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.

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

Numbers tell the story of Flyers' up-and-down season

Numbers tell the story of Flyers' up-and-down season

VOORHEES, N.J. -- As the Flyers go into the final two games of the schedule before the All-Star break Wednesday night at MSG against the New York Rangers and Thursday night at home against the upstart Toronto Maple Leafs, here are some rather stunning numbers to consider.
 
Most glaring is the Flyers' power play going 0 for 14 over the last three games. The power play hit its season high in December as No. 1 in the NHL. It has since dropped to 10th.

Tuesday morning at practice, Claude Giroux and power-play coach Joey Mullen worked on some strategy at the chalk board at Skate Zone.
 
“The power play, we’re kinda a streaky team,” Giroux said. “When we start scoring, we begin believing more in what we do. We just hesitate a bit too much.
 
“We have all the tools. The power play has won us some games and lost us some games. It’s important that we stick with it. We know it can help us. We can’t get discouraged.”
 
0: The number of Flyers who are on the plus side of the ledger when it comes to plus/minus
 
3.06: The Flyers' goals-against average
 
3-10: Flyers record in three-goal games
 
5 for 25: Flyers' power play in January so far
 
5-6-1: Flyers' record vs. Metropolitan Division
 
10-6: Flyers' overtime record
 
-18: Shayne Gostisbehere’s plus/minus this season
 
11: Brayden Schenn’s power-play goals total – first in NHL
 
21: Claude Giroux’s power-play points total – first in NHL
 
42: Jakub Voracek’s point total
 
102: Flyers 5-on-5 goals against total - 29th worst in NHL

2017 Eagles Cost Analysis, LB: Mychal Kendricks on the trade block?

2017 Eagles Cost Analysis, LB: Mychal Kendricks on the trade block?

In 2015, trade rumors were swirling around Mychal Kendricks. He was entering the final year of his rookie contract, and the Eagles had just made sizeable investments in a bunch other linebackers. Then, out of nowhere, Kendricks signed a four-year extension during training camp worth $29 million, with $16 million guaranteed plus incentives.

Fast forward to 2017, and you should expect those rumors to return, only for vastly different reasons.

At the time of the extension, Kenricks was one of the Eagles' top playmakers, not to mention one of only three linebackers in the NFL to rack up at least 8.0 sacks, three interceptions and five forced fumbles and a two-year span. Since then, big plays have been few and far between, performance has been inconsistent altogether and now he's barely even on the field. According to Football Outsiders, Kendricks lined up for only 26.8 percent of the defensive snaps in '17.

The combination of his up-and-down performance and reduced playing time no longer justify Kendricks' rising salary. Also, surprise, the five-year veteran isn't very thrilled about being the third and least utilized of the linebackers in the base defense, nor should he. For the sake of comparison, both Nigel Bradham and Jordan Hicks were on the field at least 95 percent of the time.

Moving on from Kendricks isn't entirely financially motivated, either. Because the Eagles still owe $4.8 in prorated signing bonus over the next three years, the club can only save $1.8 million of his hit against the salary cap for '17. Until they pay a veteran replacement, much of that money — if not all, and then some — is being put right back into the position.

Still, there is likely a team out there that's willing to take a chance on Kendrcks in exchange for a mid-to-late-round draft pick. His $4.85 million base salary this season is very reasonable if he can return to his 2013-14 level of production, which in the right scheme, if he's allowed to blitz and freelance more, could potentially happen.

As long as he's with the Eagles, he's not going to get off the bench unless Bradham or Hicks get hurt. Even then, defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz doesn't like to blitz, perhaps Kendricks' greatest strength. This simply may not be the right fit regardless, which isn't really anybody's fault. That tends to happen when regimes change.

The best case scenario for both sides at this point would be the Eagles take what they can get for Kendricks and give him a chance to play. In fact, it might be an upset if something doesn't go down this offseason.

LINEBACKERS UNDER CONTRACT

Mychal Kendricks
Age: 27*
Cap Number: $6,600,000

Even in 2015, widely considered a down year for Kendricks, he managed 3.0 sacks, three pass breakups and a forced fumble in 13 games. Last season, he finished with zero sacks, zero interceptions and zero forced fumbles. The only time Kendricks got his hands on a football was a lone pass breakup. Part of the issue seems to be player regression, which is going to drive his trade value down. Regardless, there's really no reason for the Eagles to keep him around at that price. It's awfully expensive for depth, especially considering he hasn't looked very good. Some new scenery might be what the doctor ordered for Kendricks at this point, because it hasn't been working out in Philadelphia for awhile.

Nigel Bradham
Age: 28*
Cap Number: $4,750,000

Bradham turned out to be an absolute steal for the Eagles in free agency, although that wasn't much of a surprise. His best season had been under Schwartz with the Bills in 2014, so there was a feeling he might find similar success back in the same scheme. Sure enough, Bradham led the Eagles with 102 tackles while recording 2.0 sacks, five pass breakups, an interception and two forced fumbles. There's still some lingering legal troubles out there, which might be the only reason he wouldn't get his two-year deal extended this offseason. If the Eagles feel comfortable that those charges will go away or with minimal repercussions, nor will this be a recurring theme for Bradham, it might be wise to work out something long-term now, before he hits the market again. They might even be able to lower his number for '17.

Jordan Hicks
Age: 25*
Cap Number: $796,183

Hicks answered any doubts about whether he could play in Schwartz's scheme, or hold up to the rigors of being a middle linebacker in the NFL in general. Many felt the second-year player was snubbed by Pro Bowl voters, as he finished with 85 tackles, 11 pass breakups and five interceptions — granted, two of those picks were in Week 17. Regardless of individual accolades, the Eagles have a linebacker in Hicks who can literally play in any scheme. Perhaps best of all, he's no eligible for a contract extension until 2018, so he's cost-controlled for another year. Then again, if Hicks keeps this up, he could be looking at something in the neighborhood of $10 million annually. Of course, that would be a small price to pay for his leadership, versatility and playmaking ability.

Kamu Grugier-Hill
Age: 23*
Cap Number: $540,000

A sixth-round draft pick by the Patriots, Grugier-Hill didn't make the 53-man roster our of training camp, and the Eagles pounced. He wound up playing exclusively on special teams, but proved to be a worthwhile investment there, making eight tackles in 12 games. Now Grugier-Hill will have a full season to pick up Schwartz's system and could compete for more work as a reserve, or even for a spot in the rotation.

Joe Walker
Age: 25*
Cap Number: $480,034

Walker was slated to be Hicks' backup at middle linebacker until suffering a torn ACL in training camp. Fortunately, the starter played all 16 games, anyway, but it's a lost year for a seventh-round rookie who would've been battling just to make the roster many other places. Seeing as the Eagles are likely to upgrade the position this offseason, he may find himself in that situation this camp around.

Don Cherry
Age: 23*

A late addition to the roster during camp last summer, the Villanova product eventually wound up landing on the practice squad, too, signing a futures contract at season end. Cherry initially caught on with the Bears as an undrafted rookie before landing on his feet with the Eagles, but the fact that he didn't make it to cut-down day with his first employer suggests his prospects aren't very good.

EXPIRING CONTRACTS

Stephen Tulloch
Age: 32*
2016 Cap Number: $2,500,000

The injury to Walked necessitated the Eagles go out and find a backup for Hicks, who has a long and distinguished injury history. On the bright side, Tulloch wasn't required to play too much. He has plenty of experience in wide-nine defenses and with Schwartz specifically, but all that experience also means he's at the tale-end of his career. That much seemed clear when he played extensively against the Lions in Week 5. Simply put, the Eagles need to find some young reserves to groom behind Hicks and Bradham, not go dumpster diving for the Tullochs of the world. It was a fine career, but there's a reason he was still available in August. Retirement seems like the next step here.

Najee Goode
Age: 28*
2016 Cap Number: $675,000

Goode signed a one-year deal with the Eagles, and while he wasn't needed to fill in much on defense, which he's done a fine job of in the past, he too was excellent on special teams. The five-year veteran had 10 tackles in 16 games while playing pretty much exclusively in the third phase. It will be interesting to see whether Goode draws more interest in free agency in '17. Goode can clearly help on special teams, and when he is pressed into the game on defense, he can definitely hold his own. It certainly wouldn't be a bad thing if the Eagles could bring him back given their depth issues at linebacker, especially if Kendricks is dealt. A one- or two-year deal right around $1 million annually seems fair and isn't going to break the bank.