortunate scapegoat during the lockout for the owners, but now if these actions are verified, I despise the man for tampering with a league that I love.
Post Publishing Notes: The article was published in GQ’s sports section here. My opinion still stands because all of the quotes used by deadspin.com were…. dead on. The quote in it entirety which is making all the fuss is below. Draw your own assumptions, beliefs and opinions, I have mine.
“I think I can say this now, because it’s not going to hurt anybody’s feelings, and it’s the truth,” Vick tells me a few weeks after the commencement ceremony. “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.”
Thanks PhillipMorris for the correction on the Marlins/Nationals fix.