Friday, August 14, 2009

WIP Radio should be a ton of fun today

So Philadelphia is the place where the Michael Vick Media Circus will occur. Early reaction there is largely puzzlement with some dismay mixed in. This is a curious move for the Eagles. Donovan McNabb is getting old and has had injury issues. Kevin Kolb has a knee injury and hasn't shown much to indicate he's ready to be McNabb's successor. If Vick shows them enough, maybe he's the man next year. On the other hand, Vick's previous experience in the West Coast offense wasn't very good - it prioritizes decision making and accuracy, neither of which are his best skills. One thing for sure: tickets for the Eagles visit to the Georgia Dome December 6 are suddenly going to be much more expensive. Lifelong Philly fan John Kincade is on vacation, but I suspect you'll still hear him turn up on 680 the Fan in Atlanta today. It should be some must hear radio when he does.

As for Vick himself, we'll see what he has to say Sunday on "60 Minutes" but he has now spoken on the record to a newspaper from Virginia. Reading his comments, I get the impression he's going to say the right things but still doesn't really get it. It's easy to forget that even before the dog fighting mess came to light Vick was involved with multiple embarassing episodes. Among other things he flicked off the Atlanta fans, had the infamous water bottle with hidden compartment at the airport, and became famous for his use of Ron Mexico as an alias. Will Vick go back to dogfighting again? Of course not - even if he wanted to, the dog fighting thugs would likely assume it was some sort of sting operation and steer clear of him. Saying his 2010 will be about "being the face of the NFL for the next ten years" doesn't convey that Vick has been very humbled by his experience, though.

College sports are all about the student-athletes getting to enjoy the thrill of competition. It's not about the money, which is why the NCAA is looking to raise the cost of applying to join Division 1 (and get a share of the basketball tournament money) from fifteen thousand to to one million dollars. Remember, it's all about the kids.

When I was a kid, I collected baseball cards and enjoyed it. Unfortunately, too many companies got involved with the hobby around the end of the Eighties. It used to be a challenge to put together a full set, but they began printing so many copies of the "basic" cards that stores couldn't give them away. Meanwhile, new high tech lines of cards came out that focused more on ultra fancy photos and "rare inserts" but also would cost two to three bucks for a pack with half a dozen cards. It was all just too much, and so the business has largely died. Now MLB has reduced the number of licensed companies to one: Topps. They're hoping this will regenerate interest, but I'm afraid it's too late. A kid today can see a hundred photos of his favorite player on the guy's website, and maybe follow him on Twitter. His stats are available instantly anytime. Even if baseball is lucky enough to have a 12 year old be a fan, why would he feel the need to buy a pack of cards anymore?

I'm looking forward to getting down to Gainesville tonight after my show. Haven't been there since April, which is the longest I've been away since enrolling in 1991. I'll be doing interviews for some of my work after practice Saturday morning and then writing them up over the next few days. Hope your weekend is a good one - see you back here Monday.

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