The Skip Bayless Interview Part II: Colorful, Conscious and Of Course, Controversial

I wrote the intro and the interview was conducted before Owens signed with Buffalo and also before ARod agreed to surgery on his hip…putting him on the shelf for 6-9 weeks.

An addendum added 3/10 follows the interview.

To our readers, I do these interviews to give you a well rounded perspective despite what is known. I would be remiss in my growth to not challenge myself where others are not comfortable. Long interviews like this take about 24 hours to transcribe and I found myself falling asleep at the keyboard, but I had to get this done. I want the definitive. Short interviews IMO are nothing but production. They feed a corporate service. I long for the real story and seek out compelling personalities who are unafraid to let the TSF audience know who the hell they are. There are many questions I had when finishing up our chat, but Skip explained himself sufficiently. It’s the perfectionist in me who strives for a sense of 100% reality even if most times we all fall short of something so powerfully unrealistic.

In Part II, Skip and I touch on the differences between talk radio and talk TV, the what almost seems inevitable demise of newspapers as we have known them, Barry Bonds, Michael Phelps, Donovan McNabb, LeBron James, Alex Rodriguez and of course Terrell Owens. Part I blew up over the Internet unlike any piece drawn from TSF. Many sites linked to the interview mainly because of comments regarding Troy Aikman’s sexuality. I tried to hold off on the second part until that bs died down, so this installment would be given a proper context. Skip Bayless never said Troy Aikman was gay or bisexual, what he did say is there were rumors of such and that the circus surrounding the Cowboys ultimately became their demise and if you really ponder the thought, ain’t a damn thing changed.

I also offer my opinion about Terrell Owens. Terrell Owens wants to win. He came into the league backing up the GOAT and was left with an unproven Jeff Garcia after everyone retired or were traded. Conjures thoughts of when Charles Barkley was drafted and was surrounded by three Hall of Fame players and one shoulda coulda who would light up the Celtics or Lakers for 49 any given evening. After Doc, Moses, Cheeks and Toney left the game they loved and had a proverbial relaxing drink, Barkley was left hypothetically orphaned and his early years in the league were fit with rage. It’s a shame what is happening to Terrell Owens because remember this is a guy who has never been a criminal. Damn the criminals because they mess it up for everybody, but why is Terrell Owens being treated like a criminal?

Ladies no disrespect, but did you know what a locker room cancer was before you heard it on TV?

Damn…

Read on people. Again, Skip and I had our disagreements, but as you read you have to respect his words for what they are…his. Skip is one of my more intelligent interviews and he stands his ground despite a whole lot of haters. He gets props for his uncommon thoughts pertaining to Barry Bonds and Donovan McNabb. There were some things that needed to be repeated because this interview is going to be read nationally. Those who are new here, read and judge yourself accordingly. There are both sides of the coin flexed objectively, so there will be no squirming, nullifying, subtracting or enacting the pack journalism ride on your back just for the southern get back stack.

Did you get that?

Michael Tillery: Skip I want to get your thoughts on an MSNBC quote during a discussion regarding the what almost seems inevitable death of newspapers. The quote was as follows: “If there is no professional journalism, our democracy is threatened.” Do you agree or disagree?

Skip Bayless: Yes, I agree with that. I don’t fear there isn’t going to be any journalism, I just think we are in a period of transition in which the universe is correcting itself. It’s finding a new level. I think these newspapers…and I was taught at several…got fat and happy and lost touch with their audience.

Let’s take Ann Marie Lipinski…I used to argue with her that Chicago Tribune’s deadlines were getting worse and worse for the night games during Michael Jordan’s final run from ’98 to the championship. I would go night after night to these playoff games–these games that meant everything to the readers of that newspaper–and it seems like each night we lost a few minutes of deadline. It took longer to print the paper and longer to get to doorsteps. So, games that would start at 8 Central and get over at 10:30-10:45, we would have to get a column sent downtown by 11:30. It was absurd because I couldn’t do my job. We couldn’t cover it the way it should be covered.

I told her this was going to be the death of this business and that they were going into the wrong direction. She would say it was just about delivering a product.

No, it’s not. I would finish frantically at 11:30 and be extremely unhappy with what I was able to write, march right out to my car and turn on the radio to the Bulls flagship station in Chicago and listen to the reporter go from player to player in the locker room, almost commercial free, and get a full interview with Toni Kukoc, then to Steve Kerr, to Scottie and finally to Michael as he was completely dressed (just so you know, some players are only seen fully dressed. Kobe comes to mind) to come out for his interview.

I’m thinking Bulls season ticket holders are driving home right now caught in traffic and they are hearing everything we can’t even get in that edition of the paper.

We are going to die!

I think that’s what happened. The Internet has infinite deadline capability and it’s delivered to your doorstep via your computer. I just think we are going through a period in which journalism will find a new direction and form.

There are Web sites like yours that have sprung up that are excellent, well done and certainly qualify to me as journalism–so it’s taking on a new form.

Did you go to journalism school? No, you didn’t. Are you accurate and responsible and do you get the abc’s of journalism? Yes, you do. I read your material and it’s clear you are delivering very responsible and professional material.

There are new ways the public is going to be informed. I don’t think it’s going to kill newspapers and “professional journalists”, they are just finding new homes and new ways to deliver good journalism to the public.

So yes, Democracy without journalism will fail because there will be no checks or balances.

Mizzo: Thanks, Skip. I think they also were saying there would be a paucity of investigative journalists and that the reason why big outlets like the New York Times were able to operate is because they were able to pay the best. That you need to pay for the best content.

Skip: Yup. I get it. That’s interesting. I still feel like…and I’m a little bit of a prisoner of my employer in a good way…I religiously read ESPN.com.

I think you would agree…while “game free”…even though there are ads sold on there…but you don’t have to pay unless you want to be an insider…but you can get a lot of content on that website that is high quality and sometimes investigative journalism.

I live and breathe the sports world and I’m content with the quality and depth of the coverage I’m able to read on a daily and nightly basis on ESPN.com

That’s my home. I’m completely satisfied. Maybe I don’t have the right perspective ’cause I’m just a sports guy.

I think the depth and quality of that staff is extraordinary to me. It helps and provides me with the tools by which I do my job. I comment on TV.

To ESPN’s credit, it allows me to become…and this is a compliment to the question you posed to me…but I view myself as a conscience and a voice that continually asks you to step back and ask why?

I’m constantly asking to look under this or that rock.

Mizzo: Yes.

Skip: I’m not actually doing the legwork. They are doing the legwork. They are providing the facts. I’m taking their facts on a daily basis and saying “This is an outrage people!”

Why is this like this?

Have you thought about this?

Think about it! C’mon! Wake up and think about it!

I’m basically on live TV, reaching through the camera and grabbing you by the throat, shaking you and saying “Michael, just think about this with me.” Am I wrong about this? The facts tell me I’m not wrong.

Are you blinded by the advertisements or the media blitz?

Are you a victim of group-think here?

That’s my little goal everyday. That is my little crusade. I am a crusader.

Mizzo: So from what I understand, and correct me if I’m wrong, is that the debate and thought would be advanced if you were asked more questions in the realm of FirstTake.

Skip: Yes! I try. I do the best I can in the little time we’re allotted. I think it’s plenty of time. There is a huge difference between talk radio and talk TV…and I can’t quite explain this because it fascinates and baffles me at the same time…but as a veteran of much talk radio, I can talk to you via your car radio for ten or twelve straight minutes. If you are driving to work or play or wherever you’re going, you’ll listen to me and you’ll hang with me, especially if I’m going someplace you are interested in.

I used to guest host a lot on Jim Rhome’s radio show and they would allow me to go twelve straight minutes. I would have to have a beginning, a middle and an end, with where I was going. I would have to bring it on at the end…and I would, but they believed that via radio, you would let me do that and you wouldn’t turn the station.

On television, if I speak for more than thirty seconds…thirty seconds…at a time, and sometimes I go forty-five…I am pushing it. You will look away because you can’t stand to stare at that talking head for that long. I will lose you. Your mind will wander to the pimple on my forehead or the one hair that’s out of place or that my shirt really doesn’t go with my suit or however it is that I might distract you. Whatever I’m doing will distract you from my point after that thirty seconds. It’s just the nature of the beast.

So I’m bucking odds to try to get my point across. When Wilbon, Albom and I began doing those little segments on Prime Monday, they would tell us…rule of thumb…if a viewer can remember one thing you said tonight, then you have been a success. We spoke and did two 5 minute live segments, so we were on 10 minutes a night. I don’t know how many sentences we spoke, but again, if the viewer remembered anything, then we scored that night.

The point is that they can’t remember one thing you’ve said that night. My goal on my TV show every day is to try to drive home one point a day that somebody can actually remember. It’s hard in the format because it’s so quick.

When you are in the midst of the debate, it seems so fast to your ears and your eyes. I always warn people when they come on the first time that you’re gonna be shocked how fast it seems to go and how frustrated you’ll probably feel at the end because you forgot this and you didn’t go there or you wanted to say this but you didn’t get to that point. Yet, when you watch it on TV it will seem 5 times slower. Your mouth will move more slowly. It’s just the nature of TV. I can’t quite explain it to ya, it just is the fact.

The point is…like Stephen A. (Smith) and I have a fairly unique thing. We have some sort of chemistry that is also sorta beyond explanation. It works to the point that…most of the time Stephen A. and I will go in the pregame meeting and come up with ten topics but will only get to eight or nine because we know we are gonna be long on some. Trust me, we never get past six. I think today we got to six.

My point is in the time other debaters and I cover 10 topics, we can only cover six because it tends to go off on good tangents that you can’t predict.

So to your question, do I wanna go on and crusade a little more or try to provoke more thought or try to open more eyes on a point?

Yes, I do. I try. I do my darnedest. I’m restricted by people in my ear telling me we have got to go.

It’s funny you brought up earlier about his earpiece (Stephen A’s) coming out today. He tried the generic one instead of his personal one which wouldn’t stay in. It was driving him crazy. He took it out, then the problem becomes that I can hear the direction from the line producer and he couldn’t hear it. It had me at an extreme disadvantage because he tuned out the direction while I could hear people in my ear say, “We gotta go!” They were waiting to go to the next interview or whatever it was and were over time and Stephen A. was killing me on a point and I had to bite my tongue and nod along like he’s beating me to a pulp. It was like I had no comeback when in fact I could comeback for five more minutes and put him back in his place but I can’t because I have been ordered to stop and he can’t hear them saying stop.

I’m convinced he did it on purpose to get my goat.

Mizzo: Ok Skip, let’s talk about some specific athletes. You and I know the first guy coming up is Barry Bonds. Straight up Skip, Barry Bonds is a sore subject with most Black people who follow sports.

Skip: I understand. He’s also a sore subject with this White person. I am pro Bonds and I have been from my days around him.

Mizzo: Yes, so you know the personality behind him and where he speaks from. All of that aside, I don’t think it has to do with Barry Bonds the man with us (Blacks). I’m sure it’s mainly about that we miss our Josh Gibson and Barry Bonds fills that void. Regardless if he took steroids or not…and most of us think he did…his home run total, his walks…both intentional and unintentional…are so far above anything we’ve ever seen…his timing mechanism…everything about Barry was ridiculous on the field. Take away his intentional walks or the unintentional walks…how many home runs would he have?

My readers know this but let me take it back for you Skip. I met Barry in Atlantic City–way before I thought of becoming a writer. He was very engaging. Very nice guy…that’s what I took with me was his personality in that moment of meeting him.

We read stories about how they vilified his father (Bobby Bonds) for his alcoholism but Mickey Mantle would get different treatment. Barry is growing up in the clubhouse when he was there with his Dad.

His hatred of the media was natural in my opinion.

Skip: His Father taught him that way…

Mizzo: And rightfully so. The hatred of Barry Bonds began way before the specter of steroids existed. How do people forget this? This snowballs into the steroids era and now there’s a reason to go after Bonds “legitimately” when he was a superhuman baseball player since his days at Arizona State. His pedigree was incomparable. Don’t give me Manning because there was no one like Reggie Jackson, Willie Mays or Willie McCovey around. So we see Barry as something we want to behold. Barry Bonds is our golden boy we aren’t allowed to have in professional football. Maybe Donovan but maybe not. Barry is flawed but so is everyone else. Most Blacks don’t understand why there was so much hatred of Bonds before the steroid era. It snowballed.

Skip: The mostly White media…who covered Barry…deeply resented his treatment of them on a nightly basis. On balance here, Barry could have done himself a lot of favors if he would have just turned on that charm that you experienced in Atlantic City–which was awesome.

When he wanted to be, he could be as well spoken as anyone I was ever around. Once he stepped foot in that clubhouse, he treated the beat reporters…mostly White…as virtual cockroaches around his locker that he had to stamp out. He treated them with little to no respect.

The resentment grew among baseball writers who as you know are very fraternal and protective of each other. I’m convinced that Hall of Fame vote that we go through every year is fueled in part…and maybe large part…by how those beat writers are treated by those star players…Black or White. Was he a good guy? Was he accessible? Did he give them time before and after a game? Did national writers get time with him? Did he sort of buddy up to them and tell them a few off the record stories they needed to know?

All those things…how you play that game…ultimately contributes to your Hall of Fame credentials–which is outrageous to me. It is just so wrong, but people are human so that’s how they are going to react to this. It’s even more so in baseball than it is in the football Hall of Fame voting.

So with Barry…who clearly…clearly…before we ever heard of steroids….was already a Hall of Famer. What was it eight straight Gold Gloves?

Look Michael…it’s as simple as this:

He was the greatest baseball player ever!

I’m a big fan of Mickey Mantle’s, Babe Ruth’s…throw them all out there and there is nobody who could hit the ball as consistently hard as Barry Bonds hit it for a long, long time.

I also believe he used steroids. I believe he committed purgery about the knowing use of steroids.

I believe all that, but that aside, through the steroids era where many of the players were using steroids…many a pitcher were using steroids…Barry Bonds dominated the sport of baseball like it has never been dominated and that’s including the great Babe Ruth.

Just as you suggest, the timing mechanism was supernatural. In 2001…and I don’t care if he ate steroids for breakfast, lunch and dinner…I don’t care because if you threw him a strike in 2001…if you just threw him a strike…a random strike…the odds were great he wouldn’t just hit it, but hit it extremely hard and also over the fence. That has never happened. The pitcher has always had a great advantage over the hitter. The hitter is successful a third of the time right? Barry is the only hitter I’ve ever seen who had a distinct advantage over the pitcher.

That’s unheard of.

So the crescendo of this to me came from his good buddy and teammate Jeff Kent. This was the turning point for Barry Bonds damage to me and feel free to disagree, this is just my perception of it..but in April of 2001, Rick Reilly…then the columnist at Sports Illustrated…wrote his back of the magazine column on what bad of a guy Barry Bonds was and it featured numerous quotes from Jeff Kent. Jeff Kent…and I can speak to this because I was there…was the real Barry Bonds! He was the real bad guy in the clubhouse. He was the one who was moody, volatile, quick tempered and difficult for his teammates.

It was Jeff Kent.

Jeff Kent was a superstar in the media because he was very quotable and knew how to play the game. The writers would gather around Jeff Kent’s locker after every game because Jeff Kent gave you insight, he gave you humor, he gave you quotes for which you could build your game stories.

Jeff Kent took Rick Reilly under his wing and filled his notebook. He gave him scathing quotes about Barry Bonds. You can just look these up, but that was the turning point because Rick’s columns were powerful in that they set the national tone.

This is before the onslaught of the Internet–slightly pre-Internet explosion. Sports Illustrated was still the Bible of sports. He creamed Barry…just creamed him. It set a tone of that’s it…it’s in stone…he’s a bad guy!

As the year unfolded and he went to 73, there was a backlash among the mostly White media. This was a tragedy…and again we weren’t to steroids yet…because such a bad guy set such a hallowed record. That’s what it was.

So, I am with you. I became a huge Barry Bonds fan. I didn’t hang around him every day and I didn’t know the guy because he didn’t give us anything. He certainly didn’t give me anything.

I believe half of them were steroid guys.

It is the all time sports shame that he (Barry) went down in the flames of infamy that we have just seen him go down in.

As you know, they targeted Barry in 2002 after George W. gave his State of the Union and they declared war on steroids in America in a State of the Union message. It was clear to me in the Bay area they targeted Barry Bonds as the face they wanted to put on their standout steroids campaign. To this day, the feds are still trying to get him (case postponed indefinitely) and I don’t see a smoking gun. I don’t see a first hand witness who will close the case ’cause Greg Anderson ain’t talkin’. I think he’s going back to jail before he talks.

So, I’m with you on all of the above.

Mizzo: Let’s talk about the Black athlete. We are all human and thus have our faults. Blacks aren’t deemed worthy…if you will…to publicly show fault comparative to Whites. It seems to me that the faults of Whites aren’t made public for whatever reason. Stories get buried it seems and the attention and also the scrutiny en masse is minimal. I only make this an issue because most Black athletes do not get into trouble but it sure doesn’t seem that way. I’ve had disagreements with higher ups at your very network in this regard. It seems like if no one raises a stink then the Adam Jones’ and others will continue to be the focus of media scrutiny…deserved or undeserved. This is probably one of the main reasons why The Starting Five was created and allowed to flourish.

Of course this is a hypothetical, but if everything was flipped and the majority of the media was Black, do you think Black writers would be almost violent when we write about White athletes?

Skip: Michael, that’s so hypothetical I don’t even think I could answer that.

Mizzo: I’m not asking you to totally slam your race, Skip. That would be absurd. I just would like a logical explanation.

Skip: No, I understand. The irony of your question is that the Black athlete has become the majority in sports. Clearly, there are more Black athletes than Whites….we’re talking about the NBA and slightly in the NFL. Not in baseball and I don’t know if it balances out but I’ve come to consider the Black athlete as the majority athlete with the minority coverage.

Obviously, there are more White reporters than Black but ESPN has gone to great lengths to level that playing field and continues to do so by the day…of which I am very proud…but, it’s intriguing to me…I don’t have answers here…and I attempt to be colorblind.

Sometimes I think I’m quicker to jump on White athletes than I am Black…witness Michael Phelps. I’ve been all over him because I think he’s a fraud as a role model. I thought that from the start and I was ashamed of White America putting him up on such a lofty pedestal because he doesn’t belong up there.

Jemele and I debated the other day and I readily concurred that White America is giving Michael Phelps a big pass. Sponsors are giving him a pass because he was an Olympic hero. The Olympic ideal is different than the team sports ideal to me. I don’t care if he’s Black, green or yellow…he happens to be White. I would hold any athlete up to a higher ideal because it’s the Olympics. It’s the Wheaties box. Michael Phelps is a disgrace to the country who put him up on the role model pedestal because he’s not. There has been more than one Internet incident involving pictures and all sorts of things that disqualify him from being such. Oh he’s 23…no, he’s a veteran of two Olympics! It’s only marijuana. Everyone smokes a little grass.

I don’t. I’m sorry. I don’t. I know people who don’t. I’m sorry, it’s an illegal drug.

So I’m with you on that but I also try to be as fair as I can.

I’m coming down hard on Michael Vick because I think he deserves it. He does have some thug in him.

I’m with you on the small percentage of Black athletes that get into trouble but is there some thug in Michael? Yes! He was raised that way and that’s part of his makeup. That wasn’t the first nefarious incident where he was involved.

I’m coming down both ways but I don’t know. Because of this backlash you are talking about with Bonds the many Black debaters with whom we engage, sometimes I feel they are too quick to defend the Black athlete like it’s almost a mandate from the Black athlete journalism committee. It’s like you have to…at all costs…even to the point of being blind..

Mizzo: Skip, what about the disproportionate numbers in journalism? We write what we see. Athletes are cool with me and I get good stuff from them because there is no drama. I just want the good story, but sometimes I’m looked at with wicked glares in that arena.

Skip: I don’t think that’s healthy, either. Fair is fair. Open your eyes and open your mind. Whatever it is, it is…then say it.

If you think we are coming hard on Santonio Holmes because he had one little marijuana issue then that’s fine. I’m good with that.
He’s a football player, it’s different. It does have a different sort of expectation. He plays a violent sport. I’m more open to that.

I didn’t come down on Santonio Holmes the way I came down on Michael Phelps.

I think you are in deep but provocative water but I’m glad you are in there, Michael, because I wanna swim in that water. I haven’t figured out the depths of it yet. I haven’t figured out the answer. It’s below me in the water somewhere. I haven’t gotten into the depths of it yet but again, I’m glad you are tackling the issue. I push everyone on my show to tackle the issue constantly just to make people think.

The more we talk and think the better off we all will be.

Mizzo: Let me take you back a little bit Skip, because this is the way we view our athletes….we follow them from high school basically and in some cases before.

Let’s use LeBron James as an example…it may be a loose example but nevertheless let’s use him.

When LeBron was coming out of high school, there was the Hummer thing. There was the jerseys. There was all this stuff that eventually follows an athlete until Hall of Fame induction and then all of a sudden the percentage points are going down in regards to voting.

This is the reason why writers, readers here on TSF as well as myself, defend Black athletes because we see this stuff that every athlete probably does, gets away with or every athlete is afforded but the comparative scrutiny is not there. These idiosyncrasies follow these athletes and become a negative perception that isn’t realistic.

Skip: Hmmm….I was aware of those very minor flaws in LeBron, but I have forgotten about them. I don’t think they are haunting him. I think he has risen above. He had an excessive speeding ticket a few months ago. It’s not a big deal. I think it’s forgotten. I don’t think it’s a part of his lasting resume. I must say that kid…because he’s still a kid…has done remarkably well given the scrutiny.

He’s a good kid.. He’s a smart dude. I’m impressed with how he’s handled himself given the adulation, the idolatry and the scrutiny. I think he really carries himself well and it amazes me. As you know from covering athletes, the temptations are extraordinarily unbelievable.

The bigger you are, the more they are.

He just seems like he’s constantly rising above all that.

Now, I have some issues about his play, but that’s another issue. That’s sports.

If you are talking about his persona and his legacy, he’s an all time great.

Mizzo: Skip, my experience in the locker room goes back about 2 years. I don’t have extensive experience in that regard, but when I walk into the locker room with one of my colleagues, Anthony Gilbert, and even with LeBron and Kobe, they will set aside time for us.

We are able to speak with them at length. They give us exclusives and we are coming out of nowhere with no resources and no major corporate credential. We’re independent…the little guy…if you will.

Skip: Michael, they have respect for you.

Mizzo: It pains me because of how Donovan McNabb is treated here. This guy has been working with less than stellar talent that is just not up to par with his “more esteemed” colleagues.

Skip: Michael, again, I’m with you. It’s funny, but SportsCenter was coming on and they were showing Donovan McNabb just as you were saying that.

Mizzo: I don’t understand what they want here. If Donovan bounces, then what is this town going to have? Are the Eagles going to be 4-10 or 5-50 (of course I’m exaggerating)? It almost seems as if the town is more comfortable with losing as long as McNabb is out of town.

Skip: I agree.

Mizzo: OK Skip, I won’t belabor the point regarding Donovan because you’re pointedly in his corner (regarding his career), but let’s talk about Terrell Owens. Let me give you my perception of T.O. When Terrell came into the league, he looked down the line and saw Jerry Rice while catching balls from another Hall of Fame player, Steve Young.

I compare him to Barkley who was characterized as a malcontent mainly out of being frustrated that the team he wanted to win so bad for neglected to surround him with championship caliber talent. Coming into the league with Julius Erving, Moses Malone and Mo Cheeks spoiled him. When they subsequently became athletic ghosts, these talented players are left with nothing but has been high school I was the man stories. Why wouldn’t he want to win at all costs playing blessed with some of the best players the game has ever seen? Most talented players do not want to do it alone. They want help. It adds to the span of their respective careers. Then an unfortunate inferiority complex settles in because these players know the organizations are living off past glory instead of putting their feet on the gas. What is it about this malcontent tag when players are only showing a human side of themselves that can only benefit the organization, the city and ultimately the league and its fans?

This has become the caricature of Terrell Owens the media pushes on all of us. It’s both unrealistic and pure bs. I’ve spoken to his teammates and no one told me Terrell was a bad teammate. Then all of a sudden Jason Whiten becomes a more capable receiver than Owens…which we all know is patently false. I remember an exchange Jay Crawford had with Rob Parker where he said Terrell only had 69 catches this year. What is supposed to do? Throw the ball to himself? Is that really his fault he only had 69 catches? His drops are overblown as if he’s the only receiver dropping passes in the league as Romo continues to throw yet another interception late in a game that is inexplicable. I do not think his on field performance should be criticized because of his work ethic. Back in the day he would have gotten his ass kicked in the locker room but there just aren’t those strong personalities anymore I guess. I’m sure you’ve covered games where he’s one of the first players on the field pregame. Can Terrell be overbearing yes, but it takes a strong hand to reel in the man and that man ain’t in Dallas.

Skip: Well, if you want my opinion and I was around him a lot when he was with the 49′ers, so I knew him before he became T.O. Just again in a nutshell, I supported him in the Bay area when no one else would. This went on for about a year because of the positives as you well know: Hard worker, in supreme physical condition, Bill Walsh was then an adviser to the 49′ers and would always tell me that no one knew the offense better than Terrell Owens…even the quarterback. He was the quickest, asked the best questions, knew others’ assignments before others knew themselves…

That one night on Monday Night Football against Seattle when Barry Bonds was in the World Series when he caught the touchdown pass and pulled the Sharpie from his sock, signed the football, ran into the end zone and handed it to his agent who was sitting in one of those end zone box seats. That night he went over the edge from great football player into a celebrity. He badly wanted to be a celebrity to the point that it eclipsed his desire…in my opinion…to win football games.

He created that persona which overtook him..that T.O thing. I’ve been around him off camera. He can be very reserved, very withdrawn and almost shy. When the cameras role, T.O. takes over…sometimes to a fault. My issues with him last year is that he led the league in drops. He had a problem in San Francisco in the biggest clutch situations against their rivals the St. Louis Rams. This year I saw him lose a little bit of a step…maybe not a full step..but a half a step of quickness. He’s 35…going on 36 years old and he’s on the downside.. So you ask can I blame him for that and I just have to say that he is what he is. He is no longer in his prime. I’ve been around him enough to tell you that he just can’t help himself in a locker room situation. He becomes a divisive force because of the Alabama background and the pretty rough upbringing, he remains very insecure to me. He’s very thin skinned and very quick to blame because of his insecurity. He points fingers at the quarterback and as we have seen him do with Mariucci, Andy Reid and Parcells. He will also go after his coordinator. We’ve seen that again and again and again…Greg Knap, Brad Childress…he does point fingers.

His aura is so overpowering in the context of the locker room because T.O. the alter ego is so huge that the media gravitates to every expression on his face, every word that comes out the side of his mouth that his teammates are aware that he sets the tone. For better or for worse, he is the leader of that football team. I think it’s for worse because I don’t think he has leadership qualities. He has a hard enough time leading himself. Because of that, you’ve taken a tremendous talent and thrust it into the media spotlight to the point when he does drop a ball, is covered for a game, he will still blame it on everybody but himself. Now (then) he’ll be after Jason Garrett. Before long, he’ll be after Tony Romo and it’s just hard to win with that dynamic. I don’t think the Cowboys will ever win big with Terrell Owens on that team (Obviously this was before he was released by the Cowboys March 5).

The owner sees a lot of himself in Terrell Owens. Tough background, self made, against the grain…loves the limelight maybe even more than his star receiver does. Jerry Jones knows that in the end he is in the entertainment business to sell tickets. He appreciates that Terrell Owens attracts national attention.

And I call T.O. “Team Obliterator” for very good reason. He destroyed the 49ers and the Eagles, and now he’s destroying the Cowboys. Great talent, but now he’s more concerned about promoting himself than winning games. Extremely thin-skinned and insecure, yet very media savvy and quick to deflect blame for his drops or the step he lost this season by pointing fingers. In no particular order, he’ll go after the head coach, coordinator and quarterback. I do not believe the Cowboys will ever win big with him in the locker room and huddle. But Jerry Jones loves him like a son because Jerry also prefers publicity to winning.

Mizzo: I’ve covered one game of Terrell Owens so I am in no way a professional authority on his persona. I can just go on what I feel regarding the media crush…self generated or not.

Skip, what are your thoughts on Alex Rodriguez?

Skip: I’ve been saying on my show for three years that it’s laughable he has gotten a pass through the steroid era. All you have to do is look at the physique. Two years ago, he got hugely muscular. I have also defended Canseco from the day his first book hit print, and he proved to be right once again. If ARod cheated on his wife with stripper after stripper, you don’t think he would lie to Katie Couric about using ‘roids? This is why, once again, that Barry Bonds is the home-run king, not Hank Aaron, as so many Bonds-hating purists keep saying. Lately, they’ve been pushing ARod as the clean heir apparent to Bonds, but again we see that the entire era was tainted.

Mizzo: Why are you so critical of LeBron James. The kid is a beast and could be the GOAT before it’s all over.

Skip: If your readers are as tough as you say, they’ll wonder how I dare criticize LeBron by calling him LeBrick or Prince James …

In all objectivity, I see two glaring flaws in LeBron’s game that the Witnesses refuse to see. Obviously, he is the most awesome attacker of the basket we’ve ever seen — ever — but he’s also the worst high-volume three-point shooter in the the NBA. Look it up. And worse, his three-point percentage has fallen for five straight years. He often looks terribly awkward launching from behind the arc and does rattle the backboard with lots of bricks. There is no need for him to shoot this many threes, because he now has such an array of snipers at his disposal — Mo Williams and Wally combined to go 7-for-9 on in a game recently, while LeBron was going his usual 2-for-8. Once again, too many for him, not enough for them.

LeBron also went 4-for-8 on free throws, but as I’ve often said on TV this year, the most amazing and significant improvement in his game is that he finally improved his free-throw percentage from around 70 to 78 percent — a tremendous leap. He is also playing consistently much harder, especially on defense, than he has before.

But my biggest reservation about LeBron is, does he have the MJ clutch gene? I have my doubts. It was staggering to me that he was in his sixth NBA season before he hit his first walk-off jump shot (vs. the NBA’s worst defensive team, at Golden State). He appears to get so nail-biting nervous near the end of tight games, and sometimes it appears he prefers jacking up long j’s at the buzzer to attacking the rim because he knows he’ll get fouled and have to make the free throws to win or tie. Unfair? He chose to wear 23, and many of our viewers believe he’s already better than Jordan, so this criticism is absolutely necessary and valid.

Mizzo: Give me something on Tiger Woods Skip.

Skip: Here’s an objective view of Tiger, who’s obviously on his way to becoming the greatest golfer ever: As great as he has been, I also remain astonished that not once in 35 majors has he come from behind when trailing after Saturday to win on Sunday. Greatest front runner ever, and I mean that as a supreme compliment. Give him a lead heading into Sunday, and forget it. But Nicklaus came from behind on Sunday to win nine of his 18 majors. Tiger starts looking shockingly mortal without the lead. Bizarre hole in an all-time great resume.

Mizzo: Comment on Jay Cutler’s development and why isn’t Vince Young playing?

Skip: A friend called me before Jay Cutler’s junior year at Vanderbilt and said I should check this kid out. I started watching and couldn’t stop, and I began to rave about him on my show, calling him “Brett Favre Jr.” Of course, everyone I work with scoffed at me, saying I was touting him only because he played at my school — but that wasn’t it at all. Before the draft, I drew a line in the sand and said I would take him over Leinart any day. Much bigger arm, much more mobile, much tougher physically and mentally. But I also loved Vince Young, saying he was Jordanesque and that I wouldn’t be surprised to see him win more than one Super Bowl. The throwing motion wasn’t pretty, but it always worked, and the size and strength and escapability and ability to lead and make game-changing plays were all at extraordinary levels. I still believe I was right about all three QBs, although Cutler remains too much of a gunslinger, and I must admit, Young’s mental breakdown early last season remains troubling. His strength — leadership, intangibles, mental toughness — have become highly questionable weaknesses. He proved in his first two seasons he can be a star, and I still believe he will be, but now he must win back the confidence of his coach and his team.

Mizzo: Whether I disagree with you on points is immaterial but I do very much respect your intelligence. Doing research, I read up on a lot of your stuff and I was impressed. You are a very misunderstood and also a very polarizing figure yourself. Why do you think you are misunderstood and who are you?

Skip: I am as passionate a sports fan as you will ever find. I watch games and follows sports more intently than anyone you will probably ever find. It is my life. My crusade is to tell the truth about what I see in the world I love…the world of sports.

Not to be loved, but in the end…respected.

I am misunderstood in part because of the medium in which I operate. Television is so hot and I am so overly emotional that what I’m saying gets lost in how passionately I’m saying it. The message is lost in the medium of television.

It scares me because I don’t know how to correct it. If I calm completely down and speak quietly and rationally as I am speaking to you, it won’t work on television because it’s boring. It’s slow.. It’s tedious. It gets dismissible because it’s turnoffable. It’s not me.

I am real.

It’s possible, Michael, that I am just too real for television and I may be better suited for print. I also tend to run hot in print to the point that I’m off putting to some people. They think it’s too strong and the message gets lost in the strength of the prose sometimes. I think more often on television, that the way I’m saying it makes me out to be a worse guy than I am. Anyone who knows me will tell you that my heart is good and so are my intentions.

I just want to be a conscience. I just want to make people stop and think about what is really going on here with the things we all love. I don’t get caught up in these runaway sports nation overreactions to superstars that we see on a daily basis.

I’m not a blind Witness to LeBron James. I’m going to be objective about him for the greatness and some of the flaws I still see in his game. Because nobody else out there would dare say a single disparaging word about LeBron James, I’m a bad guy for daring to do that. I would like to think I’m a good guy for doing that because I’m being honest and telling the truth and backing it up with facts.

I dare anyone to tell me I’m wrong about this, but it’s part of the TV package. Fortunately in the grand scheme of things, people do seem to like me on TV that they watch. They are riveted by what I’m saying but sometimes they don’t hear me they just see me.

Mizzo: One more question for the kids. You are a great journalist. What advice would you give that teen who wants to be a writer and has great thoughts but is having difficulty getting said thoughts to pen and ultimately to paper?

Skip: To screen as we say now?

Mizzo: Yes, of course.

Skip: That’s a great question.

I would tell him to try because the more you try the better you will get at it. Your goal each time should be to simplify your great thoughts to distill them into palatable doses. The greatness will still come out but you need to start simply.

The best thing they taught me at the Miami Herald was I had way too many thoughts in my brain…too many words spilling out.

Simplify it. If you lose someone in your first paragraph, obviously you’ve lost them for good.

Start simply and directly. Establish immediately where you’re headed, what your theme is, what your sorta thesis statement is. Once that is clear to your reader, then you can flex all of your great thoughts. They’ll come out and spill out once you’ve hooked someone up top, it will flow, work and it will sustain them the rest of the way.

I had a very hard time trying to get that by my thick head because I was that guy you are talking about or that woman.

Mizzo: Skip, thanks so much for doing this. I hope my readers get a more rounded sense of who you are and why you do what you do.

Skip: I appreciate your approach to this interview and respect very, very much that you did your research. What you have done here in so little time is really impressive. Good luck with your career and God bless you.

Addendum 3/10

Mizzo: Skip straight up and I’m hot at myself for letting this pass but you do understand that some Blacks see thug as a code word for nigger. It’s my personal opinion that rarely is the word used to describe Whites. Could you explain?

Skip: I have been using the word “thug” to describe an athlete’s background or nature for probably 30 years — as in “so-and-so has some thug in him” — and I have never, ever heard it used as a synonym for the single most abhorrent word in our language. I’m pretty sure I’ve used it at least as much to refer to nonblack athletes with a history of low regard for the law — Randy White and Mark Tuinei spring to mind, guys who were often involved in alcohol- or drug-fueled bar fights and who were accused by Black Cowboys teammates of racist behavior. I’ve used the word on TV to describe Jason “White Chocolate” Williams and Olin Kruetz of the Bears. So apparently the word “thug” has taken on a new connotation for your readers — one I have never heard from the many black athletes I’ve known or still know. I don’t speak in “code” words. But it’s enlightening to know that a word I’ve used for so long has been redefined.

78 Responses to “The Skip Bayless Interview Part II: Colorful, Conscious and Of Course, Controversial”

  1. origin says:

    Doc,

    “And if you ever get a GM to do an interview, please find out why all the black superstars are expected to carry inferior and/or mismatched talent while their counterparts are have quality players sensibly assembled around their style of play? AI vs Nash (2 MVPs Really?), McNabb & Vick vs Manning & Brady, Randall Cunningham… I get madder as I type this.”

    Amen Doc.

  2. marco says:

    Origin, I don’t see any basis in the black superstars not getting a competent supporting cast while white superstars do. I can name White dudes who got no help what so ever…..like Dan Marino, John Elway at least until the very end, Tom Brady won 3 superbowls with no other stars on offense, and McNabb has had T.O. and Westbrook is no slouch. I guess Magic Johnson, Jordan, Isaiah Thomas, Shaq, and others had no supporting cast and were forced to do it themselves…..Also Peyton Manning had to do it with no defense….also think of it this way, If the colts didn’t have peyton Manning then Marvin Harrison would be on your list of Black Superstars who got no help…..Ahhh, but they drafted Manning one year after they drafted Harrison….I guess if Manning was Black they wouldn’t have drafted Edgerin James a year or two later opting to trade down in the draft to get the black Manning a couple of inferior complimentary players.
    See what I mean? There are White Stars and Black stars, and Hispanic stars, who’s front offices failed to get them a supporting cast and there a Stars of all races who’s front offices did get the players necessary to win it all. And What’s wrong with Nash winning 2 MVP’s? MVP does not mean this guy is the better individual player ( I love Iverson’s game, heart, and he is pound for pound one of the best and most enjoyable players I have ever seen)….It means he’s seen as the one most valuable to his team for whatever reason….I guess u believe that he got them because he’s white? So if he was black he wouldn’t be an all-star and an unknown?…..If that’s the case then Larry Bird would have won the MVP every year of his career. I really doubt GM’s with the precarious job security they have would sabotage themselves by not trying to field the best team they can under whatever circumstances (market, salary cap, or otherwise) they must operate under.
    I feel maybe your a fan and admire the players you mentioned and you are frustrated that they haven’t won, but it isn’t due to the front office saying “we got a black superstar, lets get him no help and make it as hard as possible to win a championship for our franchise.” I don’t know about you, but every champion in the NBA, and NFL I have seen since about 1986 ( I was 8 and starting my fandom that year) was filled with black stars who had great players helping them attain sports immortality…..

  3. marco says:

    I guess the Seattle Mariners don’t want to help Ichiro and bring other great players into the fold because he’s a Japanese superstar…..only one problem….the Mariners are Japanese owned….or maybe they have an underlying prejudice…….AGAINST THEMSELVES!
    LOL, maybe a little overkill, but I’m just trying to drive home a point that it makes no logical sense to undermine your own franchise by purposely shortchanging your franchise player because he is of a certain ethnic background.

    I’ll maybe change my stance if the yankees stop signing top free agents cause the just signed black superstar CC Sabathia….

    peace love and happiness to all y’all
    and remember
    sports has allowed and also forced the world population to see the humanity, beauty, and greatness of all cultures, creeds, and colors….

    to anyone who only loves “their people and hates all others” I’d ask them if they would enjoy eating the same food 3 times a day everyday for the rest of their lives….

    Variety is the spice of life, and with out that spice life would be bland and thus boring.

    hope I was able to bring something to the table

    Marco

  4. marco says:

    Also Miranda and Doc, I can see your point about the Mike Vick thing, and how the people didn’t care that he and others were killing pitbulls, but I don’t think there are too many employers if any that would support me and not fire me if I was caught for the same crime and sentenced to jail for it. It sucks for him, but he should have known that funding a dog fighting operation was a HUGE risk to his career….if he loves dog fighting, and couldn’t help himself and just had to be a part of that sport so be it, but don’t be the ring leader.

    common sense ain’t that common, otherwise we’d all be perfect and do the right thing.

  5. N.C. says:

    It’s sad that an interview with one of the most intriguing sports personalities is used as platform to enforce a racial agenda.

    @ origin –

    AI vs. Steve Nash comparison, laughable. Turn off ESPN classic and tune in to current Pistons games. I’m pretty sure AI is surrounded by plenty of talent. But he won’t get a chance to carry this team to a championship, because well, he might be benched. The Pistons prove to me a better team without AI. So if he’s benched, does it become a race issue. But wait the head coach is black. OK, let’s blame it on the GM. Wait??? Joe Dumars – he’s African American also.

    McNabb/Vick vs. Brady/Manning comparison is even worse. The Eagles team that went to the Superbowl had Westbrook, Owens, and a quality defense. Tom Brady didn’t have a running back nearly as talented as Westbrook, nor a receiver as talented as Owens. OK, well McNabb did have to deal with a selfish, narcissist team cancer named T.O. and Brady didn’t. The end result was an African American holding back another African American. Imagine that.

    Let’s go to Mike Vick. I agree he wasn’t surrounded with that much talent in Atlanta. According to your GM analysis, Arthur Blank must have made a much larger effort to bring in talent to this team when he decided to draft a white QB. This white, ROOKIE quarterback led this franchise from shambles to a playoff birth and was surrounded with the same quality players VICK had.

    Have you ever thought there is an internal fury of racism lying inside of all of YOU that affects your perception of the black athlete?

  6. Mizzo says:

    N.C. don’t come here slamming my readers unless you have your facts straight. Michael Turner was the biggest free agent pickup in the entire league last season. What kind of year did he have? Kept the defense honest didn’t he?

    For the record, I’d take Allen Iverson’s career over Nash and Dirk’s combined.

    When the field is chock full of White writers they see their sons. I don’t agree, but I understand.

    Give me a vote and I’ll vote for who deserves the award regardless of race.

    LeBron or Shaq were robbed Nash’s first. They second was a straight love fest. I thought I was smelling flowers every day when these cats were loving Nash’s game. That’s why Kobe banged it on his dome in front of the world. We all knew exactly what he was thinking.

    Coaches you are doing White players a disservice by telling them to take charges because you fear the athleticism. Move ya damn feet and the game will progress.

    Nash should have won Dirk’s.

    There’s no racial agenda here. We just want what’s right (objectivity). I asked Skip to clarify his words that’s all.

    Let me get this straight. Besides Nash can you name one MVP who didn’t at least get to the Finals in the last 206 (embellishment of course) years?

    C’mon…seriously.

    Dirk? Even more laughable. Dude was practically crying at the podium collecting his hardware because SJax took his heart.

    This is nothing personal to the players. I respect their games for what they are.

    But cats went triple back to back?

    Please.

    They’ve both fallen off since winning their awards. Why is that? History will show an anomaly when discussing their awards after we have gone beyond the sun.

    As a sports writer, I have to watch the field. In all three occasions the players were practically given the trophy 10 games into the season. Don’t front because when pundits are proclaiming this on national television, the pack jumps right on like a bunch of gigglin’ school girls.

    Remember this was at a time when America was actually rooting against it’s own Olympic team and a lot of folk still don’t agree we should send pros.

    The NBA has a image problem and the image is too Black and too strong.

    Look at JJ and Morrison. All that slurping and they amounted to nothing in the pros (I’ll give them props for their collegiate careers).

    There was a groundswell so ridiculous for Nash it was disgusting. Folks were ready to proclaim him as the best point guard ever? That’s a joke. Stockton would murder him on the floor and he never touched one as well. Mark Jackson, Maurice Cheeks, Fat Lever, Norm Nixon…I could go on and on and on with names Nash couldn’t touch. The Suns were Loyola Marymount in those years. If you faced them on a road swing you were gonna get bombed…that is until the playoffs began. He’s had maybe 5 decent years. KJ did a lot more for that town and he never sniffed a MVP. Neither did GP, Jason Kidd…hell LeBron hasn’t won yet. Who else? What did the aforementioned have to do to win? Even if you add Allen, Kobe and Shaq’s one each there’s no possible reason Dirk and Nash have the same as these players combined. They were the focus of their teams and won a whole helluva lot more.

    That this is the case is some pure summertime bs and very irresponsible of my colleagues because it skewers history.

    Why don’t Bogut and Bargnani scrutinized like Kwame Brown? They sure as hell were number one picks correct?

    Next McNabb.

    Name one Black quarterback who has demanded something of management and received what he’s asked for besides Donovan (T.O.)?

    These Black quarterbacks run around with less than stellar offenses their entire career and when they bitch they are basically told to shut up nigger and deal with it?

    Brady had a sick balanced team. A sick coach and an even sicker kicker.

    So it was all about “Winning one for John” but TD gave up his career by sacrificing his knees and he’s rarely mentioned? He had Shannon Sharpe. He had Rod Smith. He had Steve Atwater and Karl Mecklenburg.

    The running game and great coaching (half time adjustments) won the Super Bowl for the Colts. Not Peyton. We all know Addai or the other kid was MVP of that game.

    Vick was never given receivers. Never and his line sucked! Becomes the first QB ever to run for a G and it’s never mentioned?

    Roddy White is good NOW after a couple of years maturity. The Falcons played a wack schedule. We’ll see what’s right this season when the heat is on.

    Anyone who is in their right mind knows Donovan McNabb is one number one receiver away from a title. Like I’ve said before, a number one gets you one step and that usually leads to six. So, in the fourth quarter when he needed that number one to get open, that number one was bullshittin’ down in Dallas with a punk ass pink socks and flip flops quarterback chillin’ with his candy girl and crying like a bitch when he butterfingered a fumble inches from first down…let alone a touchdown.

    Elway won because of TD.

    Why is Matt Ryan being slurped despite the talents surrounding him?

    Why isn’t Donovan given the respect of bringing his team back from a 24-6 deficit but Warner gets a fat paycheck for doing something similar.

    Marino didn’t have a running game or a defense but still gets all time shine while Moon who would have obliterated any NFL passing record if not for RACISM. His numbers would have been untouchable even if the cheese heads watched the quarterback play 300 straight games.

    No, it isn’t all racism, (there just isn’t many Black writers in the field who don’t write outside the pack to document something different, something real, something right) but dammit man if something is afoul.

    Yeah there is a fury and I’m proud of it.

  7. Temple3 says:

    Man, I hope that “joe” dude comes back.

    I want to know when Brady EVER played with a #2 as bad as Todd Stinkston who actually SAT OUT THE SECOND HALF OF A SUPER BOWL. That would be a really good starting point for our convo.

    Then, we can talk about all those games NE won because of their defense and their kicking game. 3 Super Bowls by a combined total of 9 points — one of them off of a short field following an out-of-bounds kick off.

    Come back Joe, come back.

    “Where have you gone Joe DiMaggio…”

  8. Temple3 says:

    Mizzo:

    I’d appreciate it if you started a different thread on this question of support for Black QBs.

    I, for one, remain unconvinced of the theory…but am willing to do some of the work required to get to the bottom of it. I don’t think the Colts or Bengals are particularly good examples. I think folks really need to do some work on this – rather than just spit out names.

    It does a disservice to the GMs and coaches who’ve worked hard to get where they are. ‘Cause if you wanna talk about support, we can start with Joe Horn, Donte Stallworth (#1 WR selected), Boo Williams, Ernie Conwell, Cam Cleeland, Deuce McAllister, Ricky Williams, Jerome Pathon and the other cats who all played with Aaron Brooks in New Orleans. This is a complicated issue to say the least.

    I’d suggest more caution, less hyperbole.

  9. Mizzo says:

    Exactly you mean like three quarterbacks in Manhattan but no Crabtree blowing in the breeze outside hyperbole?

  10. Mizzo says:

    You’ve sold me on the receiver deal and also the need for balance on offense. Those stats I included in the McNabb receiver piece are telling.

    I do think a score at will offense hurts your defense because of an inability to properly rest while the O is on the field.

    I just want to see a Black quarterback come into the L with 5 wide in the shotgun. It’s just pretty man. It’s just pretty.

  11. MODI says:

    “I fear that the possibility of being seen as racist will not allow most white people to discuss this issue openly and honestly.
    MODI you say it is impossible to not be infected on some level. Is it maybe time we stopped seeking a Utopian society where nobody has any racial bias and started to establish a culture in which everybody openly admits that they are, in fact, racist?”

    Goat,

    First, thanks for you kind words. To your point, I’m trying to use the words “racial bias” much more than “racist” these days. The word just has so different meanings to different people, and becomes a conversation ender.

    On one hand, the imagined scarlet letter of being called a “racist” is just overblown IMHO. Last I checked Don Imus was rehired, so was the dude from “Dog the Bounty Hunter”, and Mark Fuhrman penned two best sellers. And these are HARDCORE examples. I would argue that there is a much higher social price to may for POINTING OUT racism, than actually espousing it.

    Having stated that, I do believe that productive discussion begins with promoting the “bigotry as disease” model. If most white americans have racially biased sniffles and not pneumonia, then that is still desirable. For me it comes down to whether the other person displays a sincere desire to be fair-minded and is speaking more out of ignorance than malice (which is most cases I think). Those with malice should get their ass handed to them and those without a clue should probably be educated more than labeled. Of course, racial ignorance in powerful hands can often be far more harmful than racial malice in different hands.

    The thing about ESPN’s brand of “retail racism” is that it is generally unknown by most sports fans who don’t regularly read the blogs. Take Fox news. They have a reputation, but ESPN doesn’t. That tells me that more work needs to be done on the education front.

  12. Miranda says:

    Marco if you chose to fight pitbulls and was arrested for it and pled guilty to an actual charge of dogfighting, you probably would not face any jailtime at all. If you funded a dogfighting ring and pled guilty to 14 counts of dogfighting you probably would receive half the time Vick did, pay no fine and the state would just kill all the pitbulls (and puppies) so that you wouldn’t even have to pay for their care.

    People are arrested and plead to crimes, pay fines and if there is no jailtime, their employers might not ever know about it at ALL. Do you think employers are running background checks every week? No, they aren’t. People are hired everyday with felony convictions so don’t even believe the hype that they aren’t.

  13. docwavy says:

    N.C. I home this doesn’t come across as a personal attack, I just get passionate about Vick and Philly players.

    “Let’s go to Mike Vick. I agree he wasn’t surrounded with that much talent in Atlanta. According to your GM analysis, Arthur Blank must have made a much larger effort to bring in talent to this team when he decided to draft a white QB. This white, ROOKIE quarterback led this franchise from shambles to a playoff birth and was surrounded with the same quality players VICK had.”

    -Matt Ryan has MICHAEL TURNER. Turner is a beast in his own right, and he keeps the goons off Ryan and his receivers, rather than the other way around. The chaos Vick caused was the reason for the success of Dunn and Duckett.

    -Peerless Price was a bust, Roddy White is not. However, Vick had Crumpler so we’ll say its a tie.

    -That O-line is completely different. Only guy that was there was McClure. At one point, the falcons had one of the lightest O-lines in the league, with 2 guys in the 280-290 range and the biggest guy was 315. Ryan’s line has two guys in the 330s and nobody under 300. At the time, the NFC south was stacked on D-line with the Bucs and Panthers and some genius thought the solution was to go lighter, and they would just get creamed every game. Honestly, I’d have to rewatch games to tell you what proportion of sacks were due to his scrambling and mistakes, but I remember several games, especially against Carolina and TB where guys would be on him by the time he took one step back.

    The difference between the Falcons now and a couple years ago is so drastic that I don’t really feel comfortable comparing Vick and Ryan at all, but let me make 3 points.
    1) When you’re throwing out stats about Ryan taking that team to the playoffs, don’t act like Vick didn’t take the falcons to the playoffs in his first (full) season and WIN A GAME.
    2) You can’t argue that the caliber of the NFC south defenses are anywhere near what Vick was facing.
    3) These GMs get a mobile QB and try to reinvent the damn wheel, like a power run game from Ricky Watters had nothing to do with Steve Young’s success. (Unfortunately, he torpedoed himself his first game with Cunningham with that “For Who For What” line) Ryan has a running back with some power and a properly sized line, rather than a scatback.

    As far as Blank – I’ll argue that if I had to pick any owner in the league to run my team, it would be Arthur Blank. In my eyes he’s an outlier in terms of this discussion. His only mistake was hiring rival Tampa’s old GM when it is apparent that team was built by Tony Dungy. However I won’t argue if you call bullsh*t on me giving him a pass.

    Let me clarify what I was arguing, since I typed that in frustration. I’m not saying that GMs are racist and hate black QBs or try to sabotage their teams. My argument is that there is a power dynamic where black QBs lack the ability to demand help, and a crop of GMs in the NFL and NBA who don’t know how to handle talented black athletes who dont fit into the traditional mold. When you combine this with an tendency to rely on the talents of a QB who can run as a crutch to not aggressively address issues with the o-line and WR corps, you end up with the career of McNair, Cunningham, and McNabb. The reason these QBs cant demand help is because black players get vilified in the media whenever they challenge the front office. Dude in San Diego is considered a douche, and Cutler is called whiny, but neither is called a cancer or has their leadership or winning ability questioned. Favre just wants to win, so he can call out a WR who doesn’t resign. His retirement crap had to reach ridiculous levels before anybody called him on it. Warner can leverage his faith for more $ and to keep his WR. Now McNabb didn’t do himself any favors pulling a Willie Beamon in the the SB, but the way he’s been treated is ridiculous. I’ll buy the argument that the same could happen to Tebow, that it probably has happened to Garcia, and Jake Plummer. However you don’t have guys recklessly calling labeling them in terms of lacking ability to be a team player, intelligence, class, leadership, winning, or whatever cliche you want to include.

    I’ll be the first to admit that my perspective on any issue will be tinted by race, gender, nationality, etc. My friends from Canada constantly call me out for speaking in a manner that implies the U.S. is the default nationality. I’m sure that at some point I have unconsciously offend or belittle a female friend in some way just out of pure laziness. While I don’t really feel their pain, but I can use my perspective as a racial minority and extrapolate that feeling and acknowledge that although I might not see how gender or nationalism matters to a particular issue, I can accept the possibility that it does. I don’t know how you get that perspective without experiencing being a minority in some major aspect of live, but I hope its possible.

    I’m sure there will be issues where I read into something that isn’t there. I just want to know if you feel where I’m coming from.

    -Cant think of anything to say about Aaron Brooks or Kordell Stewart, other than black QBs are allowed to be mediocre too.

  14. Patrick says:

    Mizz.. I was hoping that you would have asked more questions to Skip about Vick … He will be getting out soon, and it will be a national story once again and PETA will have their protests and ESPN will likely be in the forefront in trying to keep Vick out of the NFL..

    I would like to have known his views on race in general. Skip was born in the early 1950′s Oklahoma and when he graduated from high school it was during the time of the Mexico City Olympic Games, Mohammed Ali and when colleges began integrating and universities such as Alabama, Georgia and Kentucky started to actively accept and recruit African-Americans.

  15. Patrick says:

    ….”I’m coming down hard on Michael Vick because I think he deserves it. He does have some thug in him….I’m with you on the small percentage of Black athletes that get into trouble but is there some thug in Michael? Yes! He was raised that way and that’s part of his makeup. That wasn’t the first nefarious incident where he was involved….” — Skip Bayless

    What is Skip’s definition of a ‘thug’?

  16. Patrick says:

    Docwavy,

    I agree with most of what you said.

    In regards to Mr. Blank, he inherited Michael Vick and one of the first things that he did was to (1) sign scatback Warrick Dunn and (2) fire Dan Reeves shortly thereafter…and of course (3) hired former Tampa Bay GM Rich McKay

    Vick was a miracle worker, but those two moves hurt Vick’s progress as a QB and undermined the Falcons chances of winning a SuperBowl.

    Blank had expressed in earlier interviews that he was always a fan of the old San Francisco 49ers and Bill Walsh’s West Coast offense and sure enough he tried to ram it down Vick’s throat via Greg Knapp. Even though Vick maintained a winning record as a NFL starter, McKay kept making poor personnel decisions in terms of surrounding Vick with comparable talent. The Falcons managment team could not bring themselves to draft someone such as a Larry Fitzgerald or Anquan Boldin or a Calvin Johnson or give Duckett, the 250 lb RB more than five carries a game.

    Vick took the blame of any Falcon failures on the field in the same way he took all the blame off the field.

    I felt Blank and McKay tried to push Vick out with the hiring of Bobby Petrino. Keep in mind throughout Petrino’s 20 year college coaching year, he had NEVER recruited an African-American QB. One year he drafted Michael Bush, but converted him into a RB when he attended Louisville.

    There was an underground movement (in my opinion) by McKay/Blank to have Matt Schaub be the eventual QB for Petrino in 2007, and the overhyping of the Miami TSA incident in which Vick supposedly had hidden marijuana in a water bottle was really one of the first outward efforts by management to make Vick look bad and push him out the door. The tests turned out to be NEGATIVE, but Vick took a beating locally and nationally and McKay had called a press conference BEFORE the tests were completed and were floating a FOUR GAME SUSPENSION for Vick..so this is when I felt the organization was trying to push Vick out somehow…

    When the tests came back negative in January 2007, the Falcons had no choice but to trade Matt Schaub (eventually to the Texans) who was a restricted free agent and wanted to test the free agent market the following year.

    To me it wasn’t exclusively about the dogs, but an existing movement (prior to the dogfighting allegations) by the local/national media to brand Vick as someone who can’t win as a dual threat QB and seen more as a cancer or one-man team…

  17. Temple3 says:

    The single greatest reason why Matt Ryan had so much success this past season is because he used the same offensive scheme and terminology that he used the year before as a senior at Boston College.

    Matt Ryan teamed with Mike Mularkey to give the Falcons more than a fighting chance in most games. To my knowledge, this has never been done before. Ryan’s not necessarily a genius or better than other players who preceded him. He simply had the smallest learning curve of any rookie to ever play the game.

    The national media may not have amplified this aspect of his success because it undermined their driving narrative. As an aside, I think the Falcons had many, many reasons to believe the acquisition of Peerless Price would work out. He was essentially coming home (UT is about 3 feet from ATL) and he was playing on a fast surface with a dynamic running game. Say what you want about Warrick Dunn, but he was durable, he ran between the tackles and he could block his ass off.

    TJ Duckett sucks and he’s a one trick pony. Dunn, on the other hand, is a back who served as a great complement to what MV7 was doing. The Falcons just needed a tougher short yardage back…and a speed receiver to complement Finneran and Crumpler.

    The play calling, the formations and much of what they did wasn’t wise (to be kind), but the team was capable of doing many things well.

    What I find weird about Falcon fans is that the team has had a mediocre to shitty defense for 40 years (with very few exceptions) and everyone harps on and on and on and on and on about the offense. Top 10 in defense 8 times since 1966; TWICE SINCE 1978 — and people wanna talk about Vick and Wide Receivers and Running Backs. No, no, no. The Atlanta Falcons suck because they do not have a defense.

    Anyway, when MV7 gets out of the clink, he should do very well after he burns off some rust. I hope he does very well wherever he goes.

  18. Miranda says:

    “The single greatest reason why Matt Ryan had so much success this past season is because he used the same offensive scheme and terminology that he used the year before as a senior at Boston College.

    Matt Ryan teamed with Mike Mularkey to give the Falcons more than a fighting chance in most games. To my knowledge, this has never been done before. Ryan’s not necessarily a genius or better than other players who preceded him. He simply had the smallest learning curve of any rookie to ever play the game. ”

    TELL IT.

  19. Temple3 says:

    Miranda and others:

    I hope I don’t come off as a Falcons-hater. I’m not. I probably go back farther than most folks who can find their way to the Dome nowadays. I go back to the days of William Andrews and Steve Bartkowski and Alfred Jenkins. I remember the Grits Blitz. As a Steeler fan and Cowboy hater, I rooted like heck for the Falcons to beat Dallas. I rooted for Minnesota and the Rams too.

    The team, to me, never really capitalized on the style that worked best. Power running, deep passing and aggressive defense. We saw lots of that last year with Michael Turner and Roddy White. The defense still has a ways to go. They’re still a little too light in the ass for my tastes. Aside from Grady Jackson, there wasn’t a real bone crusher up front. The have to get bigger and nastier up front…and the rest will take care of itself.

  20. theRealist1 says:

    Wow. I just spent the last 4 hours or so reading parts 1, 2, and these comments. The biggest piece of truth I found was the person who pointed out that we, and by we I mean all humans, all have racial bias but that doesn’t make us all racists. If I may, I would like to break it down further and say we are all ignorant. Only God is all-knowing. There are many different cultures. I gew up mostly in white america. I don’t think my culture or white people are better than black people. But obviously I am going to understand my culture more than I understand black culture. I’m not going to take the time to try an understand it, Its different from mine and I’m okay with that. God created man his own image. I’ve yet to find where it says white man and I’ve yet to find where it says black man so I’m going to assume man means just that, man.

    I got curious so I looked up some census numbers. What I found was that 66% of the U.S. population is white, 15% is hispanic, and 13% is black. So as anyone can see most whites probably did not grow up with or around blacks. Why would we understand each others cultures? Going back to the Bible we are told to “Love thy neighbor”. It doesn’t say thy white neighbor or thy black neighbor it simply says neighbor.

    One thing I noticed here is I didn’t see any (that I can recall) criticism for one’s own race. Can we all agree that racism or racial bias or ignorance is not one-sided? I didn’t come across any suggestions on how to make things better. For all of you that are waiting for some magic or miracle to happen and all of us white folk won’t be racist (I’m sure you’ve got my color down) its not going to happen all at once and over night. I don’t expect all black people to change all at once and over night either. Its going to be, always has been, and always will be a heart by heart process. I’ll work on mine regardless (not if) you work on yours.

    If you want a fair-minded discussion then be fair about the faults of the side you support. Don’t assume that every time a white person criticizes an athlete that is black that its because of the difference in color. I won’t assume thats never the case. It happens and it happens both ways. I do notice more black athletes with troubles in the media than I do white athletes with troubles. I don’t know if I agree or disagree that a black athlete would be treated differently by the media than a white athlete who committed the same offense. Thats something I will look for now. I have equal disgust for those with a blatent disregard for others, the law, and God. When it comes to Vick my problem with him is he lied over and over again. I have a strong disdain for lying. If a white man did the same thing and handled it the same way as Vick I’d feel the same way. I don’t expect everyone to handle it the way I do though. That would be ignorant of me. My problem with Bonds is pretty much the same thing. Please notice I didn’t reference their play. I don’t think Vick was a good quarterback. I’ve heard various arguments as to why he wasn’t more successful and I still don’t think he was a good quarterback. I think Bonds is the greatest baseball player of all time even though he took steroids IMO. As far as who wins MVPs, its all subjective. What I care about is who is the MVP of the finals. Brett Farve was one of my favorite players to watch although I didn’t like how he handled his last few years or so. I think Dan Marino is one of the most over-rated QBs of all time. I think Moon was great. I believe Derek Jeter didn’t take steroids. I don’t think Greg Maddux took steroids and being that he is not a power pitcher and pitched in the steroid era what he accomplished has been amazing. I don’t think white stars have more of a say than black stars as far as what happens with the team. Professional sports is a business and the green supercedes black and white.

    Oh and I’m from Dallas. I absolutley think T.O. was a team cancer. I think he had a history of being one. There were players in the locker room that supported him and there were players in the locker room that didn’t support him. It was actually more divided by the side of the ball the players played on nonetheless, it was divided. He was the dividing factor so I will call him a team cancer. Thats my opinion. Having said that, the biggest problem with this team is GM Jones. In the 90s we stockpiled picks and now we trade multiple picks for one player. Jimmy gave him the blueprint and he doesn’t use it. I’m not sold on Tony Romo. He turns the ball over too much. He holds on to the ball too long and that tells me he doesn’t have the smarts for the position. Dirk is over-rated. I can find a 6’7″ guy to play where he plays. I want my 7 footer to be able to play down low. He can’t. He’s slower than most and doesn’t have the defensive skills I want. His game is worse, not better in big games. Again these are my opinions. Enough about sports. When all is said and done none of us are getting into heaven based upon our sports knowledge or opinions. The comments here have been more about race.

    I want to address the “thug” issue. I’ve used it in reference to blacks and I’ve used it in reference to whites. I have never, before now, heard that “thug” is the new n*****. I’m sure there could be some that mean it that way. I certainly didn’t. A racist is always going to find a new word if you take his current word. I simply mean it as someone that disgusts me because of their actions, not their color. I’m not going to let any of you define it for me. I just gave you my definition. I’m not going to give “thug” or any other word that power. If you do, thats your choice. But I feel that if I start now by letting you define it for me than at some point you will define all my words for me. Are you going to let me define your words? I didn’t think so. Its more about intent isn’t it? I’m going to address N***** now. I don’t use it and I don’t care too but make no mistake. It will never go away until it is eliminated from all mouths. If you are black and you use it then please don’t tell whites they cant use it. Isn’t this all about equality and fairness? How is it fair if ony certain people can do it? I’m not concerned if you think you have a right to because of your history. It makes no sense to whites why you would use a word with such a negative meaning towards your culture. It seems like a small compromise to me to have to never hear that word again. The bottom line is this. If we all wait for the other side to change completely to our expectations before we make any changes to our behavior than nothing is going to ever change. I learned this in marriage counseling and I have found it to be an absolute truth.

    So why are you here in this forum? You want to point fingers? You want to pretend your color (black or white) has no responsibility for the racial tension in our world? If your answer is yes then I close with this paraphrased quote “Stop being part of the problem and start being part of the solution” -Bruce Willis in Die Hard

  21. Patrick says:

    ….”When it comes to Vick my problem with him is he lied over and over again. I have a strong disdain for lying. If a white man did the same thing and handled it the same way as Vick I’d feel the same way. I don’t expect everyone to handle it the way I do though. That would be ignorant of me. My problem with Bonds is pretty much the same thing. Please notice I didn’t reference their play. I don’t think Vick was a good quarterback…”

    What do you mean he lied over and over again?

    Mr Realist1:

    This is a quote from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution on April 26, 2007: “I’m never there. I’m never at the house,” Vick said Friday in New York. “I left the house with my family members and my cousin. They just haven’t been doing the right thing. The issue will get resolved.

    “It’s unfortunate I have to take the heat behind it. If I’m not there, I don’t know what’s going on. It’s a call for me to really tighten down on who I’m trying to take care of. When it all boils down, people will try to take advantage of you and leave you out to dry. Lesson learned for me.”

    I have heard the comment that ‘he lied over and over again’, but based on what factual evidence? In that graphic indictment written by the U.S. Attorney of Eastern Virginia (who took the case only weeks after taking office) it was devoid of the basic tenants of when, where, how… The indictment failed to detail when the deaths of the dogs on the Surry County property happened… in the indictment it said ‘sometime in April 2007′..yet their were more accurate depictions of Vick choosing a dog in 2001…was Vick even present when dogs were killed? Keep in mind that during April 2007 he was attending Falcon mini-camps.

    Dogfighting is brutal, but there isn’t a smoking gun directly linking Vick to this. No You tube video of him directing a dog fight or telling someone to kill a dog..none of that…

    Vick didn’t deny he had friends and acquaintances that he had trusted were doing things, but he didn’t live in Virginia on a daily basis…he lived in Atlanta most of the time…

    The Feds were determined to snare Vick and didn’t care if they had all the facts or even the basic facts such as whether he was there on that Virginia property when dogs died.

    And in this case, it was the first time in a generation that the Feds had taken a dogfighting case. The other time, in 2001, the case was thrown out, due to faulty search warrants.

    The property was in his name, but is guilt by association valid in this case..?

    Andy Reid’s kids were convicted of drug trafficking inside his home… how do we know whether Andy Reid was an active participant? BOTH SONS LIVED IN REID’S HOUSE, but Commissioner Goddell didn’t take Reid off the field…there was no push by the media to have Reid taken off the field..

    http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/news/story?id=2751912

    Or what about Spygate? You say you detest lying, but on the surface Goddell destroying those tapes look fishy and was worthy of some sort of federal investigation…don’t you think?

    http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/news/story?id=3246788

    Michael Vick had bad friends and despite that he had managed to stay out of trouble and had not been arrested until that 2007 event. Vick may be brash, cocky and should have acted sooner to get bad people away from him, but he should be afforded the same presumption of ‘innocent before proven guilty’…

    Many sports journalists already had a contempt for Vick because of his style of play so that appears to be an undercurrent and a bridge to believe that he is guilty of whatever the Feds say he did…

    Realist 1: the dogs that were taken off that Surry County property were portrayed as fighting dogs in April 2007, but court reports MONTHS later said the dogs were adoptable and none had any injuries…

    http://www.wkrg.com/local/article/vicks_dogs_adoptable/5600/

    Who’s lying or being misleading now? The Humane Society and PETA were advocating killing these dogs back in April 2007 and throughout the summer, but court reports about the CONDITION OF THE DOGS CONTRADICTED THEM..

    If they were lying about that, WHAT ELSE WERE THEY LYING ABOUT?

    To me, just like Barry Bonds, the Feds tried to RAILROAD both Vick and Bonds …Bonds who is older took it more seriously and lawyered up and that’s what Vick should have done.

    Once this case became a circus and the Court of Public Opinion became the Rule of Law, the media mob was relentless and the facts and the truth become irrelevant..

  22. theRealist1 says:

    Patrick,

    I respect your opinion, but you gave a quote from Vick in an Atlanta newspaper where he says and I’m paraphrasing “I didn’t do it.” Okay. He said he didn’t do it so he must be telling the truth. If everyone who was ever accused of a crime and said they didn’t do it was in fact telling the truth, we would have empty prisons. I gave you my opinion but if you want proof then I’ll post a link to what Vick admitted to in court papers. You’ll find that he admitted to the killing of dogs amongst other things he initially denied.

    http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/columns/story?columnist=munson_lester&id=2993310

    You stated that Andy Reid’s kids were convicted of drug dealing from Andy Reid’s home. The link you posted there actually says no charges have been filed at this time however I am aware that they (the kids) were charged later. I saw a news story here just yesterday were two young black men were pulled over for a violation (I don’t remember what it was) and the car was searched after determining that both men had outstanding warrants they found drugs that were in the shapes of Bart Simpson heads (I don’t remember the drug). Should I suspect their parents are drug dealers if the car belongs to one of their parents? No. I shouldn’t. That’s a big problem in our society. No one wants to be responsible for their own actions. I think you were some how trying the Reid story to support some kind of argument that Vick was guilty by association. Vick, before his admittal, was being named as a participant by his associates. Reid, to my knowledge, was never accused of participating in his son’s activites.

    I did have a problem with the destroying of the spygate tapes. I think they should have been made public. I do think it was fishy, but it wasn’t illegal. Steroid possession, use, and distribution is illegal without proper license and authority. No, I don’t think the spygate tapes warrant a congressional hearing or a federal investigation. I’m tired of my taxpayer dollars getting wasted on this stuff when our economy is in a downward spiral. I don’t think Congress or the Feds should have been involved in the steroid issue either. I think its a matter for local authorities. Oh, I think Roger Clemens is a liar and a cheat as well.

    I’m no fan of PETA. When I think of PETA I think of a bunch of crazy white women that love animals probably to the point of idolitry. So I guess I’m racist against my own kind and sexist too. I do not support PETA because I do not agree with their methods such as destroying the property of others. I am against cruelty to animals but you will never find me with a PETA membership.

    I wan’t to go back to Vick for second. I did eventually apologize and said he was turning his life over to God. That’s all I want from anybody. I forgave him. Now when he gets out I think he should have the privilege to play football again and I think owners should have the right not to hire him if the choose not to.

  23. Patrick says:

    Realist1:

    Vick was ultimately railroaded by the Commissioner and the Feds to sign on to that graphic, yet vague indictment BEFORE he officially plead guilty or attempt to take this to trial.

    http://www.boston.com/sports/football/articles/2007/07/24/nfl_orders_vick_out_of_training_camp/

    It was a very publicized case, but the actions of Goddell were unprecedented and targeted…

    Gerald Poindexter, who was the state attorney handling the case saw a double standard as well..

    Poindexter said he was “absolutely floored” that federal officials got involved, and that he believes he and Sheriff Harold D. Brown handled the investigation properly.

    “Apparently these people want it,” Poindexter said. “They want it, and I don’t believe they want it because of the serious criminal consequences involved. … They want it because Michael Vick may be involved.”

    http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/news/story?id=2897066

    Keep in mind, Vick had never been arrested before and a first time offender, but treated like he was Lawrence Phillips, Maurice Clarett, Rae Caruth and others…

    And realist1, the ‘double standard’ rule does come into affect… the way the press perceived Goddell’s role in the Spygate situation and the slap on the wrist of Belicheck and also how he handled the Matt Jones case..

    Matt Jones isn’t Michael Vick, but Jones is a millionaire, an NFL player and a starter for the 2008 Jaguars and is relatively known, but his situation was treated more cautiously by the legal system and the press.

    http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/news/story?id=3965961

    People such as yourself discredit Vick’s abilities as a QB, but at the same time lift him to another status when it comes to a legal situation like this.

    In March 2007, former Falcon defensive end, Patrick Kerney was involved in a situation, but the local and national media kept it under wraps.

    Kerney is white and not as popular as Vick, but Kerney is making 6 or 7 million dollars a year and been to Pro Bowls and is well-known among Atlanta..and he is a NFL player… Where was Goddell here? Another example of an apparent racial double standard…

    http://www.wsbtv.com/news/11299240/detail.html

    Call WSB-TV in Atlanta or the AJC? This March 2007 case was never solved and just faded away…if that was Vick or Vince Young or McNabb or even Albert Haynesworth, it would not have just FADED AWAY…

    ESPN push this Vick indictment, in my opinion, and colluded with the FBI..remember the Kelli Naqi interview that said Vick was a ‘pit bull dogfighter’?

    http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/news/story?id=2884063

    ESPN was actively trying to influence an investigation with a criminal informant…

    And tried to do the same thing with Pac Man Jones THIS YEAR, but he threatened to SUE ESPN and few days later, the person who accused Jones of arranging a hit BECAME PUBLIC and it was someone who was currently on trial for murder in Atlanta…

    ESPN’s ‘hit’ job on Vick with that Kelli Naqi Outside The lines piece was instrumental in having the Feds come in and pursuing the indictment..

    Vick didn’t have Billy Martin and actually was urged by the late Gene Upshaw to ‘lawyer up’, but ESPN tried to be the story..It didn’t quite work with Pac Man in regards to him arranging a hit, but it worked with Vick two years ago.

    The Feds had Vick in a corner and were willing to tie him up in court (if he had gone to trial) for YEARS…so he made a decision to plea guilty to get back on the field as fast as he can… If Vick would have taken this to trial, he would have won, but at what cost? Vick took responsibility for everything, because it was his only option after Goddell decided to suspend him indefinitely prior to him pleading guilty and accepting a plea agreement.

  24. Mizzo says:

    Headed to work the Sixers game fellas. If you have more than three links to your post your comment will be moderated. I’ll be back after 12 tonight to approve the comments if you choose to add multiple links. Be Peace.

  25. theRealist1 says:

    Patrick,

    Again, I respect your opinion but it is just that. I see no facts to support your argument and I believe he definitely would have taken it to court if he thought he would have won. He had millions riding on it. If he wins, he’s not going to prison and he’s not getting suspended. I don’t beleive Vick is being railroaded because he is black but I’m not saying its not a possibility. I can buy the argument that there is a problem with dogfighting and that he is the highest profile person out there and that getting him might send a message to those that are less profile. So I guess we both believe Poindexter but for different reasons.

    I think you are comparing apples to oranges when you compare Vicks coverage to Goodell’s coverage. Vick was being charged with federal crimes and had a worldwide organization after him. Goodell wasn’t being charged with a crime and didn’t have any organization after him. What level of coverage do you think he should have received? Is there a level you would have been okay with? I don’t llke how spygate was handled but no crimes were committed here.

    I don’t think Matt Jones is as recognizable as Vick or Patrick Kearney for that matter. If it was Manning, either one, he would be crucified by the media. Anyway thats my opinion, I don’t like the media when they slam all this negative journalism don our throats. I don’t always think its about race. I don’t think Vick or Pac or Tank was immediately suspended which is what you appear to be asking for. The recent Matt Jones stuff is still pretty recent. I haven’t been following it but I would expect at least a years suspension.

    I think your opinion that ESPN is or was working with the FEDs is pretty strong. I don’t think you or anyone else can prove it. I simply think they are after ratings. I didn’t watch the Pac story. I don’t need to to know that his heart isnt where it needs to be.

    Patrick, we’re going to have to agree that we have different opinions.

  26. Temple3 says:

    If you need an empirical analysis to demonstrate, the error of your ways, click the link below.

    http://sportsonmymind.com/category/featurearticles/modi-features/

  27. Realist1 says:

    Temple,

    I’ve read through MODI’s opinions of the ESPN articles. I’m going to need you to elaborate please on what specifically are the error of my ways before I can give you a proper response.

  28. Miranda says:

    SMH…………….oh for crying out loud………..sheesh……..smh

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