A Story Involving Mike Vick, a Buffalo Wild Wings, Death Threats, and an Ex-MMA Fighter Who Wants Vick in a Cage

A Story Involving Mike Vick, a Buffalo Wild Wings, Death Threats, and an Ex-MMA Fighter Who Wants Vick in a Cage

What the hell is going on here?

The Huffington Post has a story about a Mike Vick appearance at a Buffalo Wild Wings that's been cancelled, although it turns out he was never really scheduled for such an appearance, protests were promised, death threats are being mailed, and, then in a separate but semi-connected chain of events, an ex-MMA fighter with a heart condition wants to fight Vick.

OK, let's try to tease this out.

Vick was allegedly scheduled for an autograph signing in York, Pa. on Oct. 31. Amidst some blowback, the Buffalo Wild Wings chain cancelled the event. A company spokesman told the Huffington Post the cancellation had nothing to do with negative publicity and that the real problem is that the appearance was never authorized via the appropriate channels.

Vick's agent, in a later update, e-mailed HuffPo himself to clarify that his client was never even booked for the event. So these kinds of protests posted on Facebook ...

"You suck. Your food sucks. Anyone who eats there sucks. And whoever thought liking/ supporting Michale Vick should burn in hell."

... were for naught.

Don't worry this is going somewhere.

Despite Buffalo Wild Wings' claim that this event was never approved and the Vick camp's claim that this was never happening anyway, a woman named Jamie Bartolo, the co-owner of JJ Cards N Toys, has been receiving death threats. Bartolo's company appears to have been the third party who was organizing the event at Buffalo Wild Wings, and she told a CBS affiliate she's been receiving the following messages:

"The message was, 'I wish your wife and kids would die,'" said Jamie Bartolo, co-owner, JJ Cards-N-Toys. Bartolo says there were thousands of them. "We're getting a lot of comments focused towards my family, hurting them, wishing they were dead, making comments that we are vile people for bringing him to this area," she added.

To recap so far, Buffalo Wild Wings denies an event was ever approved, Vick's people deny he was ever booked, and this woman, who claims she's an animal lover, is receiving death threats over an event that was never actually going to happen. So naturally, Joe Bartolo, fellow co-owner of JJ Cards N Toys, is insisting it's still going to happen.

Joe told the York Daily Record that "we are definitely going to have the signing," with the following caveats:

The location will be released on Monday or Tuesday to customers on the store's email list but will not be announced on social media accounts."Until then, we do not want people talking about it," Bartolo said.

The event might be promoted as an event with Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson instead of a Michael Vick event so that it does not garner as much national attention, he said.

Well, that plan kind of seems out the window now, since you know, he explained it, and it's now caught national attention. Solid work out of Joe. Jamie's receiving death threats and he's hosting Inside the Magician's Secrets.

Anyway, you still hanging around here? Be glad. Here's the part where a guy tries to fight Vick.

Gordon Shell, 44, is an ex-MMA fighter who stepped away from a 20-year career after being diagnosed with a heart condition. Shell now spends his time raising awareness for animal cruelty, and in spite of his condition, he wants one more fight -- with Vick.

He's willing to get punched one more time, though, if Vick says yes to what Shell hopes will be a match shown on Pay Per View, that would raise money for animal rescue groups and would also satisfy those who believe the now-Philadelphia Eagles quarterback's jail sentence and fines haven't been punishment enough.

"If you truly want redemption, if you truly want to be free, people want to see you bleed," says Shell. "At the end of the fight, I'm going to grab the microphone, and just announce to all the animal advocates, OK, this man has actually stepped up. We're both bleeding. He's bleeding. He's felt like what it's like to be a dog. Except he's still alive, we haven't electrocuted him. But he's stepped up. Now we have to let him finally be free."

If you're anything like me, you're currently asking yourself, what the hell does Gordon Shell have to do with the Bartolos or Buffalo Wild Wings. How did these two stories get paired together by HuffPo?

Shell's hoping that the protests will make enough of an impact on Vick's image and his earnings that once his career is is over as a professional athlete, they'll step in the ring.

Ahh. Well, until that happens, you can buy one of these T-shirts:

So there you have it.

Mike Vick was never scheduled for an event, which prompted bad PR for Buffalo Wild Wings, death threats for two individuals promoting an event they never really scheduled, and renewed attention for an MMA fighter who wants to fight Vick despite a medical condition that forced him out of the ring.

And this, it's worth noting, is not the first time a cancelled Vick appearance has been accompanied by death threats.

You're all doing just fine, citizens of America. Keep it up.

>>Michael Vick Appearance Canceled: MMA Fighter Gordon Shell Will Call Off More Protests If NFL Player Competes In Cage Match

No. 16 Villanova vs. No. 23 Albany: With or without Bednarczyk, can Wildcats rebound?


No. 16 Villanova vs. No. 23 Albany: With or without Bednarczyk, can Wildcats rebound?

No. 16 Villanova (5-2, 3-1) vs. No. 23 Albany (4-2, 1-2)
Villanova Stadium, Villanova, Pa.
Saturday, 3:30 p.m.

Fresh off a rare loss, Villanova looks to get back on track during its homecoming game against another nationally ranked foe. Here’s a look at the matchup:

Scouting Villanova
The Wildcats saw their five-game winning streak snapped in resounding fashion as they were shut out for the first time since 2004 in a 23-0 loss to Richmond. Sophomore quarterback Zach Bednarczyk left the game in the second quarter with an injury, a big reason why the Wildcats finished with just 222 yards of total offense. But despite the final score, Villanova’s defense played well again with Austin Calitro and Rob Rolle each hitting double digits in tackles. The unit is ranked fifth in the FCS in scoring defense (16.3 points per game) and sixth in total defense (237.9 yards per game) and has scored four defensive touchdowns.

Scouting Albany
After winning their first four games, the Great Danes lost their next two, a 36-30 triple-overtime heartbreaker to Richmond followed by a 20-16 setback to Maine. Sophomore quarterback Neven Sussman led Albany with 187 passing yards and 75 rushing yards. But for the season, their offensive strength has been with sophomore running back Elijah Ibitokun-Hanks, who’s second in the CAA in rushing, averaging 105 yards per game. Albany’s defense is only behind Villanova in points allowed per game (19.3) in the CAA, but interestingly enough is last in total defense (420.2 yards per game). The Great Danes lead the league in turnover margin (plus-15), led by linebacker Michael Nicastro and safety Mason Gray with three interceptions apiece.

Series history
Villanova has only played Albany twice, beating the Great Danes, 48-31, in 2014 and steamrolling it, 37-0, last season. 

Storyline to watch
The big question going in is whether Bednarczyk will play with Villanova saying it will be a game-time decision after the QB suffered a concussion last week. If he can’t go, Adeyemi DaSilva will get the start in his place after replacing him in the second quarter vs. Richmond. DaSilva is a promising player but Bednarczyk was coming into his own this season and his absence would naturally be a difficult one. Of course, the Wildcats have been through this before with Bednarczyk taking over as the starter last season when star John Robertson went down with an injury of his own.

What’s at stake?
Villanova still has a chance to win the CAA but probably can’t afford a second loss in the league. And of course, there’s nothing better than winning in front of a homecoming crowd.

A lot depends on whether Bednarczyk can play … but even if he doesn’t, the Wildcats’ dominant defense may be enough to get the job done. 

Villanova 20, Albany 17

Anthem singer at Sixers-Heat game kneels during performance

Anthem singer at Sixers-Heat game kneels during performance

MIAMI — A woman performing the national anthem before an NBA preseason game in Miami on Friday night did so while kneeling at midcourt, and opening her jacket to show a shirt with the phrase "Black Lives Matter."

The singer was identified by the Heat as Denasia Lawrence. It was unclear if she remained in the arena after the performance, and messages left for her were not immediately returned.

Heat players and coaches stood side-by-side for the anthem, all with their arms linked as has been their custom during the preseason. Many had their heads down as Lawrence sang, and the team released a statement saying it had no advance knowledge that she planned to kneel.

"We felt as a basketball team that we would do something united, so that was our focus," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. "Throughout all of this, I think the most important thing that has come out is the very poignant, thoughtful dialogue. We've had great dialogue within our walls here and hopefully this will lead to action."

The anthem issue has been a major topic in the sports world in recent months, starting with the decision by San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick to not stand for its playing. Kaepernick cited racial injustice and police brutality among the reasons for his protest, and athletes from many sports -- and many levels, from youth all the way to professional -- have followed his lead in various ways.

"All I can say is what we've seen in multiple preseason games so far is our players standing for the national anthem," NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said in New York earlier Friday, at a news conference following the league's board of governors meetings. "It would be my hope that they would continue to stand for the national anthem. I think that is the appropriate thing to do."

The NBA has a rule calling for players and coaches to stand during the anthem.

Heat guard Wayne Ellington often speaks about the need to curb gun violence, after his father was shot and killed two years ago. He had his eyes closed for most of the anthem Friday, as per his own custom, though was aware of Lawrence's actions.

"At the end of the day, to each his own," Ellington said. "If she feels like that's the way she wants to stand for it, then more power to her."

Making a statement in the manner that Lawrence did Friday is rare, but not unheard of in recent weeks.

When the Sacramento Kings played their first home preseason game earlier this month, anthem singer Leah Tysse dropped to one knee as she finished singing the song.

Tysse is white. Lawrence is black.

"I love and honor my country as deeply as anyone yet it is my responsibility as an American to speak up against injustice as it affects my fellow Americans," Tysse wrote on Facebook. "I have sung the anthem before but this time taking a knee felt like the most patriotic thing I could do. I cannot idly stand by as black people are unlawfully profiled, harassed and killed by our law enforcement over and over and without a drop of accountability."