It’s only been a few days since the Michael Vick Era began for the Philadelphia Eagles, and we’ve already got our first bizarre development. Naturally, it coincides perfectly with the Michael Vick Redemption Tour, which began in earnest last night with Vick’s appearance on 60 Minutes.
Concurrently, a blog post went up on Russell Simmons‘ (yes, that Russell Simmons) GLOBALGRIND.COM, purportedly written by Vick and titled “What I Did Was Horrendous“. It’s an unflinching, remorseful look from Vick at his regrets and what he’s learned and seems like a good next step in getting his career back on track. It has over 60,000 page views and over 1,600 comments in fewer than 24 hours. Simmons’ PR team even confirmed to CNBC’s Darren Rovell that the post is Vick’s and that the team will verify it shortly.
One slight problem: Vick and the Eagles say he didn’t write a damned thing.
According to the PHILADELPHIA DAILY NEWS, the team is issuing unequivocal denials that Vick had anything to do with the post on Simmons’ site:
An Eagles spokesman informed us a little while ago that he asked Michael Vick and that Vick said a blog attributed to him was not personally written by him and is contents were not dictated by him.
And let’s be real: the disputed blog post reads a whole lot like something either written by a PR person or by someone being well-coached by a PR person. To wit:
I can look a 250 pound linebacker in his eyes at the line of scrimmage and have no fear. But expressing myself when I know that there are millions of people who are so angry with me, and rightfully so, is a challenge unlike any other I have faced before.
What I did was horrendous. Awful. Inhumane. And I’ve no excuses for my actions. It makes my heart hurt now to think about what I’ve done. And I’m gonna be real honest, it took a while for me to get to this place. Sitting in a prison cell didn’t make me feel remorse. It was meeting so many animal lovers, speaking with them and looking them in their eyes. Staring at them. Looking so deep into their eyes that I began to feel their pain. Allowing that pain to enter into my body is when I started to understand how bad it really was.
We don’t know if Vick had anything to do with the post, but we’re fairly confident that a PR person played some role in its creation, in other words.
But rather than back down, Simmons’ site has issued a statement to the effect of “No, trust us, it’s him”:
“I assure you that Russell Simmons spoke with Michael Vick a little over a week ago (Russell blogged about his conversation with Michael on both Huffington Post and GlobalGrind.com) and Michael committed to writing an exclusive blog for GlobalGrind.com, which would be released simultaneously with Michael’s appearance on 60 Minutes. We stand 100% behind the blog’s authenticity.”
SO! We’ve got ourselves quite the quandary. Both sides swear they’ve got Vick’s word that he did (or didn’t) write the post, and a career that’s potentially in the balance.
About the only way Vick can claim that he’d told the truth to both people is if he reveals that someone acting on his behalf wrote the post by themselves, which would be a phenomenal misrepresentation of the truth to both parties but not technically a lie (you can imagine how thrilled Eagles owner Jeffrey Laurie would be about that, right out of the gate in Vick’s tenure). Otherwise, either Simmons got punked badly or Vick got the notion after the fact that his post could put his career with the Eagles in danger.
Otherwise, barring some shameless, bald-faced lying by one of the sides, we don’t really know who’s right on this one. We’re not that sure the story ends with Vick keeping his job, though.