Firebirds throw a bomb

vick dog chew

Luckily for the Firebirds, dogs don't buy season tickets.

Updated Wednesday morning

The Firebirds owner says the offer was "a big mistake."

Updated at 1:55 pm

The Albany Firebirds -- yep, the once and now-again minor league arena football team -- have announced that they're offering Michael Vick a contract. If you don't follow sports, Michael Vick is the former NFL quarterback who went to prison after he pleaded guilty to being involved with dog fighting.

So, um, he has baggage. But everyone deserves a second chance, right? Especially if you're 0-5. From the Firebirds press release (emphasis added):

"At the start of the season we'd made the decision as an organization not to pursue Michael," said General Manager Garen Szablewski. "However, in light of the team's recent struggles, we were forced to re-examine the issue. After days of heated debate within the front office, we put together an offer that made everyone comfortable with the idea of singing [sic] him."

The Firebirds are trying to cover themselves by including a clause in the contract that requires Vick to give $100,000 to the Mohawk and Hudson River Humane Society.

Vick, who's still in prison, will almost certainly not sign with the Firebirds. According to the team's press release, their league prohibits them from signing players who are currently suspended from the NFL. And if the NFL commissioner lifts Vick's suspension -- which it sounds like is a possibility at some point -- Vick will probably get a job in the NFL. Whatever issues he may have, he's a freakish athlete.

Which makes all this... some kind of weird PR stunt? Whatever happened to bobblehead day?

Update at 1:55 pm

From a post on the blog for humane society executive director Brad Shear:

Rather than money, I would like to see Michael Vick become a member of the Capital Region community who works to prevent animal cruelty and put a stop to dog fighting. I think that his time and proper use of his fame will be a much better indicator of a change in attitude than writing a check, even if it is to a worthy cause.

[via]

photo: Flickr user nineball2727

Comments

Foolish, transparent, and poorly conceived.

Oh, and by the way: Vick doesn't even have $100,000. http://tinyurl.com/cf45bc

Well at least he's not being asked to coach Great Danes Football. Awkward!

First of all, love the pic! That's priceless. Second, I agree with Mr. Shear, money just won't cut it. If Michael Vick truly has had a change of heart, then he should do more than whip out his wallet.

Oh, and if he does land another gig in th NFL, what a great role model! [that was filled with sarcasm, if you didn't catch it]

I'm not going to go into the laundry list of things that are wrong with this offer. Instead, I'll file it under "The who?"

What I will say is that I think Brad Shear's got it right-- experience may be far more effective than a payout. I would love to see Vick get involved with a group like PAWS (http://www.pawsnycapitalregion.org/), so that he can actually witness for himself what having a pet can truly mean to a person who doesn't have the world at their disposal.

A dubious move by a franchise that needs the press.

From the "any press is good press files" I guess. Perhaps the 'birds talen evaluators should next call the Cincy Bengals for further team building advice.

We have an arena football team? Seriously?

Apparently, the players aren't the only losers at the Albany Firebirds organization. Not that I was inclined to anyway, but this assures that I won't be attending any Firebirds games, unless it's to stand outside and fling dog poop at Garen Szablewski.

Wait, I thought they were called the "Conquest".
Agree with G. I'll be staying as far from them as possible. In fact I think we should encourage everyone we know to avoid their games and send them letters asking them to get the hell out of Albany. F--- em.

Yawn. Another irrelevant organization trying to make a PR splash.

What's surprising is that the media took the bait -- It was Capital News 9's lead sports story last night. Geez!

I can't believe I'm saying this but I'm torn. I don't want to support someone so inhumane and depraved as Michael Vick but I was really looking forward to supporting a local team that creates local jobs. Then again, if they think they made an offer good enough for a spoiled *sshat like Vick then maybe they don't need my money. I'll give it to the ASPCA.

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