Reader Matt sends the following:
Since when did comments in an interview became the undeniable truth? Aren’t there two sides to every story? I know the Commissioner is a polarizing figure, but there is definitely media sensationalism at play here. I’m sure that if Goodell did suggest Vick go to the Eagles, that he was one voice amongst a sea of others giving him advice. To slam the Commissioner for this is ridiculous, especially without knowing the facts.
Goodell was criticized during labor negotiations for not caring about the players, and now he’s being criticized for advising Mike Vick during his comeback. Let’s not forget Vick’s case is one of extreme circumstances and needed to be handled carefully, along with Dungy, the Commissioner would have been right to suggest the Eagles, for the sake of Vick and for the game of football, it’s image and integrity. Vick was put somewhere where he could learn, compete and earn his spot back.
I assume that Matt is listening to the radio chatter or following the sensationalism on Twitter. For example:
We need to take a step back and realize what exactly the issue is. First of all, Mike Vick would not have had the type of success here that he is having in Philly. I have zero confidence that good old Bob Bratkowski could have formulated an offense around what Mike could do on the field. The Bengals would have still run the run > run > pass > punt offense enjoyed for so many season and Vick would have never had the chance to improve his play.
Secondly, if the Comissioner did in fact advise Vick to not join the Bengals, I think he did so for a great reason. Here is a guy who is pretty much hated all around the country and is just getting out of prison. Why would you want him to join the NFL squad with the reputation of the Bengals and arrests? Not only would Mike Vick not have a chance to improve his image, the Bengals would take a step back (if possible) in the eyes of the national audience.
We live in a time where fans have trouble separating their fantasy football teams with the reality of the NFL. Just because player A does this on a team does not mean he can come in and do the same on another team. Don’t expect Kevin Kolb to have the success in Arizona right away that he enjoyed in Philly. (right Cassell?)
Matt makes a good point, it is easy to pile on the commissioner. What we need to understand is that rarely will a player not chase the money and without seeing the facts, I can’t believe that Mike turned down the most money to be a backup in Philly. Look at what the Eagles have done this off-season and tell me they won’t pay for players they think will help their team. So a little friendly advice from the commissioner was not going to be enough to force Mike Vick to accept one offer over the other.