Tag Archive | "Atlanta Falcons"

Michael Vick says if not Caught He’d Likely Still be Dogfighting


Michael Vick would still be engaged in dog fighting had he not been caught and prosecuted. He admitted that Monday Vickmorning on the Dan Patrick radio program in an interview during which he touched on his year as a Philadelphia Eagle as well as his time in prison.Vick was open with Patrick whose questions covered what could have been uncomfortable topics. But then again, Vick was also promoting his BET series, “The Michael Vick Project” that premieres Tuesday at 10 pm ET.

He told Patrick about his early introduction to dog fighting “I was seven years old the first time I saw one,” Vick said. “It wasn’t organized. It was just taking place in an open area in the neighborhoods.” But he knows it’s no excuse, “It really doesn’t override the fact that we should have known better,” Vick said.

And then he admitted the sad truth about what would have happened had he not been caught. He answered Patrick’s direct question about whether he would still be engaged in the business of dog fighting: “That’s the scary thing,” Vick said. “I think about it. I would have continued to put my life in jeopardy. From a distance I would have still been involved.”

Although many organizations and fans believe Vick shouldn’t get another chance, some believe he deserves a shot as expressed in this article by an NFL sportswriter, “Michael Vick Deserves Fresh Start”.

About his prison experience, Vick said he was challenged by other inmates while incarcerated but he dismissed it as merely the norm for that environment. On the other side of things, he told Patrick was asked for his autograph by some inmates.

And while he will be eternally grateful to the owner of the Philadelphia Eagles, Jeffrey Lurie for the chance to reenter the league, he still yearns to play quarterback on a regular basis.

Vick said he would return to the Eagles if a trade isn’t worked out in the off-season. “If I had to, I would, just because I’m thankful,” Vick said. He insisted his body is ready for many more years of NFL work load.

This is just a taste of what we can expect from the show in which Vick and his family appear and which he wants to use, to “restore my family’s good name., as quoted at phily.com in a review of his show.

Used with permission of the author.

Paula Duffy is a national sports columnist for Examiner.com and the Huffington Post and regularly comments on sports/legal matters for radio affiliates of ESPN and Fox Sports. She founded the sports information site, Incidental Contact, is the author of a line of audio books designed for sports novices and in her spare time practices law in Los Angeles. 

Copyright ©2010 Sports Climax, LLC

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Falcons’ Babineaux Arrested on Marijuana Charges


ATLANTA – Atlanta  Falcons defensive tackle Jonathan Babineaux was arrested by Gwinnett County police on chajonathon-babineauxrges of marijuana possession with intent to distribute.

The officer making the arrest reported that he smelled marijuana coming from the player’s SUV during a routine traffic stop Thursday night.

Babineaux, 28, was released from the Gwinnett County jail around 5 a.m. this morning after posting a required $8,300 bond. The player has had a few other run-ins with the law in Gwinnett County.

The player was arrested in Lawrenceville, GA by Gwinnett County police in 2007 on a felony count of animal abuse after his wife rushed their pet dog to an animal emergency clinic and accused Babineaux of abusing the animal and causing the death.

Charges were later dismissed in that particular case siting lack of evidence.

Here are some of the charges copied from the official arresting police documents charging Babineaux (the police spelled his name incorrectly on the docs).

12/11/2009 5:10:00 AM BABINEOUX JONATHAN JOEL, LEGENDS CLUB CIR, BRASELTON GA 30517 *NO DRIVERS LICENSE $650 SB Photo

12/11/2009 1:01:00 AM 12/11/2009 5:10:00 AM BABINEOUX JONATHAN JOEL, LEGENDS CLUB CIR, BRASELTON GA 30517 TAG LIGHT VISIBLE 50 FT. $650 SB Photo

12/11/2009 5:10:00 AM BABINEOUX JONATHAN JOEL, LEGENDS CLUB CIR, BRASELTON GA 30517 MATERIALS ON WINDSHIELD/LIGHT $650 SB Photo

AM 12/11/2009 5:10:00 AM BABINEOUX JONATHAN JOEL, LEGENDS CLUB CIR, BRASELTON GA 30517 *VGCSA POSS OF MARIJUANA W/INTENT TO DIS $5700 SB Photo

12/11/2009 5:10:00 AM BABINEOUX JONATHAN JOEL 99313464 99313464 5659 LEGENDS CLUB CIR, BRASELTON GA 30517 EXPIRED TAG $650 SB Photo

Copyright © 2009 – Sports Climax

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Falcons’ Tony Gonzalez & Wife Naked in PETA Ad?


ATLANTA – Snatching catches from Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan isn’t the only endeavor NFL all-pro tight end Tony peta-adGonzalez has gotten involved in lately.

Gonzalez and his wife October may have posed nude for a PETA ad that promotes nudity over wearing fur.

“We should be protecting animals, not sacrificing their lives for the sake of fashion or luxury,” said Gonzalez in a recent interview. “October and I have changed many of our habits in light of the inhumane treatment of animals that occurs not only in the fur industry but also on factory farms.”

Maybe this gesture by the NFL superstar will be considered somewhat of a make-up and peace treaty to PETA.

The organization has shown bitterness and animosity toward the NFL after the league allowed Michael Vick to play after he was convicted and served time for running a dog-fighting ring.

Copyright © 2009 – Sports Climax

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Vick Deserves Fresh Start in the NFL


Since Michael Vick met with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and cleared the first hurdle in returning to the NFL, Credit: APthe internet has become saturated with polls debating whether or not Goodell should have reinstated the player who was convicted of running an illegal dog-fighting ring and animal abuse.

Seeing the results of many of these polls favoring that Vick be banned from the NFL for life, it is evident how hostile and out-of-touch our country has become.

It’s like an emotional lynch-mobbing.

One Carolina television station poll showed viewers 61% in favor of a lifetime ban with comments like, “The judicial system sucks. [Vick] should be still in jail, leashed to his bunk.”

In recent history, several people have made serious mistakes, many more severe than Vick’s, but our society has elected to ignore those criminals while becoming obsessed with creating a villain out of Vick.

Over the years, the mainstream media and many of its followers have blown off the illegal behavior of corrupt politicians, athletes and businessmen, granting them forgiveness for their acts after they appear at a podium in their suit simply saying the words, “I’m sorry.”

Others like Vick pay a severe debt losing tens of millions of dollars while serving long prison sentences then find themselves battling an aggressive media and overzealous society when they are released.

What Michael Vick did was brutal, inhumane and illegal. He knows it, the general population knows it and the judicial system knows it, that’s why they acted on it so aggressively, hitting Vick with a sentence so severe, it could have destroyed the man’s life and career.

As with any other former prisoner who has paid their debt and served their time, our system is structured to offer a fair opportunity and reintroduce these United States citizens back into society.

Vick’s situation should be no different than anyone else who abused animals and served a sentence for the acts but because of his popularity many are labeling him as a villain who does not deserve the same opportunity other ex-convicts are granted.

When people fill sports blogs with comments how Vick should “never take another snap in the NFL,” where is their reasoning?

The man has spent almost two prime years of his life in prison for animal abuse. Think about that in its literal sense.

Do those opposing Vick’s return feel other ex-cons should not be allowed an opportunity to go back to the careers they had prior to their sentence? Should a bricklayer be banned from laying a roadway; an accountant banned from operating a calculator?

At the time of his conviction, Vick’s job was throwing a football in the NFL. It would be un-American to ban the accountant or bricklayer from returning to work, just as it would to ban Vick from returning to the career he had prior to his conviction.

Vick, once the highest-paid player in the NFL, released a statement regarding his return. “I would like to express my sincere gratitude and appreciation to commissioner Goodell for allowing me to be readmitted to the National Football League. As you can imagine, the last two years have given me time to re-evaluate my life, mature as an individual and fully understand the terrible mistakes I have made in the past and what type of life I must lead moving forward.”

I wish Vick the best and hope he capitalizes on an opportunity to show others how to take advantage of the opportunity granted to him by the NFL.

Thank you, Roger Goodell, for doing the right thing.

Related Stories:
Vick Should Be Compensated For Wine Bottles
Vick Makes Plea Deal
Vick Released From Federal Custody

Copyright © 2009 – Sports Climax

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Vick Released From Federal Custody


ATLANTA – Michael Vick finished a dismal chapter of his life as a convict and is expecting to pursue donning an NFL  (AP Photo/Haraz N. Ghanbari, Pool)jersey again.

Vick’s attorney Lawrence Woodward said outside Vick’s suburban Virginia home that the former Atlanta Falcons quarterback had been released from federal custody after completing his 23-month sentence for his dog-fighting conviction.

Now that Vick has formally paid his debt to society and traded in his home-confinement electronic monitor, he is expected to step up his efforts to resume his pro football career but it will not be in Atlanta.

With Associated Press 2008 NFC Offensive Rookie-of-the-Year Matt Ryan taking snaps for the Falcons, the team released Vick in June, making the former Pro-Bowler available to speak to other teams once he is cleared to play.

Vick is expected to request a meeting soon with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell who earlier had promised to review Vick’s status after Vick completed his sentence.

A statement from the NFL did not include any timeline on when that meeting would take place. “The review of his status is ongoing, but we are providing no other details at this time,” said NFL spokesman Greg Aiello.

Back in April Goodell commented on Vick. “Michael did an egregious thing,” said Goodell. “He has paid a very significant price for that.”

To the displeasure of some of our fans and readers, Sports Climax took the stand that Vick should be compensated by the wine company who used his name as a marketing ploy to sell their product.

It’s hard not to agree with Goddell when he says the man has paid a huge price. It’s time to welcome Vick back into society and into the NFL in time for this upcoming season.

Copyright © 2009 – Sports Climax

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NFL rookie coaches pumped up for playoffs


MIAMI – (AP Photo/Ed Zurga)Four NFL teams took a gamble hiring rookie head coaches before the season started and the moves paid off for three  of those teams who find themselves with 11-5 records and gearing up to take the field this weekend in the playoffs.Miami Dolphins rookie head coach Tony Sparano orchestrated one of the most impressive turnarounds in NFL history. Taking over a 1-15 team, Sparano, who worked under Bill Parcells in Dallas, succeeded under pressure when he and his ‘fins went into the Meadowlands as underdogs the last game of the season and upset Brett Favre and the Jets to steal the AFC East division title and finish with an 11-5 record.

Atlanta Falcons rookie head coach Mike Smith and Baltimore Ravens John Harbaugh also took over struggling franchises and finished with the same 11-5 record.

Against the opinion of much of the media, both coaches made gutsy decisions, opting to start their first-round quarterback picks Matt Ryan and Joe Flacco Week One of the season.

Ryan, who won the AP Rookie-of-the-Year and Flacco capitalized on the opportunity and went on a record-setting journey, starting all 16 games and leading their teams to wild-card berths.

After completing several interviews during the offseason, Ravens’ owner Steve Biscotti said his decision to hire Harbaugh was just a simple “gut feeling” after Dallas Cowboys offensive coordinator Jason Garrett turned down an offer for the job. As fate would have it, Garrett has hung up his headset for the season and Harbaugh is playoff bound and sure to receive some Coach-of-the-Year votes.

It’s hard not to cheer for these guys since they stepped into such challenging roles on struggling teams in the rebuilding phase.

Interesting fact is, with the Ravens facing the Dolphins one of these men are guaranteed to make it to the next round of the playoffs.

Cast your vote for Sports Climax NFL Coach-of-the-Year on our homepage.

Copyright © 2009 – Sports Climax

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NFL Offensive Rookie-of-the-Year award


NEW YORK – Heading into Week 17 in the NFL, it’s time to give serious thought to who may be voted the AP NFL Offensive Rookie-of-the-Year for 2008.

flacco-draft-dayLast year’s voting was cut and dry with Minnesota Viking Adrian Peterson running away with the honors but this year’s rookie crop is overflowing with a smorgasbord of talent.

Atlanta Falcons QB Matt Ryan is drawing a lot of attention but there are some AP voters also keeping a close eye on Baltimore Ravens QB Joe Flacco.

Both quarterbacks have started their NFL careers at a phenomenal winning pace, going 10-5.

The running back position is also stacked. Three rookies have already joined this year’s 1000-yard club.

Chris Johnson Titans (1,228 yds) , Steve Slaton Texans (1,190 yds) and Matt Forte Bears (1,115 yds) all deserve to be considered. In addition to leading the Bears in rushing yards, Forte also leads his team in receptions with 58 for 424 yards.

Another rookie offensive showcase can be found in the Rocky Mountains. In the first NFL game of his career, WR Eddie Royal of the Broncos came out of the gate with a vengeance, taking former Pro Bowler DB DeAngelo Hall to school much of the game.

Royal finished his inaugural game with 9 catches for 146 yards; a 16.2 yd. average. Royal’s stats have been steady since totaling 80 receptions for 904 yards.

Voting for the NFL Offensive Rookie-of-the-Year will be a difficult task for the AP voters this season and it’s hard to predict who will be crowned the king of this year’s collection of rookies.

If I had to vote today, I would choose one of the quarterbacks since it is the hardest position to step into and the hardest to master.

So Matt Ryan is my choice because his QB rating is higher and some other important stats like his TD to INT ratio is better than Flacco’s.

Go vote on our Sports Climax poll located on our homepage. The ballot contains all 6 of these star players and last time I looked, there was a three-way tie for first.

It will be interesting to see how you sport junkies will stack up against the final tally of the Associated Press.

Copyright © 2008 – Sports Climax

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Matt Ryan puts Falcons back on NFL map


ATLANTA – There’s a buzz around the city of Atlanta . . . the buzz?

The Atlanta Falcons have been put back on the NFL map.

The unexpected early success of the Falcons, (6-4 overall and 4-1 at the Georgia Dome) is lifting the fortitude of the city. Many predicted this young team with a rookie head coach to be a cellar-dweller.

That is certainly not the case and sports chatter is picking up steam at the local coffee houses and on the streets. The sports aura that hovered over the city had been depressing lately with the Falcons imploding.

Michael Vick was in shackles, the Falcon’s head coach Bobby Petrino like the ‘Cowardly Lion’ snuck out of town with his tail between his legs and many of the Falcons’ star players abandoned ship or were traded away for pennies on the dollar.

So much has changed in such a short time. The Falcons, under the leadership of rookie head coach Mike Smith and rookie-of-the-year candidate QB Matt Ryan continue to find ways to overcome the underdog role and win. In fact they have become favorites in some of their recent games.

The NFL has taken notice of the Falcons. The league pushed the November 23 Falcons/Panthers kickoff to 4:15 and upgraded the matchup to a national game.

Coach Smith commented on that compliment from the league, “It’s an honor for our football team for that to take place.”

Full story in The Sunday Paper-Atlanta

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Atlanta Sports Teams Creating Big Buzz


Previously published in The Sunday Paper – Atlanta November 16, 2008

ATLANTA, GA. – There’s a buzz around the ATL, and it’s gaining momentum by the minute. For some it’s a cure for the Matt Ryan Atlanta Falconsstress brought on by billion-dollar bailouts, drawn-out wars, historic home foreclosure rates, the threat of recession. This fix comes in the form of two birds: Hawks and Falcons.

The Atlanta Falcons (4-0 at the Georgia Dome, 6-3 overall) and Atlanta Hawks (6-1 as The Sunday Paper went to press on Thursday) both sprinted out of the gate with ferocious starts in 2008, and are putting Atlanta back on the sports map. The Hawks are enjoying their best start since 1997.

And after underachieving seasons by both the Braves and Thrashers, the timing couldn’t be better.

For years, sports fans have leaned on their teams to provide an escape from the pressures of everyday life. When those teams are winning, it helps pull the city and fans out of their funks.

Detroit is a perfect example. The Motor City holds the crown for most troubling economy and severe collapse in real estate values. But when their Red Wings or Pistons take home a crown, millions take to the streets to celebrate, leaving their troubles locked up at home (if it hasn’t been taken by the bank yet).

That’s what Atlanta is experiencing right now. In the coffeehouses and on the streets of this city, sports chatter is picking up steam. Spirits are being lifted.

“The sports bars have been packed with local fans,” says Vinings resident Megan Harpring. Megan is no stranger to sports-she played basketball at Georgia Tech, and her brother plays for the NBA’s Utah Jazz.

“It’s filling everyone’s lives with something positive, something exciting,” she continues. “The success of the Falcons-it’s a motivator. We’re getting excited about the next game, the next weekend.”

Lawrenceville resident Derek Wheeler, another avid sports fan who played baseball for UGA, attended the Falcons’ miraculous last-second comeback against the Bears this year at the Dome and the Hawks’ Game 6 win against the Celtics last season. He is thrilled with his local teams. “It’s unbelievable, isn’t it?” he says. “I never would have thought the Falcons would have a year like this. And the Hawks-last year wasn’t a fluke at all.”

DOOM AND GLOOM

This aura of excitement stands in sharp relief to the dark clouds that have hovered over the city in the recent past.

When Atlanta’s All-Pro quarterback Michael Vick was sent off to live behind bars, doom and gloom set in for the city’s sports fans. And it only got worse. Their star player in shackles, their team a laughingstock, their head coach Bobby Petrino snuck out of town in the dead of night with his tail between his legs. Many of the Falcons’ star players abandoned ship or were traded away for pennies on the dollar.

A lot has changed since then. The Falcons, under the leadership of rookie general manager Thomas Dimitroff, rookie head coach Mike Smith and rookie-of-the-year candidate Matt Ryan at quarterback, continue to find ways to overcome their underdog status and win games.

No longer are fans wondering whether the Falcons have what it takes. The new questions on the street are: “Michael who?” “Bobby who?”

The NFL is certainly taking notice of the new Falcons. The league pushed the Nov. 23 Falcons/Panthers kickoff to 4:15 p.m. and upgraded the matchup to a national game. “I think that … is confirmation that we are doing things right,” Coach Smith said during a press conference last week.

The 23-year-old Ryan, fresh out of Boston College, has replaced Vick in the hearts and minds of Falcon fans and the general public. Vick is still listed as “suspended” on the Falcons’ team roster, but most expect him to be officially released soon after he swaps his prison garb for civilian clothes sometime next year.

At the Falcons’ side are the overachieving Atlanta Hawks, led by All-Star Joe Johnson, who always manages to shine while coasting under the NBA radar.

The Hawks’ performance in last year’s NBA playoff series against the heavily favored Boston Celtics brought life back to the lackluster franchise. Those young, inexperienced Hawks were expected to be swept off the planet in four merciless games. But they refused to go down without a fight, taking the Celtics (who eventually took the championship) to seven games.

Seven games into the 2008-09 season (at press time), the Hawks are continuing where they left off. Before Wednesday’s loss to the Celtics, they were the only unbeaten team in the entire Eastern Conference-that’s right, a hotter start than the Celtics, Pistons or Cavaliers. The 2009 NBA All-Star ballot includes five Hawks: Johnson, Josh Smith, Mike Bibby, Al Horford and Marvin Williams.

HOMETOWN HEROES

Local sports-talk radio programs have been bombarded with excited callers, heaping praise on the Hawks with comments like “They’re playing with passion” and “it’s awesome to watch.”

As Christopher Rude, co-host of the “Rude Awakening” morning show on 680 the Fan, put it: “Sports fans in Atlanta are guardedly optimistic.”

Marc Stein’s Week Two NBA power rankings on ESPN.com had the Hawks ranked fifth out of 30 teams in the league. “Atlanta has deservedly gate-crashed the top five with its first 5-0 start in a decade,” Stein wrote last week.

Considering that both teams’ rosters were recently stuffed with unknowns and rookies who were considered fortunate to be wearing pro uniforms, the fact that they’ve both stepped up and are quickly making names for themselves while returning a sense of pride to Atlanta fans seems nothing less than incredible.

I was at Ryan’s first game against the Detroit Lions, and witnessed his first NFL pass in front of his new hometown fans. The ball was snatched up by Michael Jenkins, who galloped 62 yards into the end zone. Last weekend against the New Orleans Saints, 22-year-old rookie Chevis Jackson intercepted a Drew Brees pass and raced 95 yards for a TD with 1:17 left to play, sealing another victory for the Falcons at the Dome.

Plays like these are like paper shredders, taking the heart-wrenching negative headlines we’ve been force-fed all week and slicing them to ribbons-at least for a moment.

We all need heroes. The larger-than-life champions in summer action films sweep us away from the doldrums of our current realities. And young, enthusiastic athletes like Matt Ryan and Al Horford, and men like Joe Johnson and John Abraham-guys who show up every day and play their hearts out, determined to overcome adversity-are doing the same.

Copyright © 2008 – Sports Climax

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Michael Vick to change plea on Dogfighting Charges


ATLANTA – Former Atlanta Falcon QB Michael Vick plans to change his plea next week on state dog-fighting charges in Virginia.

Vick initially pleaded not guilty to the charges but according to sources, will change his plea in a deal that would include a suspended sentence and one additional year of probation. 

Vick is currently serving a 23-month sentence in the Leavenworth, Kansas federal prison.

According to Surry County administrator, Sally Neblett, a court date and hearing for the state charges is scheduled for Oct. 30.

Vick’s attorneys made a motion to present the plea and it will be done via video camera from the Kansas facility.

The strategy by Vick and his legal team is to plea out on these state charges then hope to get an early release from the current 23-month sentence in return.

Vick’s former team, the NFL Falcons, is currently 4-2 and making giant strides with their rookie sensation and No. 3 overall draft pick, quarterback Matt Ryan.

Prior to his arrest and conviction, Vick was the highest paid player in the NFL after signing a contract said to be worth the neighborhood of $100 million.

Copyright © 2008 – Sports Climax

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