Countdown couples: Goodell-Vick, Kim-Reggie, Zook-George

Never thought I would see this in NFL ticket windows.

Never thought I would see this in NFL ticket windows.

Welcome back to this week’s Tuesday’s Countdown, which this week asks the question: If an NFL commissioner has to wear many hats, can any of them fit over Roger Goodell’s cranium?

About a week ago, I wrote a column suggesting Goodell was letting his own ego get in the way of his decision-making process concerning Michael Vick. Several others have followed with similar viewpoints. Hey, I’m a trendsetter. But you already knew that. By the way, those shoes just don’t work with that outfit.

But with an entire seven days of perspective, I wanted to amend my position slightly. Goodell hasn’t balked at lifting Vick’s suspension immediately solely because he is still upset that the quarterback lied to him and he enjoys flexing his corporate biceps. It’s more like 85 percent ego and 15 percent his desire to protect the NFL shield.

Because if you haven’t noticed, that NFL shield isn’t what it used to be.

The Countdown continues . . .

10: Ticket sales are up (but by what: 1, 1,000?)

With this guy, you wouldn't think ticket sales would be a probkem.

With this guy, you wouldn't think ticket sales would be a problem.

The Falcons put out an interesting news release Monday. It quoted Rich McKay as saying, “We’re pleased that our season ticket base has increased over 2008.” What the team won’t tell you is what the season ticket base was last year, or how much it has gone up, or what the base is now, which would indicate how many seats remain empty. I’m just waiting for the next big announcement: “The Falcons have announced that every game in 2009 is a partial sellout.”

9. This isn’t a 24-hour bug

Now, I’m not trying to pick on the Falcons. (OK. Maybe a little.) They go into camp Saturday amid the most optimism around here since the summer following the NFC title game five years ago. Tony Gonzalez is here. And PETA isn’t. But the ripple effect of the economy, the previous dramatic unraveling of the team, the Bobby Petrino/Michael Vick bombings and the loss of the Vick-fanbase has had a pronounced effect on ticket sales. Full recovery is at least months away. But guess what? They’re not alone in the NFL. Look around.

8. Vick can help Goodell — or hurt him again

Roger Goodell doesn't know if Michael Vick will be good news or bad news, marketing-wise.

Roger Goodell doesn't know if Michael Vick will be good news or bad news, marketing-wise.

Goodell has reason to be concerned. The NFL remains the richest and most powerful sports league around. But it has taken a hit like every other sports entity. They’ve actually laid people off. Goodell has to protect the shield. He needs to appease corporate sponsors. He can’t afford to lose another significant revenue source. Vick used to stimulate growth. Now he’s dangerous. Goodell doesn’t feel comfortable. The last thing he needs is any more rebellious potential season-ticket holders. And have you heard what’s going on in New York and Kansas City?

7. How not to make friends, NFL style.

The Kansas City Chiefs are so desperate to move tickets that they’re making any fans who want single-game tickets to the Pittsburgh or Dallas games but an equal number of tickets to an exhibition game. It was one thing for the Braves to make advance-purchasers of Yankees and Red Sox tickets also buy other games. But at least those games counted. Then there are the New York Giants, who have sold out for 33 straight years. I said years, not games. They claim to have 140,000 people on a season-ticket waiting list. But about 4,000 seats remain unsold in the new Meadowlands Stadium, which opens in 2010. The reason is cost: $400 per game, plus a personal licensing fee. They went through that entire waiting list of 140,000. So they’re going to drop the ticket price to $250, hoping to sell out.  Wow. A markdown sale in the NFL.

6. But there is good news

I can't believe these two lovebirds didn't last.

The New Orleans Saints have sold over 70,000 season-ticket packages, a remarkable feat for an area that has had to overcome Katrina, economic ruin and — most tragic of all — the breakup of Reggie Bush and Kim Kardashian. Yes, if you haven’t heard, the “cute couple” (quoting spokesperson) just couldn’t withstand the pressures associated with their careers. What with Reggie dodging questions about arranging for illegal housing for his parents while at USC and Kim making sex videos with second-rate rappers, when is a cute couple to have some quality time together?

5. K-Hud makes a pennant run.

This is not an NFL/Vick note. Just going off on a tangent from the Bush-Kardashian split: After a 20-17 start, the New York Yankees are 41-21 since the Alex Rodriguez-Kate Hudson relationship went public in May. I’m guessing at least one of the two is on performance-enhancing drugs. It remains to be seen if the Phillies and Dodgers will drop their pursuit of Roy Halladay and instead make a pitch for Hudson. But given her past, I’m sure she would approve any trade.

4. Scratch WHO off the list?

What does it mean when you're turned down by a team with this many convicts?

What does it mean when you're turned down by a team with this many convicts?

This just in: The Cincinnati Bengals have announced they’re not interested in Michael Vick. This sounds like a punchline. The Bengals won’t take him? Is owner Mike Brown concerned that Vick’s felonious past is going to ruin the Bengals’ reputation? I guess this means plans for the Chris Henry/Odell Thurman Mentoring Program also are on hold. I love Brown’s explanation: The team already has three quarterbacks under contract. Dude, EVERYBODY has three quarterbacks under contract! It’s training camp! (By the way, Washington executive vice president Vinny Cerrato said the Redskins also will pass on Vick. And as soon as Cerrato buys the team from Dan Snyder, we might actually care what he says.)

3. Just guessing: also scratch these three.

Vick’s best chance to get his life and career back in order is with one of the same franchises that would give anybody the best opportunity to succeed: New England, Pittsburgh, Indianapolis. Rumors have linked Vick to all three. For the record, I’m not buying it. The Steelers are owned by Dan Rooney and his family has a long tradition of not bringing in potential problem players. I’m also not sure how Vick would go over with the tradition-minded fan base there. It’s easy to imagine Patriots coach Bill Belichick desiring to plug Vick into his offense somewhere. New England even turned Corey Dillon and Randy Moss into hard-working, happy campers. But I’m not sure the signing would get past noted animal lover Myra Kraft, the wife of owner Robert Kraft. It would be easy to see the Colts signing Vick if Tony Dungy, a calming fatherly figure and Vick’s quasi-mentor in prison, still coached there. But Dungy is retired and I’m not sure the Colts want to give that responsibility to Jim Caldwell.

2. But Vick ABSOLUTELY will be signed before . . .

I know what Jeff George said to June Jones here. Let's just say it wasn't, well, romantic.

I know what Jeff George said to June Jones here. Let's just say it wasn't, well, romantic.

Jeff George. He is 41. Considering he was a waste of space at 21, this can’t be good: George is still hoping for another shot in the NFL. He was last seen in Atlanta having such a spectacular sideline meltdown that people actually took June Jones’ side for once, which remains a highlight in June Jones’ career. George threw to Illinois receivers the other day, and Illini coach Ron Zook said he “was out there just throwing the ball around and I was like, ‘Holy smokes.’ He looked like he did when I coached against him.” Florida fans: insert Ron Zook joke here.

1. Whatever happened to . . .

There’s bound to be some Brett Favre news any day now. It must be killing him that Vick is stealing all the headlines. He’ll straighten this out at the next ESPN production meeting. (UPDATE: WOW! Did I call that or what? Favre just told the Vikings that he plans to stay retired, and I’m assuming this is not to be confused with the other two times he retired but, of course, didn’t. I’m so glad Brett made this decision four days before training camp, and I’d love to be there at the Vikings’ first quarterback meeting when coach Brad Childress professess his unwavering support of Tarvaris Jackson and Sage Rosenfels).

43 comments Add your comment

midnite

July 28th, 2009
4:49 pm

Jeff George gave the fans the finger just like Mike Vick.

Bank Walker, Texas Ranger

July 28th, 2009
4:49 pm

Hillarious…… by the way the girl with Reggie “who is suppose to be famous but my wife always has to explain why” is pretty hot.

athensdawg

July 28th, 2009
4:51 pm

let me speak for all the koolaide sipping chiuhauwas (however you spell it…)

HOW CAN YOU WRITE ABOUT THE NFL WITHOUT INCLUDING THE GREATEST QUARTERBACK EVER TO PLAY FOOTBALL AT THE UNIVERSITY OF GEORGIA, M. STAFFORD? HE IS GOING TO TOTALLY DOMINATE THE NFL AND BECOME THE NEXT ELWAY.

seriously, if you really wanted to have some fun, you would include a weekly matthew stafford NFL update……man, would there be some property destroyed over that.

good column. keep it up and one day, you will catch up with Kornheiser.

"Chef" Tim Dix

July 28th, 2009
4:52 pm

The Kardashian Bush split. Reggie probably got tired of it staying that way.

Bank Walker, Texas Ranger

July 28th, 2009
4:55 pm

4 words: junk in the trunk

Bank Walker, Texas Ranger

July 28th, 2009
4:59 pm

“Chef” LMAO

bali smith

July 28th, 2009
5:08 pm

bush s es is the reall she wahh wahh

Paul H

July 28th, 2009
5:15 pm

Jeff George is only 41? I thought he would be like 60 by now. Of course, judging by his maturity I’d say he would be around 16 or 17.

Paul H

July 28th, 2009
5:17 pm

Where is Reggie Bush going to find another hottie?? But in all seriousness, if he can find another one with that backside then my hat’s off to him.

dean

July 28th, 2009
5:24 pm

The righteous indignation of the NFL never ceases to amaze me. To all those who elevated a bunch of kooks (PETA) to a status of a “Respected” organization, you’re as looney as they are. MV has done his time. All these owners need to get off their altitude-inflicted highs (no, that was Goodell) and give the man another chance. If he blows it, he’s history, outta here. I heard a radio-head say the other day, “There are not 32 quarterbacks in the NFL better than Vick.” He’s right.

Ignacio Mccarty

July 28th, 2009
5:27 pm

I\’ve been mailing people all week to visit your text!

MiltonDawg

July 28th, 2009
5:31 pm

Shocker that Bengals dont want Vick. My $$ is still on Oakland. I can see Vick and Al Davis riding around together in O-Town while watching the Kardashian sex tape!!

Paul H

July 28th, 2009
5:34 pm

Does Oakland still have a football team? It is such a graveyard of has-beens I can’t tell.

Bob Knotts

July 28th, 2009
5:55 pm

Kim Kardashian has some really nice luggage.

Mac

July 28th, 2009
6:01 pm

But thank goodness there’s at least one quarterback in the NFL better than Vick – Matt “Red” Ryan of your Atlanta Falcons.

TommyGator

July 28th, 2009
6:22 pm

Zook’s defenses made many QB’s look good.

Chauncery Peirpoint O'Brien, Sportswriter

July 28th, 2009
6:22 pm

I should think you would include Jeff Francoeur and blogger Sonny Clusters. They was teammates.

Paddy

July 28th, 2009
6:27 pm

Vick to Oakland does make just about everybody say, ” Yes, I can see that”. But then Al Davis would have two QB’s that can’t complete passes at the NFL league average. Not a winning formula even for ole Al. My guess, Jax.

KR BUSH

July 28th, 2009
6:30 pm

Vick is a P.O.S.! And all of you who think what he did wasn’t wrong and he “paid his debt”, WAKE up! But again you are a scum bag as well, just look at yourself in the mirror, yep your a scum bag.

#7MV

July 28th, 2009
7:02 pm

vick will play in new england, Matt Ryan was a fluk last year let see how his weak arm hold up after he get taged a few time this year. falcons 7-9 fool’s gold! Go BUC’S

The Dogfighter Returns

July 28th, 2009
7:05 pm

Ray-J is not a rapper. Never has been never will be. He is a singer. His sister is Brandy (Moesha) remember her.

Good for Reggie he finally got tired of her besides her fannie is getting ready to explode like Jessica Simpson’s. Reggie is only 24 and not ready to get married. Besides she has a lot of wear and tear for a 28 year old hag.

Mike Vick all day everyday. That guy just needs a blog dedicated to his comeback. He will make millions of dollars. Bypass the NFL and play in the UFL and simply spend the next two year trying to get back into the league.

Reid Adair

July 28th, 2009
7:09 pm

Jeff George was absolutely HORRIBLE. Talk about someone who didn’t care about anybody but himself. I remember the 96 Rock billboards with George’s picture that said, “Don’t Come ‘Round Here No More.”

Did you really say that Reggie Bush and Kim Kardashian “…couldn’t withstand the pressures associated with their careers”? Wouldn’t Kardashian need to HAVE A CAREER before it could be pressured by her relationship?

Jeff Schultz

July 28th, 2009
7:18 pm

Bank Walker: The age-old question: How much booty is too much booty? EVERYBODY, WEIGH IN!

Paul H: Maturity level of JG – 16 tops.

Paul H: Somehow I get the feeling Reggie doesn’t need a wingman.

7MV: I’ll take the exact against – Vick won’t be in New England and Ryan will prove to be no fluke. EVERYBODY, WEIGH IN! (Forget it. It was more fun when talking about Kim’s caboose.)

Reid: She has a career, just a strange one. Unless you compare it to, say, Paris Hilton’s.

Danno121

July 28th, 2009
7:31 pm

I give him 3 months before he is caught lyin’ again. You CANNOT stop Michael “Hick”. You can only hope to conVICT him!

I always wondered why the falCANTS had full reign to draft him while other teams looked the other way. Now we all know why.

Bank Walker

July 28th, 2009
8:07 pm

if Kim doesn’t have a career then there are a bunch of folks working for Fox and MTV that are unemployed. Anyway, Kim is really growing on me.

Vick = Survivor

July 28th, 2009
8:23 pm

MICHAEL VICK: Jailhouse Rape Survivor

Vick can take anything you throw at him Goodell. Prison only made him tougher. He a survivor!

Brendan

July 28th, 2009
8:51 pm

Ken you sound amazingly inept and ignerant as well as unabashfaly uneducated. What did matt jones get kick out of jacksonville for, what about Todd Marinovich (whote ubertalented qb who played at USC, ok in his first NFL seasons but through it away for the drugs). just stop anouncing your stupidity for me…

qball terazza

July 28th, 2009
9:02 pm

Okay, I know Vick killed dogs and ran a dog fighting ring. The issue everyone(who’s not in PETA) se3ems to have is that he lied.
DUDE! Everyone put in Vicks position would have lied!
duh, lie first then “fess up” later.
Vick served his time. That’s that. Stop worrying about Michael Vick playing in/for(with ha!) the NFL and start worrying about the economy or something really important.

Panties in a wad

July 28th, 2009
9:58 pm

###K Jeff George!

GAG

July 28th, 2009
10:23 pm

I wished that human rights back in the day were as strong as animal rights are today Back in the day, there were really no difference in the way blacks were treated. These were dogs. Why strip Vick from everything? He needs a chance to play in the NFL, and the opportunity to make the same or more money.

Hillbilly Deluxe

July 28th, 2009
10:32 pm

Michael Vick will be signed before Jeff George? Hell Jeff, I’ll be signed before Jeff George.

KR BUSH

July 28th, 2009
10:58 pm

Just so we understand you GAG, you are saying if people killed black people today it is ok and nothing should happen to them (blacks=dogs)? GAG, you are a IDIOT!!!!!! You did not look in the mirror prior to writing your statement, go ahead and look, you’re a scum bag!

GAG

July 28th, 2009
11:08 pm

You are a scum bag! Animals are not as important as humans. Vick should not be stripped of everything because of this situation. Back in the day, whites were not punished as badly for mistreating blacks. So I ask again, Why should he be stripped of everything because of having dog fights? He should have a chance to play in the NFL and make the same amount of money or more. His future in the NFL should be left up to him. I’m quiet sure that he knows what it takes to improve his image. Leave Vick alone.

KR BUSH

July 28th, 2009
11:14 pm

Seriously? GAG, come on. You just said blacks were treated the same way as dogs? It was not right what happened back in the early years and it still isn’t right now. People like you and your thinking is the reason why people like Vick are allowed to get away with MURDER! Murder is what he did, the victims just happened to be animals. But you’re right, he is a great role model and I would love my kid to meet this wonderful man (P.O.S).

KR BUSH

July 28th, 2009
11:21 pm

Seriously? GAG, come on. You just said blacks were treated the same way as dogs? It was not right what happened back in the early years and it still isn’t right now. People like you are the reason why people like Vick are allowed to get away with MURDER! Murder is what he did, the victims just happened to be animals. But you’re right, he is a great role model and I would love for my kid to meet this wonderful man (P.O.S).

stendec

July 28th, 2009
11:31 pm

When did washed up Tony Dungheap crawl out from under his rock? Needed to have remained there! Wants to be mentor? Do not give a f#ck what dumba#s ex coach says OR does. Never liked the son of a betch anyway! Maybe the mentor and damn dog killing oxygen waste thug will both disappear together. Do not give a damn where. ANYWHERE! They can also take that sorry a#s piece of shet NFL commish with them. MF! Can only hope for career ending injury to Michael Sick on first snap. Snap? Has a nice sound to it! Dungheap? He can drop into Hell! Mentor there you buttinski son of a betch. Ream the three of them. WITHOUT VASELINE! Amen.

crabapplejoe

July 28th, 2009
11:36 pm

Brendan wrote: “What did matt jones get kick out of jacksonville for”

Matt Jones lost his job in jacksonville because he drank a couple of beers on a golf course with some buddies…makes you think Goodell treated Vick pretty generously doesn’t it?

GAG

July 28th, 2009
11:39 pm

Stendec, you don’t wish the worst for people. You have a life too. The terrible things that you wish happens to Tony and Vick, terrible things can happen to you as well.

Dooley's Cardiologist

July 29th, 2009
9:48 am

Jeff Schultz looks like Petroza from Hell’s Kitchen…

Marcus

July 29th, 2009
3:14 pm

Mr. Schultz,
I think the issues of both R. Bush (money/house while in college) and Kim K. (videotape) happenedand came to the public light before they hooked up. Mutually excluse from their break-up.
if you gonna show a pic, let D. Orlando get one. He has the best (clean) action shot of Ms. Kardashian

Saint Simons

July 29th, 2009
8:20 pm

hahahahahahahahahahaha just a reminder 45 – 42

Desert Dawg

July 31st, 2009
9:56 am

From a very reliable source here in Southern California, Kim and Reggie split because Paris has been dying to see if “It’s TRUE”.

Jeff George

August 14th, 2009
12:59 pm

[...] to be an NFL quarterback. The former NFL quarterback says the league lacks quality …   Countdown couples: Goodell-Vick, Kim-Reggie, Zook-GeorgeI know what Jeff George said to June Jones here. Let's just say it wasn't, well, romantic. [...]