Is this a Vick story or, ‘Who’s on first?’

Just wanted to check in real quick about something. It seems that ESPN is backing off a little bit on its, “VIck will get a four-game suspension” story. Here’s their new story, which basically says the same thing but softens it somewhat:

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell may be close to reaching a decision on Michael Vick, NFL sources told ESPN.

League sources told ESPN’s Sal Paolantonio and Chris Mortensen Thursday that sometime next week Goodell is expected to announce a conditional reinstatement of Vick, which would allow Vick to go to training camp if he signed with a team but that could also include a four-game suspension.

“Can we suspend him in basically double jeopardy?” asked the league source. “That’s the question.”

Honestly, my first instinct when I was asked to blog on the ESPN report was to hold off because the NFL hadn’t issued a response — and I’m kind of burned out on the whole thing. But I went with it. Then I got home late last night and I saw a Twitter (I’m not making this up) from NFL spokesman Greg Aiello:

Despite what ESPN says, commish has made no decisions on MVick.

I inserted that in the blog. But honestly, it wasn’t a flat out denial. It just affirmed that commissioner Roger Goodell hadn’t officially made his decision yet. Fact is, nothing is official until it’s on an NFL press release. But I guess former AJC colleague Chris Mortensen felt uncomfortable enough with his original story that he rewrote it.

Meanwhile, ProFootballTalk.com continues to hammer ESPN for its reporting this week. Excerpts of the post by the website’s Mike Florio:

Continuing arguably one of its worst weeks since becoming an international sports powerhouse, ESPN has backtracked on its report that quarterback Mike Vick will be suspended four games to start the 2009 regular season.

Controversy erupted on Twitter in the aftermath of the initial report, with NFL spokesman Greg Aiello stating, “Despite what ESPN says, commish has made no decisions on MVick.” …  ESPN’s Chris Mortensen responded with a tweet of his own, “Despite what anyone says, ESPN did not report a decision has been made based on what I just read on dot.com.”

Not long thereafter, Mort clarified himself.

I take that back,” he said.  “After this 12-hr drive, I just read the espn.com story and the lead is erroneous.  Guess I can’t get to bed yet.

Don’t you just love 24/7 “news” cycles?

And now, I’m going to have my coffee and two aspirin.

97 comments Add your comment

Amnesiac

July 24th, 2009
9:31 am

Taking this and the Roethlisberger fiasco together has given me the courage to just ditch sports reporting altogether and get my news straight from the Weekend Predictions. When does that start up, anyway? I need some laughs to chase my humanity fatigue.

Ann Coulter

July 24th, 2009
9:32 am

It’s the MSM and the liberal elite. Socialized journalism.

Rush Limbaugh

July 24th, 2009
9:33 am

It’s the MSM that is desirous to see a black QB succeed.

Rush Limbaugh

July 24th, 2009
9:34 am

Maria!! Where’s my Oxycontin!!!

Zell Miller

July 24th, 2009
9:34 am

ESPN, I challenge you to a DUEL !!

Rush Limbaugh

July 24th, 2009
9:35 am

Where’s my Oxyc*ntin!!???

Rush Limpbaugh

July 24th, 2009
9:36 am

Where’s my oxycontin??!!??

Santana

July 24th, 2009
9:37 am

Who cares anymore. The hype is gone anyway.

Ann Coulter

July 24th, 2009
9:37 am

Does this dress make me look like an anorexic horse? Wherrrrherrrherr

Voice or Reason#1

July 24th, 2009
9:38 am

If left to me, Vick wouldn’t even have a chance to return to the game until after his (what, 2 years?) probation was over. Maybe not ever. He could still find some job; just not in pro football. But…not my decision. I hate liars; and that he blatantly lied to Blank, Goddell, teammates, etc., that speaks to integrity. I would not reward him right away with a return to millions of dollars.

Crickets

July 24th, 2009
9:40 am

We are the only ones you can hear

Voice or Reason#1

July 24th, 2009
9:41 am

I am living in my mother’s basement.

It's NICE

July 24th, 2009
9:42 am

to be entertained instead of hate speak

disqusted

July 24th, 2009
9:44 am

wow ajc is actually criticizing someone for not reporting facts. you guys are amazing. Anything positive about Vick then you want to be cautious but let it be negative and you run with it. Hint Hint strip club story. Yesterday about 2:00pm you had that story in big bold print. Amazing no one was calling for caution then.

THE TRUTH

July 24th, 2009
9:45 am

Jeff Shulz deserves a Pulitzer for his journalistic integrity and professionalism. (Psst, Jeff…When do I get paid?)

REALITY CALLING

July 24th, 2009
9:46 am

Two of the strippers confirmed that Vick and Iverson were at the strip club his first night out. (see Pacman Jones)

Greg

July 24th, 2009
9:54 am

Two strippers confirmed it, so it must be true. They are also only working there to pay their way through school…

Doug Malott

July 24th, 2009
9:55 am

Not only the sports media but the national media are this country’s achilles heel. It’s totally ridiculous
and is taking the nation down the tubes. I remember growing up in much more peaceful times, a lot less confusion and with a better outlook on life. These days it’s all about shock value and 90% negative news. I feel sorry for kids and people wonder why society has broken down – just turn on the news. In my case it’s turn off the news. Beam me back Scotty.

Ran

July 24th, 2009
9:58 am

In reading these post, there seem to be a lot of haters on this blog page. Vick has served his time and paid his debt to society (whatever that may mean). Leave the guy alone and let him continue what he does best, play football.

Can We Go To Another Topic Now

July 24th, 2009
9:59 am

Schultz – As it has been said by many of your readers and bloggers, MOVE ON PLEASE!!!! A decent sports journalist could have found something else to write about by now.

Fan

July 24th, 2009
9:59 am

Jeff,

This whole thing is copied and pasted quotes. There are only original two sentences in this “blog.” I know 3rd graders that could do more work then that. Pathetic. Here’s a thought: replace the coffee with a cup of Drano and swap the Aspirin for a handful of horse tranquilizers you dummy.

CORRECT!!

July 24th, 2009
10:10 am

I don’t know who’s on first. However, I do know who is and isn’t the Falcons QB.

GO FALCONS!!!!!!!

FALCONS SORRY

July 24th, 2009
10:10 am

ROGER GOODELL! THERE AINT ANYTHING WRONG WITH A SUCCESSFUL YOUNG MAN LOOKING AT PRETTY LADIES! STOP BEING A HATER AND MAKING VICK WAIT AND LET THE MAN PLAY ALREADY! THERE ARE A LOT OF KIDS IN THIS WORLD THAT NEED A HERO LIKE MIKE VICK TO LOOK UP TO RIGHT NOW AND MATT RYAN AINT A HERO FOR NOBODY! THE NFL TV RATINGS HAVE GONE WITHOUT VICK AND SO HAS THE ECONOMY! FOR THE SAKE OF EVERYBODY LET VICK HAVE HIS LIFE BACK SO EVERYTHING CAN GET BACK TO NORMAL! WE NEED VICK MORE THAN HE NEEDS ANY OF US! ESPECIALLY THE HATERS!

Marcus

July 24th, 2009
10:17 am

Jeff,
I was gonna run this by you and M.B. yesterday…from a professional journalists’ standpoint (and seeming recent revelations by both you and Mr. Bradley about a jaundiced eye towards ESPN), what say you about:
The journalistic integrity of ESPN and its ilk (Fox Sports News, etc.) esp. in some of its “tail wagging the dog” rumor and premature (and sometimes erroneous) snippets?

The proliferation of former and current print media types taking to the airwaves as personalities. How does the stars in the eyes affect their professionalism or does it?

frankie blacken

July 24th, 2009
10:20 am

KPH

July 24th, 2009
10:29 am

He has served his time let him come back. One more screw up though and he should get a lifetime ban.

Jeff Schultz

July 24th, 2009
10:30 am

Amnesiac — Weekend Predictions will start the first week of college games. Thanks.

Marcus — ESPN does a lot of good things too. I’ll also say they get picked on the most in part because they’re the biggest and have the most impact — TV (multiple stations), radio, web and magazine. … But to your bigger question: I grew up with one news cycle for a newspaper. Now it’s not like that — you’re constantly feeding the beast online. Often that makes for sloppy reporting and the criticism the industry receives — not just ESPN — is deserved. I don’t know how much of it is “stars in their eyes” (although some of it might be that) as much as it is competition and sometimes feeling the need to take shortcuts. And, yes, that’s wrong.

william garner

July 24th, 2009
10:30 am

Mike Vick a hero?Give me a break.He’s a hero in his eyes only and a poor excuse for a qb.Matt Ryan may not be a hero,but he’s 10 times the qb that Vick was or will ever be.

Walter Cronkite, JR

July 24th, 2009
10:31 am

The name of the strip club Vick visited is Chippendale’s.

Prison can change a man, or in this case, help him realize who he really is.

Marcus

July 24th, 2009
10:36 am

Thanks, Jeff.
I was wondering how other media types felt, esp. noticing in the 2-3 years or so that ESPN has ramped up its star-making business of taking part-time or former print journalists and setting them as frequent guests or even hosts for new programming on their family of networks.
I am not an “ESPN-athrope”, but noticing that trend tended to make me slightly jaded about the reach of ESPN and whether some of the basics it was founded on (presumed journalism) has somewhat morphed into more commercialism.
Also dangerous is its selection of what stories to make big news or sweep under the rug. It is always a dicey proposition, but given the virtual size of the ESPN/ABC/Disney empire and its growing alliances with all sports organizations and governing bodies …… care should be taken that ESPN doesn’t become the only news filter.

Big Daddy

July 24th, 2009
10:36 am

Falcons Sorry, You are a moron!!

Kanye

July 24th, 2009
10:40 am

Roger Goodell hates black people.

C. Tampa Ironworse

July 24th, 2009
10:40 am

Seriuosly…can anyone take ESPN at their word with reporting. All their “news” is sponsered by business…so it’s all about rating/pop, not substance. The Bud Hot Seat, Coors Cold Hard Facts, Mylanta Diarrhea of the Mouth with Chris Berman. News is all opinion now. It’s not what’s going on…it’s what they want us to think about it or view it. So let’s all actually use our brians…um….I mean brains.

PS: I’m wearing my weekend sweet bowtie today!

Tishana

July 24th, 2009
10:42 am

Golf is a honkey sport.

Dave

July 24th, 2009
10:44 am

Big Daddy:

I concur.

mars

July 24th, 2009
10:47 am

Who is this pathetic comedian wannabe that is all over the blog page? My bet would be it’s the same immature pooh boy who’s been pirating blog names. “I live in my mothers basement.” What a scream. That’s good stuff, I tell ya’. Remember Jim Carrey in Cable Boy?

Disgusted

July 24th, 2009
10:49 am

MV has NOT finished his sentence yet so he should not be reinstated for that reason alone. However, if he ever is reinstated I will immediately stop watching or reading anything regarding this NFL. It’s time we forced people to take responsibility for their actions. Convicted felons can’t vote, can’t get jobs as teachers, councilors, doctors, or in many Government agencies, but they can make millions per year in Pro Football? What he did was deplorable and inexcusable. Throw him to the curb. Better yet, chain him in a pen and let HIM be the bait to train a fighting dog.

The Dogfighter Returns

July 24th, 2009
10:49 am

Mike Vick just took a dump this morning, confirmed by VA sewer department. It looks as though he ate regular food not dog food.

Amazing.

Suck it Nerd

July 24th, 2009
10:49 am

Falcons Sorry – Michael Vick in not a role model. He may be in the future, if he turns his life around. But right now, no.

Dude McDudenstein

July 24th, 2009
10:50 am

Why does anyone care about Vick’s trip to a strip club? Illegal, no, immoral, maybe if you are morman. I am not saying Vick is a saint, but who the crap cares if he went to see some jiggle after being locked up in prison with a bunch of dudes. And I only see one comment about Goddell and his indecision. Get on with it man, quick jerking everyone around. Yes or No, pretty simple for an overpaid parol officer don’t you think?

Donald

July 24th, 2009
10:53 am

Um, maybe when Vick works out a payment plan to all of the people he ripped off when be started hiding assets. Maybe when they are satisfied (Or the court), then maybe he will have earned another opportunity.

I4NI

July 24th, 2009
10:53 am

WHO CARES?! I think the NFL is so much better off without the likes of Mike Vick. Personally, I think he should be put in a pit fight with another human, where both contestants are expected to kill or maim his/her opponent in order to win. And by the way…the loser, if not already dead, gets either hung, drowned or electricuted. Oh, but that would be inhumane…

If he does get reinstated, I’m sure that either the Cowboys, Bengals, Ravens, Vikings or Titans could find a home for him…particularly the Bengals…he wouldn’t even have to change uniforms.

Dude McDudenstein

July 24th, 2009
10:55 am

I4NI,

You forgot about the Redskins, yes the debaucle of a football team and their ring master owner is actually considering it.

Tim

July 24th, 2009
10:58 am

All this fiasco shows is that the media has become the story instead of reporting on it. When you do not do proper research and report rumors you will always be wrong. Perhaps the facts will bear you out, but the fact that you reported a rumor is always wrong. Report just the facts, if you don’t have any don’t report the story.

bigeasy830

July 24th, 2009
10:59 am

The Falcons will be 4-12 in 2009.

Sam Yorty

July 24th, 2009
11:07 am

ESPN blew the story. Michael Vick was just appointed Dog Czar in the Obama cabinet.

waa

July 24th, 2009
11:07 am

It is disgusting, what about second chance and forgiving, we all have made mistakes, FORGIVE AND MOVE ON, he did not kill anyone. HE DESERVES TO PLAY. We love animals but they are not human, as much as some of us would like them to be.

Dennis

July 24th, 2009
11:08 am

Double jeopardy? Seems I remember him being jailed for dog fighting, not drug abuse.

Once again, he’ll skate since this should be his second drug offense since the Miami-Dade dorks cut him loose after the Miami Airport fiasco.

Horus

July 24th, 2009
11:09 am

Its not surprising that the very people who call themselves Christians, are the first to cast Others to hell for immoral acts. Sure dude was with the whole dog episode…
Maybe these righteous nut jobs should learn to forgive

Michael

July 24th, 2009
11:15 am

What’s worse than poor reporting? Anyone thinking there’s any kind of respectability in being a sports “journalist.” Just pour out the gossip and entertain me for a bit. It’s sports for pete’s sakes. They ain’t changing the world with petty glitterized faux melodramas like Mike Vick. It’s sports — a beautiful distraction.

If I want real reports on things that matter, I’ll read the front section of the newspaper. (And when they don’t publish papers any more, I’ll make it up myself).