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Monday, August 17, 2009

NFL makeover 2.0: Michael Vick vs. T.O.

Because they always do

Rebranding doesn’t matter if the core product is...

I know it may be a little too soon to check in with the fellas, but I haven’t been this excited about a makeover since Courtney Love hit the cover of Marie Claire. So how’s the PR onslaught going?

Well, I caught a few episodes of his reality show, named, um, The T.O. Show (apt name given what he brings to teams), and have to say, if this was on before his stays with the Cowboys, Eagles or 49ers, I’m feeling bad for the guy.

Troubled childhood with father never attending games. Mom loves him. Grandmother with Alzheimer’s Disease. Willing to go back and speak to his high school football team. What’s not to love! Oh, yeah, the regular season thing. Team cancer rep or not, the dude did play a Super Bowl with a fractured leg.

Then there’s the other Michael making headlines this year.

Having watched this week’s 60 Minutes segment with Vick, and having spoken with two diehard Eagle fans, I can report to my viewing public that no pun intended, this signing don’t fly. And not just with them either.

One of them is also a diehard animal lover, and she’s ready to stop watching the team over this. The other, a regular commentor here (phillybikeboy), posted his two cents here.

Each brought up the same things separately. Namely, who deserves a second chance and doesn’t everyone “deserve” to earn a living? Even though T.O. supported Vick’s reinstatement, I have to say I’m willing to give Owens a fourth chance before giving Vick a second so quickly.

Yes, everyone has a right to earn a living, but Vick did this to himself. To be fair, he admits this, But, Vick was also the one who fooled everyone while animals were stolen, tortured and trained to fight.

It’s a little disingenuous to say he deserves a second chance like he was late for a few player meetings, especially when he blew such a great first chance in such a terrible way.

The ingrained behavior he displayed isn’t something you shake after two years and a few mea culparitas. Watching 60 Minutes, “It was wrong” is not the same as “I’m sorry,” the latter words he never ended up saying.

We forgive people for a lot of stuff, as long as they apologize. I see him hitting all the right notes for sure, but I’m just not feeling it. If as he says, money doesn’t matter, then maybe forgoing most of his $7 million would help sway opinion.

Another thing flying under the radar here even though tangential: Vick has only had two winning seasons in his previous six seasons. (47-48-1, as well as going 2-2 in two years of playoffs. More irony: His last NFL game before being convicted was a loss to Philadelphia.)

While not as large as Eli Manning’s recent mega deal worth $15.27 million annually, $7+ million over two years ain’t bad. The point is, the NFL valuates players based on potential almost as much as analysts overinflate the value of social networks like Facebook or Twitter.

But, back to the game. So far, T.O. leads 14-0.


(Images: Owens, Vick.)

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