Michael Vick May Be Sincere. His Publicity Campaign Is Fake.

Anthony BrownCorrespondent ISeptember 30, 2009

PHILADELPHIA - SEPTEMBER 27:  Quarterback Michael Vick #7 of the Philadelphia Eagles talks to the media after their game against the Kansas City Chiefs on September 27, 2009 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Travis Lindquist/Getty Images)

Michael Vick made an entirely too clandestine visit to D.C. to preach against the dangers of dog fighting. He gave his message to a group of at risk...churchgoers.

The story of Vick's visit appears in today's Washington Post and on www.churchsolutionsmag.com.

According to The Post, Vick addressed the false glamour of the thug life and its impact on his family.

"Anything can happen when you're fighting dogs at two or three in the morning," he said. "I'm blessed to be before you and still have my life. It's like standing on the corner and dealing drugs. It's a criminal life."

It's a message that needs to be heard. The Humane Society thinks Michael Vick is a channel to a population they do not reach.

It's piddly-poor publicity when news of Vick's visit reaches us after he's left.

Michael Vick's agreement to make two public appearances a month to speak against dog fighting played a role in his reinstatement to the NFL. He's made similar appearances in Chicago, Philadelphia and Atlanta. The story at the Church Solutions web site says the Humane Society reached out to inner-city churches that "often bear much weight in these urban communities and influence people’s behavior."

Laudable--if the target audience hears the message. The Post reported that "there was a small mix of high school-aged kids among the roughly 75 in attendance." Vick has also pitched his story at schools in other cities where there are more young people, at least.

Inadequate publicity of his visits makes the whole thing a charade. I get it with the church. But if you are in church, you already get that message. A church ringed by police officers deters the very at-risk youth The Humane Society wants to reach. The Post's article suggested as much.

Everybody needs to rethink the best, maximum use of Mr. Vick.

A good start would be the Humane Society itself. They sponsor Vick appearances and appear jointly with him. Yet, Michael Vick's speaking schedule appears nowhere on its own web site as I write this.

Michael Vick's official web page has no anti-cruelty message of any kind. What a missed opportunity!

Young people are unlikely to visit the Humane Society's web page, but they will look at Vick's. There's no better place to weave Mr. Vick's message, direct and edited by the man himself.

Where was the viral text message campaign informing teens that Michael Vick was coming to town? Why was there a police presence outside and inside Covenant Baptist Church where he appeared?

Will we see this on YouTube?

Where's the thought process to place Vick where young people are instead of where they ought to be? And why isn't he appearing at animal shelters to raise funds and volunteers?

Maybe there's a concern about animal rights extremists at a Vick sighting. Know what? There are a lot more people who want to see Michael Vick play and to hear what he has to say.

Come on people, you are smarter than this. Or, is it all a charade?