The “Michael Vick Community Celebration” has been postponed.
And I was going to bring my dog. Maybe Vick could have autographed her Vick Dog Chew Toy.
I thought this was a joke when I saw it, some sort of satirical piece, but it was in Tuesday's USA Today, so it must be true.
The Michael Vick Community Celebration was scheduled for Saturday in Newport News, VA—Vick’s hometown—but the man about to have his image remade will be in Atlanta with the Humane Society of America likely petting a dog or something.
Yes, he should have the right to move on with his life, find a job, and get back to checking into hotels under the name Ron Mexico, but the idea of celebrating the guy who bankrolled Bad Newz Kennels for serving his 23 months is beyond ridiculous.
As it turns out, it’s not the city of Newport News putting on the event. It’s a guy named Andrew Shannon, president of the Peninsula chapter of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, who says he’s "committed to celebrating Vick's return to the community and would not be swayed by negative public opinion."
Sounds like he’s also hoping for a generous contribution from Mr. Vick once the cash-spigot is turned back on.
The more interesting question is whether or not Vick can make it back to the top of the endorsement-dollar mountain.
Kobe did, which sparks the debate of why a crime versus a dog is often viewed as worse than a crime against a human.
If Vick can still excite crowds on the field and if he can help a team win, it doesn't matter what he did or who he did it to, the cash will follow.
Showing he’s really a “dog guy” by doing appearances with the Humane Society—can’t wait for the commercials—is simply laying the groundwork. Before long, if he can still run, we could be talking endorsements from:
Purina. A “dog guy” with some street-cred could be big for business.
Hard not to wonder if corporate America will have a more difficult time with the Vick image-remake than they did with Kobe’s.
Kobe is one of the game’s best players.
And even if he’s not one of the best, can he still be one of the most popular?
You hear about powerful voter blocks—NASCAR dads and mini-van moms—but “dog people” includes the vast majority of the country from almost every demographic.
A corporate sponsor should think hard before tempting that powerful voter block to not buy their product.
This is America though. We’re a great people, but with an extremely short memory.
Oh, I almost forgot, look for the "Michael Vick Community Celebration" in lovely Newport News sometime later this summer, unless he has something more important to do.
Listen on the radio Saturday and Sunday nights—Tune into Patrick Mauro’s Sports Overnight America Weekend from 10:06 p.m. to 1 a.m. PDT
You can call the show at (800) 878-PLAY (7529)