Monday, July 18, 2011

Really, NIKE, Really?

Earlier this month, sports-everything giant NIKE made a marketing decision that I cannot believe: They have decided to resign former dog fighter and current Eagles QB Michael Vick to an endorsement deal, hence returning him to their mega-influential stable of top-tier athletes. To this shocking news I only have one thing to say: Hhhhhhhhhhhhhhuuuuuuuuuhhhhhhhhhhh??????????

In case you forgot, let me remind you. After signing a $125 million contract with the Atlanta Falcons, Vick himself serially slaughtered animals with his own hands. He strangled, drowned, hanged, electrocuted, and beat unprofitable dogs to death while being coveted as the “Face of the NFL.” His multi-million-dollar property was a cemetery of pit bull carcasses left for decay in shallow graves. When simply crucifying dogs proved boring, Vick fed his family purebred to a cage of pit bulls, just to watch it get ripped to shreds. When defending Vick’s K9 crime spree, former Knick Stephon Marbury called dogfighting part of “their” culture. If Marbury meant poor or Southern culture, I don’t know what that has to do with an athlete sitting on the-then richest contract in NFL history.

But let’s forget that for a second as I pose the following 2 questions.

1)Why would NIKE, the gold standard for athlete endorsements, the company that could have any athlete in the world, the company that boasts such names as Tiger, Kobe, LeBron, and Jordan, global icons/champions, ever waste their time with a guy who isn’t even one of the 10 best QB’s in football (flash-in-the-pan 2010 season aside)? Why not sign Aaron Rodgers? What a great rags-to-riches story he was. The same year Favre fizzles out, Rodgers finally emerges from #4's shadow as a champion. Vick has not and will NEVER win a Super Bowl. Mark my words. He’s way too stupid to do that. Do you understand (after talent) the character and top-drawer nature of a man who can lead an NFL organization to the promise land? Do you understand how elite such a man is? Nobody who would be so characterless to slaughter dogs with $125 million in the bank is ever taking a team to such rarified air. No way is a person who lacks so much character considered by anybody to be a leader of men.

“But, Brian, Trent Dilfer won a Super Bowl and he stunk.” Maybe. But there is also a reason why ESPN made Dilfer their top NFL analyst. If you ever want to see how brilliant he is when it comes to the X's and O's of football, turn on NFL Live any given day for the next six months. Trust me, you’ll understand why Dilfer led a team to the Super Bowl, while he himself had marginal talent, at best. Michael Vick can’t even read a playbook. He’s a moron from Virginia, just like his trashcan brother, Marcus. Trash doesn’t win the Super Bowl at QB. Not in this NFL. No way.

“But, Brian, he sells a lot of jerseys.”

Which leads me to my 2nd question. 2)What complete maniac is actually going out and buying Michael Vick apparel? You’re joking, right? Look, I’m not saying that Eagles fans should stop being Eagles fans, but do we live in a country where a Vick #7 jersey is the top-selling in the NFL? Are parents buying Vick products for their kids? Do teenagers look up to Vick? Who is buying so much Vick stuff that NIKE HAS to be on the Michael Vick money-making express?

It is too shocking to understand on any level. “But, Brian, he’s made a lot of positive changes in his life.” NOPE!!! You slaughter dogs for no reason, family dog included: GAME OVER! Plus, I have another big point to stress here, so listen up, NIKE,Vick isn’t even that good!!

This whole Michael Vick thing has baffled me from the first reports of dead pit bulls on his property. There are only a few crimes that I cannot understand and can never forgive, and slaughtering dogs is A-1 top of the list. If Vick wants to make a living, fine. If the NFL wants to invite him back into the game, umm, OK, fine. If the Eagles, an otherwise classy organization, want to make him the face of their team, really?, umm, OK, I guess. But does NIKE, who literally wallpapers their corporate offices with money, need to celebrate Vick by giving him an endorsement deal? Does that really need to happen?

If it was a company like Reebok or Puma, one of the athletic suppliers trying to do something desperate to steal some of NIKE’s market share, I could kind of, sort of understand this resigning. But for NIKE to do it, well, it's almost like slaughtering innocent dogs when you're already a millionaire.

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Brian Huba

1 comment:

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