Ovie Mughelli takes a tour of the Gulf Coast oil spill

Falcons fullback Ovie Mughelli took a tour of the Gulf Coast oil spill today.  (Bob Andres / bandres@ajc.com)

Falcons fullback Ovie Mughelli took a tour of the Gulf Coast oil spill today. (Bob Andres / bandres@ajc.com)

BIRDLAND — Falcons fullback Ovie Mughelli, the team’s environmentally savvy activist,  slipped behind enemy lines as part of a delegation of professional athletes to visit the Gulf Coast to explore the oil spill today.

Deep in the heart of New Orleans Saints territory, the boat Mughelli was on left from Myrtle Grove, Louisiana.

The group took a tour of the damage caused by the spill.

“On the whole boat ride you could see the booms trying to protect the coast, the wetlands and the marsh, but they weren’t doing the job,” Mughelli said via phone. “It wasn’t working 100 percent. There was still oil in the marsh. You can see where the oil had got into the pits of the marsh and devastated it. You could already see the process of where it was eroding the soil.”

Mughelli knows there are more environmental problems than what he could see from the boat.

Race car driver Leilani Munter.

Race car driver Leilani Munter.

“There is so much more going on underneath and that’s the scarier part,” Mughelli said. “There is twice as much going on underneath the water. There is more than what we can do with the resources that we have right now. It was a little disconcerting.”

Mughelli hopes to stress the connection between sports, health and a clean environment and why a full clean up could lead to more clean and renewable energy.

“I’m thrilled with the chance to come out here and see what’s going on first hand,” Mughelli said. “One of the most important things that you can do as an athlete is to make sure that other athletes, young and old, have a chance to do what we are doing, have clean water, have clean air, have clean beaches if you want to run on them to train. If we are supposed to be the responsible adults I feel like we are not doing our job right now. I’m very disappointed to see what we are leaving behind for the next generation to clean up.”

Other athletes on the tour included ex-NHL goalie Mike Richter, ex-Tampa Bay running back MikeAlstott, NHL player Andrew Ference, X game snowboarder Krista Bradford Ference, ARCA/NASCAR driver Leilani Munter, Olympic skier Stacy Cook, Olympic hammer thrower Loree Smith, Olympic race walker Gary Morgan and tennis star Chanda Rubin.

“This is not a (President Barack) Obama’s problem,” Richter said. “This is not a (British Petroleum) problem. This is everybody’s problem.”

Mughelli has been busy this offseason doing environment-friendly activities through his foundation. In addition to camps in Atlanta and his hometown of Charleston, he helped with a green event on Tybee Island.

The motto of Mughelli’s foundation is “our future is green.”

“I wish I could do more personally, but all I can do is spread awareness, help bring resources to the problem and hope that it is a wake-up call for us to move toward renewable energy, move away from oil and do right by our kids,” Mughelli said.

130 comments Add your comment

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hiramsaint

July 13th, 2010
5:07 pm

tryin’ to rub elbows with the big boys on the saints squad!

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Timothy

July 13th, 2010
5:37 pm

Ovie has his priorities right! That’s the kind of example our Falcons need to be setting-

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Jen

July 14th, 2010
4:59 am

You rock Ovie!

Nice to see pro athletes wanting to help the enviroment, a cause that often goes overlooked, with the exception of this catastrphe.
Glad to see you do this al the time.with your foundation…props.

[...] Falcons fullback Ovie Mughelli toured the damage caused by the oil spill in the Gulf of [...]

Gray

July 14th, 2010
8:34 am

Here’s to the CEO, the chairman, and the spokesman of BP:

Three liars in white shirts
Black oil spill still streaming
Thirteen weeks of hurts
Never stopped me dreaming

BP’s going broke
it’s going broke
it’s going
BP’s going broke!

(melody: “Three Lions”, the hymn of the English soccer team)

florida falcon

July 14th, 2010
8:59 am

Kudos to Ovie, we got hit here in Pensacola too. Can’t wait for this nightmare to end!

[...] fullback Ovie Mughelli, the team’s environmentally savvy activist,  slipped behind enemy lines as part of …. Deep in the heart of New Orleans Saints territory, the boat Mughelli was on left from Myrtle [...]

Joe Tess Fish House

July 14th, 2010
10:45 am

I dont care what Oggling Mugglie does as long as he does not hang out with those filthy saints. He will come back smelling bad and will want to cheat all the time.

SeenThisB4

July 14th, 2010
11:39 am

@Joe Tess:

Filthy Saints? Smelling bad and wanting to cheat. Really? Are you sure it’s not Joe Tess Fish House that smells bad?

truth

July 14th, 2010
11:55 am

Way to go Joe Tess……..you just offended filthy by associating it with the saints. :)

waynester

July 14th, 2010
12:17 pm

Saints fans can protest ’til the cows come home but their team’s play last season was as dirty as it comes.
The attitude starts at the top with their coaching staff cheating and stealing pain pills to augment their bad habits.
No justice will be forthcoming on either front–the NFL wants to cover up the scandal as quickly and quietly as possible and their “head” coach’s book is a joke and a fraud. They need to clean up their act just as badly as they need to clean up their stinking city. The League knows that the Saints are as befouled as the La. coastline, but will abet the lawlessness just to save face….
No punches pulled here!
P.S.
Good on ya Ovie!

truth

July 14th, 2010
12:21 pm

Hiram……….waynester just smacked your bandwagon butt. What pointless come back are you gonna spew on the board?

waynester

July 14th, 2010
1:16 pm

If you have a weak stomach avoid tonight’s “ESPY’s” award circus. The sports network has been on NO’s collective jocks since that Monday night game when they reopened the Superdome against us a few years back and tonight I predict the bogus love-fest will continue. The NFL has plenty to be ashamed of but nothing more egregious than the on-going cover-up of prescription drug theft/use by key members of the NO coaching staff PRIOR to last year’s Superbowl run, with the complete knowledge of the NFL. They allowed a veteran FBI agent to be pilloried in the national media for months–after that same agent tried his damnedest to get the Saints to deal with the matter privately–they opted for a smear campaign to attempt to deflect attention from the CRIMES commited by coaches Peyton and Vitt–crimes captured on video by agent Santini. I fully expect the Saints to sweep the ESPY’s, further demonstrating the enabling of criminal behaviour by ESPN and the self-serving abetting of lawbreaking by the NFL to protect their “feel-good” franchise.
Now, put that in your pipe and smoke it, Saints fans….

Joe Tess Fish House

July 14th, 2010
1:41 pm

Don’t make fun of Joe Tess. It’s way better than any garbage oyster sandwich from New Orleans.

Calvin G. Sims, Sr.

July 14th, 2010
1:55 pm

I have said it before and it is worth saying again, Never before have we had players with such character as now. From the front office to the practice squad and all points in between, I have never been more excited about a Falcons TEAM. And that does not even begin to describe my excitement about the talent.

Go Falcons!!!

hiramsaint

July 14th, 2010
1:58 pm

wow-y’all sure are sensative about getting smacked around by the saints for the last 4 years.what does matty slush use to sooth his sensative skin. maybe you should try that or diaper rash medicine. y’all should have some cheese to go along with your whine!

Calvin G. Sims, Sr.

July 14th, 2010
2:01 pm

hiramsaint, Joe Tess Fish House & waynester – You have chosen, once again, to use this forum for your shameless love fest. Once again I say, I plead -Please get a room!

Go Falcons!!!

hiramsaint

July 14th, 2010
2:08 pm

nacalvin , i’m just pokin’ a little fun at the hapless falcons

waynester

July 14th, 2010
2:13 pm

I note that the Saints fan posting on here failed to address the FACTS outlined in my above posts, choosing instead to launch ad hominem attacks on Falcon fans in general rather than facing the truth. I am not surprised in the least, as not even the League is willing to honestly ‘fess up. The NFL has no problem enforcing it’s substance use policy except when it runs contrary to their P.R. needs. The drug thefts by Vitt and Peyton were known prior to last season and covered up to protect the NFL’s feel-good(REAL good in the case of these coaches) story line and Truth be damned….
I expect fans to make excuses for their teams/personnel (like a few Vick lovers on here) but not the League/Commish. To paraphrase a slogan from the ‘Nam era–let’s “destroy the League in order to save the NO franchise”…..

hiramsaint

July 14th, 2010
2:24 pm

well written- i think i need a hanky

hiramsaint

July 14th, 2010
2:24 pm

p.s i never tied to add no homos!!!

waynester

July 14th, 2010
2:29 pm

Ignorance is curable but stupidity is forever, hiramsaint, as you continue to demonstrate…..

hiramsaint

July 14th, 2010
2:33 pm

c’mon- now that was pretty funny

hiramsaint

July 14th, 2010
2:53 pm

waynster- he was not an fbi agent , rather an X-fbi agent turned rent-a-cop looking to extort money only after the SUPERBOWL 44 win. the alleged incident happened the year before and was only chased after the prospect of some money to be made was discovered. the video is of two people, one thought to be vitt, but not clear enough to tell. the other is indistiguishable. the coaches denied and with no real proof and the only outcome for santini to be charged and liable for slander and possible imprisonment, he opted for arbitration to avoid a possible prison sentence. thats the story but you won’t find that in any atlanta news source for they have nothing to gain by presenting the facts

SeenThisB4

July 14th, 2010
2:58 pm

waynester: Could you please clairfy and substantiate, assuming you can, what the league (the Commish) knew and when did they know it? Cause I think your mixing up timelines dramatically just to justify your senseless (or is it jealous?) rant.

hiramsaint

July 14th, 2010
2:59 pm

p.s. now can we please get back to dinkin’ and dunkin’? i find bantering with you falcons fans to be relaxing and much more enjoyable than squabbling over some pills or babs smokin’ a doob or mike smith taken a cheap swing at a player or your linebacker gettin’ suspended or roddy white runnin’ with thugsor matty slush saying he’s gonna win 13 games this year. lets keep it light , fun and non-abrasive

hiramsaint

July 14th, 2010
3:01 pm

where yat seen thisb4? i tell you – these people can make this seem like a full time job.

SeenThisB4

July 14th, 2010
3:03 pm

@hiramsaint: waynester is a fantasizer of monumental proportions. The only valid statement in his post was his expectation that the Saints will sweep the ESPYs, and I guess his admission that he has a weak stomach! LOL!

hiramsaint

July 14th, 2010
3:07 pm

uoch man- i usually try to wait ’till night to get real mid-evil but you don’t waste no time. where ya’ from? me metairie but imprisoned here for awhile

SeenThisB4

July 14th, 2010
3:09 pm

@hiramsaint: I’m at home in the 70130. How’s it going for you?

Joe Tess Fish House got me hungry for an oyster po-boy dressed, but those are tough to get these days with all the oyster beds closed. Surprisingly there’s still plenty of Shrimp and Blue Crab around.

hiramsaint

July 14th, 2010
3:16 pm

you ain’t right –they put red pepper on anything here and tell you it’s cajun- what a joke . even the AUTHENTIC louisiana restaurants aren’t very good. now i want a po’boy. when i’m down there i go to zuppardos on veterans. my mommas been makin groceries there since i was a kid[ many many years]. anyway , hope the fed. gov. gets off it’s a$$ and lets bp put that cap on but then the gov. really doesn’t want that to happen

SeenThisB4

July 14th, 2010
3:23 pm

Yeah, there’s nothing like the home cuisine.

That stubborn well has been doing nothing but laughing at BP! Kinda reminds me of the falcants trying to stop the Saints offense.

hiramsaint

July 14th, 2010
3:29 pm

it’ll be 9 of 10 after this season. usually i gotta handle them by myself but when two of us get on here, they fly away like little birdies- i mean falcons

NO Fans Go Home

July 14th, 2010
3:33 pm

It’s amazing how NO fans have to come onto a Falcons blog to feel better about themselves. Compensating for something.

FYI, Falcons fans had to fly away, see, we have these things called jobs and can’t stay on a blog all day to post over and over.

That’s all I’m going to say, I’m tired of you NO fools. You can talk all day if you want, I’ll wait for the season to roll around.

SeenThisB4

July 14th, 2010
3:43 pm

@NO Fans Go Home: Is that you again Helen Thomas? LOL!

Could have sworn that DOL story was about Ovie-mughelli going deep behind enemy lines! My mistake….no wait, YOUR MISTAKE.

hiramsaint

July 14th, 2010
3:47 pm

helens not gonna say any more boo- hoo. anyway thanks for letting us talk all day now get back to work before the boss man whups ya’

hiramsaint

July 14th, 2010
3:48 pm

if you don’t know what a whuppin is just ask your team what the saints been doin’ to ‘em for the last 4 years

waynester

July 14th, 2010
3:58 pm

DLed
Is there a reason my numerous responses to hiramsaint and B4 aren’t being posted? I’m not engaging in any incivility, simply stating facts. My beef with the NFL and ESPN is legitimate and rooted in a desire for truth to prevail. What’s up????

SeenThisB4

July 14th, 2010
4:09 pm

“Allegations” do not equal “simply stating facts”.

waynester

July 14th, 2010
4:15 pm

hiramsaint and B4
3rd try posting this:
My source is NOLA.com, the Saints hometown paper (hardly biased against the Saints). Your (and Saints mgmt’s) attempts to paint an highly-decorated career FBI agent as a mere “rent-a-cop” is totally disingenuous. The team hired him to do exactly what he tried to do–root out wrongdoing in a franchise plagued with scandals. Instead, team mgmt attempted to smear an honorable man who tried to get the team to deal with the situation quietly (and legally) in order to protect Vitt and Peyton–and the NFL went along to protect their PR efforts to paint NO as the “feel-good” sports story ESPN is continually promoting, including tonight’s ESPY’s. The only “fantasizing” I’m engaging in is that the NFL would do the right thing, rather than what’s expedient….

SeenThisB4

July 14th, 2010
4:35 pm

Waynester: Think about what you’re saying. If you’re getting your information from NOLA.com, (an INTERNET WEBSITE of a local newspaper) then you are admitting to knowing nothing but hearsay. Let me say it again, NOTHING BUT HEARSAY. This bozo, was not hired to root out wrongdoing in the franchise. He was hired to provide security for the team, not to attempt to blackmail his own employer.

He chose to quit last summer, when the team decided not to pursue his recommendations. Then, after the Saints win the Superbowl he sues the team publically with the “allegation” of being forced out by a hostile environment! Yeah, uh-huh. Sure, sure, anything he says! An X-FBI, gun carrying Security professional, forced out by a hostile environment? Or more realistically, by the alterior motive of greed?

And of course, you as an opposing fan will eat up every word of this bozo’s allegation because, 1) Your jealous, 2) Your envious, and 3) Your malicious.

And you want the NFL to do the right thing?! Which would be what? Lemme guess, take the Lombardi Trophy from the Saints and award it to the falcants! Would that make you feel better?

hiramsaint

July 14th, 2010
4:41 pm

you gotta finish the story and tell ALL of the story if you want anyone who knows about the story to give you any credibility. you have left out some major parts like santini trying to EXTORT major amounts of money to not tell his ALLEGED story. it’s a non issue in arbitration. if it were more than that as you claim- goodell would be way more involved. one more thing- we won the superbowl

hiramsaint

July 14th, 2010
4:44 pm

waynster is feeling bitter about last season way to long- i believe he should move on to more relevant issues like whats gonna happen to smitty and matty slush when the post-season eludes the falcants AGAIN this year

waynester

July 14th, 2010
5:20 pm

I am upset, but not in the way you think.
Last season played out the way it did and no one can take that away from NO. My point(since you keep missing it) is that the NFL KNEW what happened over a YEAR AGO and failed to act. The League is more than happy to punish a Charles Grant or Mike Vick to give an appearance of being “tough” but not to take action against a franchise they’re desperately trying to hype to prevent their loss to another city and show them in a positive light.
Even Loomis said that he hired the 31-year veteran agent not as a “rent-a-cop” but in response to the numerous scandals the team was facing 5 years ago, before Peyton came on board. Up until he blew the whistle on FELONY drug theft (after trying repeatedly to get Loomis to act in the best interest of the franchise) he was credited with the turn-around in team security. Why some fans insist on blaming the messenger–only you can answer. By the way, he only sought lost wages, not an example of “extortion” by any measure. Funny how all of a sudden, when it suits your purposes, do you call the Times/Picayune a “local website”, when it’s a centuries-old newspaper with nation-wide circulation. You keep shooting at the messenger(Santini, and now me)because the truth is so repellant. MY point(again) is that if the national sports media had given this story the coverage that the NO press has, the NFL would have been forced to take prompt, appropriate action against Vitt, Peyton, Loomis and perhaps even the trainer for clear violation of league rules…..

hiramsaint

July 14th, 2010
5:30 pm

AGAIN waynster- these are only ALLEGATIONS and no PROOF has been presented. guilty untill proven innocent must be your motto. let the arbitrators figure it out and i’ll have them give you a call so you can pass judgement then. think about it -if santini had such a concrete case why did he agree to arbitration and was his salary 2 mill.?- it’s not rocket science though to you it seems like it is

waynester

July 14th, 2010
5:40 pm

The standard for NFL employees is MUCH higher that that for ordinary citizens in similar circumstances. You can continue willfully disregarding everything that has come to light throughout this investigation as is your right, but don’t expect the rest of the football world to go along. I expect the team and it’s fans to behave exactly the way you are but not the League. They have a responsibility to the rest of the clubs in the country to at least attempt to get to the bottom of this felonious behavior. To date, they have not….