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Vick's Eagles Debut Draws Few Protesters, Mostly Fan Support
Published August 28, 2009
|Vick's Debut Lacks Off-Field Opposition And
Protesters That Many Had Expected
FOOTBALL CROWD: The PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER's Bob Ford writes the game drew a "football crowd" that came for "playmaking not politics, for spectacle not speeches." There were "perhaps a dozen pro-Vick enthusiasts marching around for the cameras, and maybe a half-dozen on the other side." The "pregame bluster was as predictable as it was perfunctory, and Eagles fans attending the game mostly ignored it." Ford: "In all, you have to mark it down as a successful day for Vick" (PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER, 8/28). Eagles President Joe Banner before the game said, "We've had the opportunity to meet with the different animal rights groups and frankly, they've been very rational, very reasonable. They're not happy (about the Vick signing). ... But they understand that it's happened and there's an opportunity to try to do some positive things." Meanwhile, ESPN's John Barr noted there were "signs of support for Vick" at Lincoln Financial Field with fans wearing "plenty of fresh printed Vick jerseys" ("SportsCenter," ESPN, 8/27).
|Vick's Protesters Were Few And Far Between|
MEDIA OUTNUMBER PROTESTERS: In Philadelphia, John Gonzalez writes, "If you added up all the protesters on both sides of the argument, they were far outnumbered by the reporters who were present." An Eagles spokesperson said the media turnout more closely resembled a "heavy regular-season game." The team estimated that it "issued approximately 20[%] more credentials than it normally would for a preseason matchup." Gonzalez notes the initial "uproar over Vick here in town -- both pro and con -- was genuine and organic," but "not anymore." Vick is "nothing but a prop now, a puppet to be exploited by different organizations in order to advance their respective positions and predetermined agendas" (PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER, 8/28).
BETTER THAN NOTHING: YAHOO SPORTS' Chris Chase wrote under the header, "Vick's Debut Not On National TV, But NFL Network Saves The Day." The Jaguars-Eagles game was not scheduled to be televised nationally, but NFL Net "showed all of Michael Vick's first-quarter plays ... via a live look-in," which was a "satisfying resolution to a problem that aggravated NFL viewers all day" (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 8/27). In Albany, Pete Dougherty wrote there have been "some exhibition games this month that fans wanted to see, but they aren't available." Dougherty: "If NBC can 'flex' out of regular-season games on its 'Sunday Night Football' package, why not let the networks do it in preseason?" (TIMESUNION.com, 8/27).