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.