This morning, GQ posted an article by Deadspin founding editor Will Leitch, who spent time with Vick this summer. Among many, many other interesting tidbits, Vick told Leitch that he didn't want to play in Philadelphia (third-string thing) and would have preferred Cincinnati or Buffalo. The Commish had other ideas:
"I think I can say this now, because it's not going to hurt anybody's feelings, and it's the truth," Vick tells me a few weeks after the commencement ceremony. "I didn't want to come to Philadelphia. Being the third-team quarterback is nothing to smile about. Cincinnati and Buffalo were better options." Those two teams wanted him and would've allowed him to start, but after meeting with commissioner Roger Goodell and other reps from the NFL, Vick was convinced—and granted league approval—to sign with Philly. "And I commend and thank them, because they put me in the right situation."
Forget about not wanting to play in Philly (he's here now and happy), the real story here, which we can infer from Vick's comments, is that Roger Goodell tampered with the negotiation process. This will be what people talk about today.
Goodell likely understood Vick had a much better chance to succeed under the stable tutelage of Andy Reid and Co., rather than in Cincinnati's halfway house.
Vick, who I've been told has absolutely the worst PR folks around, then opened up about race and dogs…:
Vick, well versed in his talking points on this matter, hesitates to make this a race issue. And yet: "Yeah, you got the family dog and the white picket fence, and you just think that's all there is. Some of us had to grow up in poverty-stricken urban neighborhoods, and we just had to adapt to our environment. I know that it's wrong. But people act like it's some crazy thing they never heard of. They don't know."
I ask Vick if he feels that white people simply don't understand that aspect of black culture. "I think that's accurate," he says. "I mean, I was just one of the ones who got exposed, and because of the position I was in, where I was in my life, it went mainstream. A lot of people got out of it after my situation, not because I went to prison but because it was sad for them to see me go through something that was so pointless, that could have been avoided."
You may not agree- and this certainly doesn't excuse his actions, but Vick is right. It was part of his culture. Of course, the everybody else does it defense is rarely a good one.
You can read the full story here. This should be bloviated about for the next 24 hours or so.
Other Eagles news, if you haven't heard: Jeremy Maclin is fine. No AIDS, no cancer, no mono.