Friday, August 21, 2009

VERITAS: FIRST DOWN - MICHAEL VICK STARTS OVER

OK, look, I have two dogs myself and am therefore naturally predisposed to despise Michael Vick for what he did. But with the formerly high-flying NFL star now having done his prison time for running a dog-fighting ring, and being newly welcomed back to the game, I need to set that aside and do what we do here at TD&F – which is to analyze his communications efforts. So let’s just say that I think he is being very well advised. Many dumped all over his 60 Minutes interview from last Sunday as being too pat, too scripted, too insincere. It’s easily accessed online, so watch for yourself and decide. Personally, I don’t think you can ‘script’ a guy like Vick enough to withstand the pressure of a 60 Minutes grilling. Yes, sometimes his first response was about himself and his career, but so much of it was about remorse, regret and understanding of his crime – and a commitment to work personally to reconcile – that I call it a solid First Down in the rehabilitation of Michael Vick’s image. What really solidifies it are the comments of the head of the U.S. Humane Society (their involvement with Vick itself the subject of recent TD&F comment), who endorses Vick’s involvement in their awareness efforts, and who also says he won’t hesitate to hang Vick if he fails to live up to his promises. That’s not only a third-party endorsement but a third-party threat – both of which – along with walking his own talk - offer Vick the renewed credibility that he now so desperately needs. We’ll be watching.

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