Dick’s to Vick: We say ‘nix’ to your jersey, sort of

From Sam Wood of the Philadelphia Inquirer comes this predictable news: Dick’s Sporting Goods will not stock Michael Vick’s new No. 7 Eagles jersey until the chain, according to a spokesman, “evaluate(s) the reaction of Eagles fans.”

Wood quotes Jeff Hennion, Dick’s chief marketing officer, thusly: “Right now we don’t know how much of a demand there is for [the jersey]. If there is a demand for it, we’ll sell it.”

I have three words for Dick’s. Those words:

Are you serious?

The Vick jersey will be the hottest seller of the year, hotter even than Brett Favre’s purple No. 4. NFLShop.com is selling Vick’s jersey, which tells us the league itself isn’t backing away from making money off No. 7. Were Dick’s taking a iron-clad stand on moral grounds, that would be understandable. (Self-righteous, but understandable.) To suggest their stores must first test the water is merely a case of trying to cover one’s corporate assets.

Dick’s wants to be able to say to PETA: “Look, we resisted the impulse originally. We’re only doing this because our customers asked for it.” But that’s not a principled stance; that’s a weaselly one. You know you’re going to end up selling the thing, so … sell the thing already!

And it’s about time that people got past this fear of PETA. Roger Goodell did by reinstating Vick. The Eagles did by signing him. Yes, some people are going to be upset by the sight of Vick on an NFL field, but if you’re waiting for unanimity on any issue nothing would ever get done. (Ever been to a neighborhood co-op meeting?)

Frankly, the thought of that smirking prima donna donning the Viking purple upsets me more, but I’m not so outraged I’m about to picket games in Minnesota. Besides, the threat of protest is almost almost overblown. Remember Martha Burk and the Masters. Was Super Bowl XXXV derailed by demonstrators because Ray Lewis was playing a year after going on trial for murder? (Actually, Lewis wound up being the game’s MVP.)

Some folks will never forgive Michael Vick for what he did to those dogs. That’s their prerogative. But more folks, I submit, are willing to grant him a second chance, and some of those might be interested in paying $79.99 to wear his Eagles shirt. Let them.

Last I checked, this is America. Last I checked, we’re a capitalist nation.

(A shout-out to esteemed former colleague and Pulitzer winner John Woestendiek, who published the Inquirer story on his pro-dog blog Ohmidog!)

153 comments Add your comment

Cairo

August 20th, 2009
3:15 pm

To Dick’s: I think I will send a message to my FB family to boycott your store. Stupid is. Stupid does.

ernisTbass

August 20th, 2009
3:15 pm

With the grey beard and faded cap Favre resembles Cap’n Ahab, the results should too

ConVick

August 20th, 2009
3:16 pm

Way to go Dicks. Sell the shirts of players who should be praised, Plenty of guys out there who have the talent and skill to be NFL heros.

Stevengilley15

August 20th, 2009
3:17 pm

LOL. Great blog Mark! They will be the ones losing business. Poor excuse.

Brenda

August 20th, 2009
3:25 pm

I like that Cairo! We should react in kind and not buy from Dick’s.

Marcus

August 20th, 2009
3:25 pm

ConVick,
Please ask corp. folks at Dick’s if they sell Leonard Little or Stallworth jerseys in those respective markets. Also ask if they pulled Plaxico Burress jersies off the shelf yet.

Stevengilley15

August 20th, 2009
3:25 pm

No one in the NFL is worthy to be praised Convick we all have fell short. We all missed the mark. So get out of here with all of this holier than thou rhetoric. When a person repents, they are under grace again and when a person goes to prison and repent, they paid their debts to society and is under grace. Who is anyone to judge them or deny them another chance???

ConVick

August 20th, 2009
3:29 pm

Mark your right, people will buy his shirt no matter what. These are the same people who support Vick, even if he shot their mother. And yes on the other end you have people like me who thinks that he has more then enough chances to live a straight and honest life.

Yes this is America and he has served his time, but that doesnt mean you throw the red carpet down for this guy and forget about the entire past. He threw this team under the bus, and it amazes me how many people in this area just forget about everything he has done, apparently includling yourself.

He gave Atlanta a black eye, and the Atlanta citizens that became Falcons fans because of him, were really never fans to begin with. These are the first people that have now become Eagle fans because ConVick is not in Philly. How sad is that.

I am not comparing his deed to 9/11 but Americans tend to forget to easy.

He should have been given a 100k this year, no contract for another year, take away #7 from him, then let him prove himself. Can he make it a whole year without getting in trouble. I wouldnt bet on it, would you?

Miley Cyrus

August 20th, 2009
3:30 pm

I think ya’ll should all buy my Miley Cyrus jersey, available in pink and Disney red. And I LOVE puppy dogs

aubrey

August 20th, 2009
3:33 pm

The author should consider taking a basic economics course. The US is NOT a capitalist economy. We are a mixed economy. This is something children learn in 7th grade. Vick is really as low as they come, and it’s too bad Dick’s won’t take a real stand on it. Fine by me, I just won’t shop there. The amount of support Vick is getting after hanging, drowning, electrocuting and fighting dogs is disgusting. I fireman in Ohio hanged a dog- and the other firemen turned him in to the police and refused to work with him. The sports industry could learn a thing or two about having a backbone from those firemen.

jeffrey d

August 20th, 2009
3:34 pm

Glad I’m not Cairo’s friend. I hate getting self-righteous mass messages.

Cast Iron Dude

August 20th, 2009
3:35 pm

I understand some of the fear of PETA, but in many instances they simply cannot be taken seriously. Case in point: I’m the PR person for Lodge Cast Iron Cookware. One of our more popular lines are our Camp Dutch Ovens. In some cities folks get together for Dutch Oven Gatherings, or DOGs. A few years ago I received a phone call from the president of the Dallas, TX chapter of PETA complaining about a poster promoting a DOG (I’m not making this up), which she translated as cooking dogs. When I explained what DOGs actually are, she said: “But don’t you think the doggies will misunderstand the signs when they read them?”

Good Lord Deliver us!

midnite

August 20th, 2009
3:37 pm

Better check again MB. This administration is rapidly moving us into the Socialist realm…or worse. Also with Capitalism private business owners can choose to sell a product, or choose not to sell said product if they so choose.

Dawn Baker

August 20th, 2009
3:40 pm

A person who kills and/or abuses dogs is pretty low. A person who kills and/or abuses human beings is worse. Yet so many seem unable to forgive one but not the other. This is what confuses me. Someone please explain.

Stevengilley15

August 20th, 2009
3:44 pm

Wait I’m confused. I am still confused as to why does he have to prove himself worthy more than others. I will speak for myself, I am a fan of the home team always and I am a fan of Michael Vick, especially since he has people wishing he fail in life like yourself. I am a fan of him on the football field. Also, lets not act like the Georgia Dome or Falcons sold out before Vick got here. He brought life to this city and united everyone because we all was electrified when he was on the field…Only difference is, when he messed up (as we all do in life..some more than others) some “fans” turned their backs on him with a blink of an eye. I don’t do that to people. I am sure he can make it a year without getting into trouble because he has paid a huge price and if he hasn’t learned his lesson then the law should act accordingly but you fail to realize the law doesn’t work like that. They don’t care how you feel afterwards, the sentence is intended to deter the crime and you don’t have to prove you learned your lesson after you get out. He served his time and his only crime was dog fighting. We all know he not going to do that anymore so why can’t he stay out of trouble….? That’s not up for you to judge. He has good people around him now and he deserves a chance. If people want to support him and buy his jersey let them because they will. Life goes on after the crime. You fail to realize that.

Beautiful Monte

August 20th, 2009
3:57 pm

A question for Ms. Vick … oops, I meant Mr. Bradley:

Why do your harbor so much hatred for Brett Favre?

As far as I can tell, his “crime” is wanting to play another year (or two) in the NFL.

I mean, he didn’t run a dog-fighting ring; he didn’t drive drunk and kill an innocent human being; he hasn’t fathered a half-dozen illegitimate children that he refuses to take care of; he didn’t cheat on his wife with a 20-year-old (who then killed him); he didn’t take a loaded gun into a nightclub; he hasn’t beaten the hell out of his wife.

The man simply wants to play football, and there’s a team that is willing and able to pay him for it.

So, what’s the big deal? Why, exactly, does wanting to play another year of football make Favre the worst person in the world?

I find any criticism of Favre to be especially amusing when it comes from a person such as you, who goes out of his way on an almost daily basis to proclaim his man-crush on Vick, a guy with a long history of truly disgusting off-the-field behavior.

Blue Fender

August 20th, 2009
3:57 pm

I wouldn’t shop there for the simple fact that they charge $80 for a piece of crap jersey (made in China) that won’t stand up to 3 wash cycles before falling apart! Who’s name/number is on it is irrelevant.

Otto

August 20th, 2009
3:59 pm

Thanks, Dick’s just moved up on the list for me.

SimpleDawg

August 20th, 2009
4:02 pm

Dick’s Vick jersey should have Mexico, as in Ron, on the back….kinda goes together….

Will Favre ever spell his name correctly on his jersey….the R comes before V – according to the pronunciation – this error may come from his Mississippi education.

Philadelphia Illeagals

August 20th, 2009
4:03 pm

Sales will soar for the company if Dick’s takes a stand against dog torturer Vick. Goodbye Modell’s.

DiMaggio Spencer

August 20th, 2009
4:08 pm

Mr. Bradley,

A remarkable piece of writing; not because you support the sell of Mike Vicks jersey but it’s apparent that you have a concious soul as a writer.
Yes, I’m a black male and I can honestly admit that; YES Mike Vick did a gruesome act towards those DOGS lives. YES, I will miss Vick with the Atlanta Falcons and YES I’ve accepted that he’s an Eagle.
My GOD how long will we kick this “DEAD” horse people, okay I agree he will need to get involved with the Humane Society and PETA to show some proactive efforts. If the NFL accepts him back into the league “Jus Sell the Damn Jersey” he’s going to make sponsors richer, whether they like or not! Forgive and pray for the man, sale the Vick products, get paid, and let’s get this damn football season started…Okay people!?!?!?

leland

August 20th, 2009
4:08 pm

Dear Mr. MB–I don’t want to make a decision on this issue until I see what Sonny Clusters has to say. Also, if it’s ok with you, I’m going back to what I was before. Your pal, Leland

FALCONS SORRY

August 20th, 2009
4:09 pm

DICKS SPORTING GOOD! YOU PEOPLE ARE EITHER CRAZY OR DO NOT LIKE TO MAKE MONEY! MIKE VICK IS THE GREATEST MOST ELECTRYFYING FOOTBALL PLAYER AND PRO ATHLETE IN THE WHOLE HISTORY OF THE NFL! THE MAN SELL OUT ENTIRE FOOTBALL STADIUMS ALL BY HIM SELF WITH JUST HIS NAME ALONE! EVEN PEOPLE WHO DONT EVEN LIKE OR KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT FOOTBALL LIKE MOST FALCONS FANS FALL IN LOVE WITH MIKE VICK THE FIRST TIME THEY SEE HIM PLAY AND THEN GET ADDICTED AND CANNOT GET ENOUGH OF THE MAN! EVEN MATTY HOPELESS OF THE FALCONS IS GOING TO WANT A MIKE VICK JERSEY FOR CHRISTMAS INSTEAD OF EVEN HIS OWN! I BET EVEN THAT LOW DOWN AUTHUR BLANK WILL WANT ONE SO HE CAN POSE FOR PICTURES IN FRONT OF HIS MONTANA PLANTATION WITH IT ON AND PRETEND LIKE HE A REAL ATHLETE AND BALL PLAYER LIKE MIKE VICK THE SAME WAY HE LIKE TO DRESS UP LIKE A COWBOY AND CLIMB AND THAT HORSE AND PRETEND LIKE HE THE LOAN RANGER! UNLESS YOU WANT TO GO OUT OF BUSNESS YOU NEED TO GET YOUR HEAD ON STRAIGHT AND GET THE MIKE VICK # 7 EAGELS JERSEY IN THE HOUSE RIGHT NOW D! UNTIL YOU DO THE REST OF US WITH SOME SENSE AND CENTS WILL GET OUR # 7 JERSEYS SOMEWHERE ELSE THAT IS SMART ENOUGH TO GIVE THE CUSTOMERS WANT THEY WANT! KEEP SELLING OUT STADIUMS AND SELLING OUT YOUR JERSEYS AND KEEP STIMULATING THE ECONOMY MIKE!

uga_b

August 20th, 2009
4:09 pm

Mark, please post a follow-up on the Miley Cyrus jersey. It is more interesting than former Falcon QB comebacks. This means you too Jeff George!

SJ

August 20th, 2009
4:10 pm

Mark Bradley, I love you man…keep up the good work.

AND HATERS: I am so sick of all you haters! Get a life! Vick, good luck on your journey and I’m glad this is all behind you, man.

And, to all you haters: ’stop picking at the prick in others eye and dig the plank out of your, first.

I’VE ALREADY ORDERED MY #7 GREEN JERSEY…

Vick all remember: ‘Our greatest Glory is never in the fall; but, in the rise from each one’.

Peace brother and I can’t wait to see you back on the field.

Vick #1 Fan,

SJ

Pago Flyer

August 20th, 2009
4:10 pm

Word on the street…..no more stray dogs around the Eagles complex, pretty funny.

aratak2000

August 20th, 2009
4:12 pm

hate as hard as u can.
all i can say is
HEEEEE,S BAAAACK !!!!!!!
FLY AGAIN MIKE.
DIFFERENT BIRD, SAME HEIGHT

blord

August 20th, 2009
4:13 pm

tired of Vick. Tired of Farve. Don’t care if they sell them or not.So many comments…so little time.

JoeGa

August 20th, 2009
4:14 pm

This is a story?

POKUINURI

August 20th, 2009
4:14 pm

I cannot WAIT to get my Eagels “7″ jersey!!

Screw PETA, screw the haters.

And oh yeah, screw the dogs (like the ones that mauled the little old lady and old man to death. I guess that’s Mike’s fault too huh?)

Mark Bradley

August 20th, 2009
4:15 pm

Well, UGA B, all I can say about Ms. Cyrus is that I’ve seen her perform in person. And I’m headed to the Jonas Brothers on Saturday at Philips Arena, and the rumor — passed on by cub reporter Elizabeth Bradley — is that Ms. Cyrus will make a surprise appearance.

And I’m very happy to have Leland back. Just wasn’t the same around here.

blord

August 20th, 2009
4:18 pm

Mark,
Cyrus? Jonas Brothers? Now that is taking one for team Bradley. Best of luck with that

Dell

August 20th, 2009
4:19 pm

It never fails; MONEY TALKS! GO PHILLY!

"Chef" Tim Dix

August 20th, 2009
4:23 pm

I boycott everything Dick’s sells simply becuase I am fond of both my arms and legs.

vafalconfan

August 20th, 2009
4:24 pm

Only on 3: Another local football star is headed to jail.

Marcus Vick was ordered to serve to 20 days in jail this morning.

Vick had been convicted of DUI, and sentenced to a year in jail, or take a court-ordered DUI program. He did not pay the fees for that program and was kicked out.

Vick can post $10,000 bond while he appeals the decision.

For more updates, visit http://www.wtkr.com

Xs&Os

August 20th, 2009
4:25 pm

What some people fail to realize is the NFL is a business first and PETA members don’t fill the stands because you know the football is made of pigskin…ha ha..ok bad joke..but seriously. No business savvy person can deny the revenue Vick generated for the city of Atlanta and the NFL before and after his conviction/sentence. What he brings to the game is unique and that simple fact generates millions of dollars in a chain reaction kind of fashion(i.e. TV ratings,jerseys,game day tickets,etc.). When you have a player bringing in that kind of attraction to the game..corporate marketing teams begin conducting strategic meetings on how to get their products to these viewers/fans. The bottom line is..MONEY generates MONEY and whether you PETA loving people like it or not..Michael Vick is recession proof baby…if you don’t think so…ask Arthur Blank how is season ticket sales are going right now…don’t bother…I’ll tell you….NOT GOOD except for the Dec. 6th game which is by the way the game Michael Vick will come to town to play against the Falcons. Roger Goodell sees that ticket sales,TV ratings,etc. are in a slump. What better way to counter those issues than to bring back the guy who has what it takes to bring a city from nothing to the forefront…if it don’t make dollars then it don’t make $ense. Michael Vick generates the revenue whether you like it or not.

BB

August 20th, 2009
4:28 pm

Some of these people really need to get a life and let this Michael Vick thing go. He has been convicted, serve time, loss endorsements, filed bankruptcy, did interviews to show remorse…what more do you want…his first born. The man has to make a living….and even if his jersey doesn’t go over with Philly, there are plenty of people like me who is waiting to purchase one so that I can wear it when they go to the Super Bowl in January and win!!!!

MightyQuinn

August 20th, 2009
4:28 pm

Those of you out there saying you are supporting Dick’s Sporting Goods stance need to read closer; they WILL sell the jersey IF there isn’t an uproar. MB is right. What a bunch of spineless weasels. And a note to FALCONS SORRY: if you are going to be a EAGLES fan now, learn how to SPELL it! Its Eagles not eagels. At least he didn’t mention the SUPPER bowl. Sheesh.

DebbieDoRight

August 20th, 2009
4:29 pm

He gave Atlanta a black eye

HE gave Atlanta a black eye? What about Danny Heatley? The guy who murdered his friend whle driving drunk and didn’t get ONE YEAR of time for it???!!! Why don’t we EVER hear about him and what he’s doing lately?

Anyone wanna bet he’s still drinking and driving?

justice

August 20th, 2009
4:29 pm

some of you people should have been aborted. especially the one who posted that about the old man and lady being killed by that pack of dogs. what the f does that have to do with anything on here. vick is a dog killer, he tortured, abused, electrocuted, drowned, hanged, and slammed dogs to the ground. he should have never gotten his job back with the nfl. and f peta too. they are not on the side of the pit bulls, they are just attention w h o r e s. the backlash will be felt by the eagles and any sponsors they have. as well as the nfl. this is the usa, like it or not dogs are family in this country.

pollywannacracka

August 20th, 2009
4:31 pm

White folks christianity, whew I’m glad I don’t have to answer to your god convick & you might want to repent for the idol worship of the players you praise

Ms Tellit

August 20th, 2009
4:35 pm

Got MY shirt and my ticket to the Eagles vs. Falcons Game! Yeah Mike! You are the BEST!
We all need to get our priories in order. If PETA was as zealous about abused children and old people, I could respect them. But, give me a break already!
I think that Mike took the rap for that mess because he didnt think he would get jail time. Who did? He just wanted it to be over and done with. There is not way he could have had time to do all that stuff. Come on people! Put your commom sense cap on! Oh, you say you dont have one? I see, bless your heart!

blord

August 20th, 2009
4:35 pm

DebbieDoRight,
See your point and somewhat agree however Heatley wasn’t driving drunk. Don’t know if he drinks and drives but if he was drunk he would have did time. He was not DUI or DWI. Speeding yes -being reckless yes – driving drunk no.

jimma

August 20th, 2009
4:36 pm

not going to buy vick jersey savin $100 for a new suit

Voice of Truth

August 20th, 2009
4:36 pm

The world would be a better place today if Michael Vick’s worthless life had ended in that crash with Dany Heatley instead of another worthwhile human being.

Eric Johnson

August 20th, 2009
4:36 pm

I could care less about a jersey that I will never own! I will for years down the road be wearing #2 Matt Ryan, look Vick was exciting but all that running around is not gonna win a SuperBowl. Give this kid some more time and your all gonna be glad Vick is gone!!!!

Bootney Farnsworth

August 20th, 2009
4:37 pm

Stevengilley15 is one of the few on this blog that makes sense. Give it a rest already. The man is back on the field, so there. Let him live his life and stop wishing and betting that he fails. Funny, there’s no peep out of PETA when a man & wife get mauled to death by a pack of dogs !!

Bat Masterson

August 20th, 2009
4:37 pm

I heard Sonny Clusters had writers block, a finger on both hands stuck up his nose.

Hillbilly Deluxe

August 20th, 2009
4:38 pm

Translation:

We’re going to sell these shirts and make a bajillion dollars but this makes it look like we are sensitive and caring, so we can have our cake and eat it too.

Mark Bradley

August 20th, 2009
4:39 pm

Here’s how dumb I am: I once sent off for one of those Detroit Pistons’ Bad Boys t-shirts when they won their first NBA title in 1989. Didn’t even like the Pistons. Just wanted a shirt that said, “Bad Boys” on it.

But I believe the vendor was Modell’s, not Dick’s.