SBD/Issue 167/Leagues & Governing Bodies

Vick Reinstatement Bid Gives Goodell Chance To Show Forgiveness

Vick Will Be Transferred From Prison
To Home Confinement This Week
Former Falcons QB Michael Vick this week will be transferred from prison to home confinement, and his case to return to the NFL gives Commissioner Roger Goodell an "opportunity to tell fans and pressure groups that Vick has served his time and has a right to make a living," according to William Rhoden of the N.Y. TIMES. This is a "time for wise leadership from Goodell, who has so far been playing to the crowd in a high-profile crusade to show the public that inmates are not running the asylum." Goodell "doesn't say what, in his mind, genuine remorse would look like" from Vick. Rhoden: "What does Goodell want, and what act of contrition will meet his standard of remorse? Vick has lost almost everything. He has been disgraced before the public, his family and his friends. He is bankrupt. You don't think he's sorry? You don't think Vick feels remorse?" (N.Y. TIMES, 5/17). SI.com's Peter King writes there is "no good reason why Michael Vick ... should not be reinstated to play in the NFL this fall." King added, "I would do one thing as a final wrist-slap to Vick if I were Roger Goodell: I'd suspend him for the first four games of the 2009 season for lying on at least three occasions to his employer and Goodell about his involvement in dog-fighting" (SI.com, 5/18).

INTERNATIONAL OUTRAGE: In Nashville, David Climer wrote Goodell's plan to move "multiple regular-season games to London" each season is an "injustice to players, coaches and fans." Goodell "for some strange reason ... seems to think he must do whatever it takes to grow the game internationally." Climer: "This just in, commish: The NFL already is the standard by which all professional sports are judged. ... England already has its brand of football -- soccer. Let them bend it like Beckham, not pass it like Peyton" (Nashville TENNESSEAN, 5/17). But NFL Network's Brian Baldinger said, "We’re chasing dollars here. They have the ability to chase some dollars overseas, then I think you have to go get those dollars. I think as a player you may not understand it and a coach you may not like it, but in the big picture of this thing, you’ve got to grow this thing globally.” NFL Net's Sam Wyche: "My question is, ‘Do you really need to grow it globally?’ The United States is pretty much the only country where we play this sport" ("NFL Total Access," NFL Network, 5/15). ESPN.com’s Len Pasquarelli said, "There’s a finite number of t-shirts you can sell, I think, and there’s a number past which the TV networks aren’t going to go. You’ve got to give some type of trade-off and that trade-off might be to play a game in London" (“Football Today,” ESPN.com, 5/15).

BOWL BUILDUP: In a special to the South Florida SUN-SENTINEL, South Florida Super Bowl XLIV Host Committee Chair Rodney Barreto noted "more than 1,500 people showed up" to three seminars "to learn how they can do business with the Super Bowl." Barreto: "Those local business owners all know just how much hosting the Super Bowl helps our entire community. ... As we push forward in these tough economic times, keep this in mind. We as a community will all get through this together, and hosting Super Bowls is something we do better than anyplace else. We're already bidding for the 2013 game" (South Florida SUN-SENTINEL, 5/15).

READY FOR KICKOFF: UFL Commissioner Michael Huyghue noted the UFL season "will start in October and end Nov. 27, Thanksgiving weekend," and he said the league has had "cordial conversations" with the NFL. Huyghue: "I've kept them updated from Day 1 of this process. Obviously, all of us come from the NFL, so we grew up together in the league, working together. I've made it very clear that we want to work complementary to the NFL. I think they'll find that we're beneficial to them, as we're allowing players -- at the end of our season -- to go directly to the NFL." Huyghue added, "I think you're going to see players who are in transition that are big-time guys who get stuck because they ask for a lot of money, or [WR] Marvin Harrison types. And I think you'll see up-and-coming quarterbacks" (BOSTON GLOBE, 5/17).

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