Vick drama could blow up in Indy

August 14, 2009
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vickI was surprised this morning when one of my co-workers, about the most faithful Indianapolis Colts fan I know, announced their group would not be attending the Colts vs. Philadelphia Eagle game next Thursday at Lucas Oil Stadium.

I was even more surprised to learn this long-time season ticket holder was considering not renewing Colts season tickets next year due to being upset over Michael Vick’s reinstatement by the National Football League, the Eagles’ hiring of Vick—and Tony Dungy’s involvement in the whole thing.

So I called Colts Executive Vice President Pete Ward to see if the team had gotten any negative feedback about the game or had any special security planned.

“You’re catching me a little early, because we just learned about this this morning,” Ward said. “We haven’t given it much thought.”

Rest assured, they will. The fact that Vick will not be eligible to play until the Aug. 27 game may mute the response. Still, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals and other like-minded groups likely will have a protest presence at the stadium. It will be the Eagles first game since Vick was signed by the team, and there's bound to be a media frenzy.

Already throngs of media have descended on Eagles training camp (no less than 40 news outlets nationwide), and at least some of those, a long with a few new ones, will descend on Indianapolis for the Aug. 20 game. Colts officials and players are likely to find themselves answering questions about their thoughts on and support for the Eagles' hire, and about Vick in general. Somebody please call Myra Borshoff.

But Ward isn’t expecting a huge backlash from the Colts' faithful. He hasn’t heard a single negative word about Dungy’s role as Vick’s mentor. Vick, as you probably know, got out of prison a couple months ago for illegal dog fighting. The details of his kennel's activity are gruesome.

“We have not heard a peep,” Ward said. “If we had gotten any letters, phone calls or e-mails, I would know because they would have told me.”

So that leads me to this conclusion. Either my co-worker is an anomaly here in Indianapolis, and there will be little reverb regarding this game or future Colts’ ticket sales.

Or the Colts will get completely blindsided.

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  • Why the hell should the Colts even be brought up in this discussion. This is not theColts problem, it's the Eagles problem now. For anybody that thinks the Colts are to blame or that they shouldn't buy tickets because Micheal Vick will be in Indy... well those people are in serious need of help. I don't condone what Vick did, but I do condemn those stupid enough to find a way to make this a negative our Colts!
  • *for our Colts, sorry for the typos. GO COLTS!
  • Colts fans who are freaking out over another team's actions need to reconsider their perspective. Qualms with the NFL over this might be reasonable, maybe, but you have to overlook a host of other bad apples to just see Vick.

    NFL fans who are bent out of shape over Vick's reinstatement, but are silent on Dante Stallworth's recent actions and minimal penalty need to reprioritize. Dante killed a MAN for crying out loud.

    Adam Jones entourage essentially left a man paralyzed in a freak Vegas Strip Club shooting.

    This is something the EAGLES did, not the Colts. It is foolish to take some sort of action against the Colts specifically. If it is the NFL they have a beef with, fine, give up your tix to a single team because of a League decision if you somehow think that is justified, but don't then overlook every other issue to focus solely on Vick.

    And to even imply that Vick signing with the Eagles has ANYTHING to do with the Indianapolis Colts (other than Dungy as a well intentioned mentor) is ridiculous. Nobody can logically conclude that Vick/Eagles will impact the Colts ticket sales. If anything you could assume it would boost ticket sales. Demand is driven by both negative and positive factors. People want to see him no matter how much they hate him (ever heard of Barry Bonds?).

    Further, I question one's fanhood if they skate on their Colts tickets because the Eagles front office rolled the dice on a player. If he wants to turn on the Colts like, to him I say good riddance.
  • Settle down, folks. Everyone is entitled to their opinion. And, I think it's on point to say that Tony Dungy still has a very strong connection to the Indianapolis Colts ... if nothing else emotionally in the minds of a lot of Colts fans. Trust me, there's more than one Colts fan confused or even a bit miffed at Dungy's involvement in this whole thing. And, Dungy invovelment aside, this circus will follow the Eagles EVERYWHERE they go. Next stop, Indianapolis, the Colts front door step. Like it or not, here they come.
  • Sounds like your co-worker is a little touchy about things. You better not leave a mess in the break room.
  • Retarded for two reasons. 1. as said already - not a Colts problem - nor should they be punished for it. 2. Could he be remorseful? Could he have turned a new leaf? Isn't the point of prison/punishment to rehabilitate people? If this person is against Vick's reinstatement, surely they must be 100% against ever letting anyone out of prison once their term is up. (and for the record, I'm a UVa fan and have always hated Vick with a passion)

    Get over yourself and get over Vick...there are bigger things in life to worry about.
  • No, we had a break room police officer, but they have since departed. This person is actually quite level headed.
  • Anomaly, small-minded variety. 1. The Colts don't tell Dungy what to do.
    2. Dungy is a great man.
  • It is very possible that Vick is sorry for what he did and rehabilitated. My issue is that if anyone reading this article goes to their HR department and asks if Vick would be eligible to work for them having been in prison recently, they would probably say not for 7 years at least. The NFL could care less since he brings them money. I wonder if the lack of scrutiny exists when the NFL hires an Administrative Assistant at their corporate office.

    Dungy is a good man for not judging people, but rather helping them become better. I wonder if this person selling his season tickets would also beat up a priest for visiting a prison.
  • Obviously, ticket holders can do what they want for whatever reason they want.

    Tony Dungy IS a great man who was willing to risk his reputation to help another human being. How many of us would be willing to do that?

    The Colts, Indianapolis and the NFL are extremely lucky to have had this great man to learn from!
  • Tony Dungy is well known for his committment to the rehabilitation of prision inmates. We all have heard the adulation and praise about Tony's visits with prison inmates. Vick just happens to be a well known former prison inmate.

    To the man that wants to sell Colts season tickets and abandon the NFL. This is america. Voice your opinion, sell your Colts season tickets, and volunteer to coach a suburban youth league football team.
  • Maybe I'm just dense and missing it...but, what does this have to do with the Colts?

    Also, I'm just assuming those judging Vick right now have never done anything wrong in their lives and do have the absolute right to place judgement on somebody who has apologized for their actions, done their time and not belly-ached or made excuses for their wrong behavior? If that's the case, then I guess that you're entitled. If not, then I think maybe you should consider spending more time on improving yourself instead so that you won't have enough time to complain about the faults of others. btw...that's in the Chuck Norris code of ethics.

    You know, I don't condone what Vick did. But I think that he does feel sorry and shouldn't stop living or discontinue having dreams because of a failure in his personal actions. What exactly does he have to do in order to get forgiveness? I think that he is trying pretty hard. I also think that Tony Dungy is a great guy who realizes that and works to build people up, regardless of their short-comings. Maybe through all of this and because of Tony, Vick will be a stronger person and a great man who does a lot more outside of football. We've all made mistakes in life that we regret. Many of us have made some big ones that possibly no one really knows about and we are ashamed of. However, we don't have judgement coming around us at every corner, reminding us of what we've done and denying us of any opportunities.

    So, I encourage everyone to take a step back and look in the mirror before speaking out about the actions of others. Also, a little mercy goes a long way. Ask my kids after I've caught them doing something wrong.
  • Tony Dungy is doing what he has always done, and the Colts will and should be proud to consider him one of them. Tony is simply arguing that this guy has the potential to tell kids (and us) that you should own up to your mistakes and change bad behavior. You can argue that he should have been punished more for his crimes, but that was the Judge's call. The proof will be in whether Michael Vick lives up to his potential and eliminates the vicious bad behavior that he previously was involved in.

    I think people have a hard time understanding forgiveness and repentance, and that is what Tony Dungy is promoting. If Tony didn't believe Michael Vick was contrite, there is no way he would stick his neck out for Mike. If you don't believe me, think about what the President of the Humane Society said about Vick:

    We were very involved in criticizing Vick for conduct which we found reprehensible, and we strongly supported law enforcement and judicial action that led to his incarceration, Pacelle told ESPN.com (in May). I don't think anyone was tougher on him than we were. But the goal was never the continued punitive treatment of Michael Vick. The goal has always been to eradicate dogfighting in America and around the world.
  • They are all hypocrites...we will see what happens when they stop going to games, bars, etc...taxes for colts, pacers, conseco, lucas oil don't help pay for anything and teams flee the city leaving us with two stadiums no team and a waste land of a downtown again all because someone was upset with how another team decided to treat a man that paid his price and went to jail and now is getting a chance to work again. some people are so foolish.
  • Hey, ATD, take a breath, for goodness sake. I wore myself out trying to finish reading what you said - all in one sentence.

    As for Vick, I wish him well, but hope he doesn't show up in Indy.
  • I think the issue that maybe is being missed is what we all know...people like Vick, who gets joy out of torutring animals, watching them fight to the death, drowning and electrocuting the ones who wouldn't fight at the level he and his
  • I think the issue that maybe is being missed is what we all know...people like Vick, who gets joy out of torutring animals, watching them fight to the death, drowning and electrocuting the ones who wouldn't fight at the level he and his
  • I admire that your co-worker has principles in which he believes and is willing to deny himself what is otherwise probably one of his passions--rooting for the Colts--in order to take a stand. While the overwhelming responses to this story are negative, and a bit overbearing, the fact of the matter is there are tens of thousands of tried-and-true NFL fans who are disgusted by the fact that (i) Commissioner Godell reinstated Vick so soon after his prison term expired (despite the fact that Vick initially lied to the Commissioner and the Falcons ownership and coaches about Vick's involvement in dog fighting when Bad Newz Kennels was initially discovered by the police; and (ii) the Eagles signed him to a two-year, $7 million contract. There are plenty of people who suffer long-term consequences from felony convictions--no one seems to object to the fact that convicted pedophiles and other sexual predators are marked for life--yet Vick, who committed unbelievably dispicable acts toward defenseless dogs and did so over a long period of time, gets to return to work, making millions of dollars off of NFL fans' ticket sales and consuption of products advertised at games and on the air. Since it really doesn't hurt those of you who claim to be true Colts fans that this person wants to tangibly demonstrate his objections to this situation, in the words of Shaekespeare me thinks she dost protest too much: Maybe you're feeling just a little bit guilty that Vick is getting what amounts to a free pass for a pervasive pattern of inhuman behavior, and then trying to cover it up, and you're willing to indirectly support a system that allows that to happen. For those of you who are dog lovers or parents (or both), just out of curiosity, how do you explain this to a small child or your beloved family pet?
  • Peter,
    Comparing dog fighting to child molestation or rape (or any other sexual offense) is not a comparison. Do I think dog fighting is okay? No. Do I think the severity of dog-fighting is the same as the crimes you mentioned, drug crimes or murder (of a human being)? No.

    And fact of the matter, there are more than your tens-of-thousands who are also disgusted with his actions, but think that he has served his time for this and, again, don't think the crime is as severe as the ones you compare it to. And that's why he is being let back into the NFL... because those with your sentiment on the issue are out-numbered.

    And I do have a dog at home. And if you are a good parent (and by good, I mean teach them to see all sides and not just your side), you will be able to explain to your child why he is able to be back in the NFL.

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