Michael Vick, Britney Spears, and ESPN

winslowContributor IAugust 12, 2009

At this time, it is impossible to know for certain, where Michael Vick will end up playing football during the 2009-'10 season.  However, what has become painfully evident is that the Entertainment Sports Network (ESPN) has developed a very unhealthy obsession with Vick.

I have always maintained a bit of sympathy for iconic figures like Britney Spears. 

Critics of celebrities argue that multi-million dollar paychecks give members of the paparazzi the right to stalk celebrities on vacation, in their own backyards, driving down the road, visiting the restroom, and eating at restaurants.

I strongly disagree with this assumption, and feel that wealthy or not, celebrities are humans who deserve every right to privacy that we are afforded as members of the general population.

I understand the need for ESPN to compete for breaking news with other sports outlets, and even their desire to be the first to announce when Michael Vick actually signs with a team. 

However, the worldwide leader is taking on a National Enquirer vibe, more and more with each passing day.

I mean, do we really need employees of ESPN ducking and dodging behind trees, attempting to obtain photos of Vick visiting youth centers and high school football practices?

Has ESPN really stooped to the level of running stories on Vick, based upon assumptions and predictions, with no concrete, factual evidence to back up their stories?

Thanks to ESPN, Michael Vick is getting a taste of what life is like for Britney Spears on a daily basis. 

When Vick leaves his driveway, ESPN is there. When Vick visits the local courthouse, ESPN is there.  When Vick plays in his yard with his kids, ESPN is there.  When and if Vick does actually work out for an NFL team, ESPN will be there.

As if stalking Vick is not bad enough, the worldwide leader consistently runs stories on  which teams are in the running for Vick, only to backtrack hours later, once the teams that have been identified as potential suitors have outright denied these false reports.

As fans, we understand that Michael Vick will be signed by an NFL team prior to the end of training camp.  We are aware of the fact that Vick is taking steps to repair his damaged image. 

For the sake of escalating medical costs and the risks involved with such gross behaviors, I would advise ESPN to recall the reporters that they have stationed in trees throughout the country, in search of breaking Vick footage!

I am a fan of ESPN.  I turn to the worldwide leader each day to obtain information on events taking place in the sports world.  My allegiance to ESPN will not be damaged if Fox just happens to get a ten minute jump on announcing which NFL team has signed Michael Vick.

The credibility of the organization is at stake here, and each time an announcement is made, only to be refuted by NFL teams, ESPN comes across as a cheap knock-off of the artist formerly known as US Magazine.