Michael Vick made some controversial statements yesterday after his Philadelphia Eagles lost to the New York Giants. Vick got hit with helmet to helmet contact — that “might” have been late, and as he fell, he broke (or so he thought) his right hand. Thankfully, it’s his non-throwing hand, but a broken hand is a broken hand.
(Update: Andy Reid said Monday that Vick’s hand is actually bruised and that a blood vessel over the bone made it looke fractured.)
Vick commented that every time he watches film, he sees himself getting hit late and getting hit with helmet-to-helmet contact. He backed off his comments and said he’s not blaming the refs, but indirectly he was blaming the refs. This isn’t new, because last year Andy Reid made the same comments about Michael Vick getting hit late.
On ESPN, Tom Jackson made the case that Vick does have an argument and the reason he doesn’t get the calls is because he runs so much refs expect him to get out of trouble on his own and don’t expect him to absorb as many late hits. On the other hand, another ESPN analyst, Trent Dilfer, said he didn’t think Vick had a case, and actually thought it was not a good look for Vick to be complaining.
ESPN forgot to ask me, but it’s cool. I know that Vick has a case, and a good one. It’s not racial, so I hope no one takes it there. But Tom Jackson is right. Refs are so used to watching Vick escape the impossible, they’re probably half officiating the game and half mesmerized by his playmaking that they miss obvious calls. Steelers linebacker James Harrison did play the race card this offseason when he spoke of body slamming Vince Young and not getting an unnecessary roughness call, but barely touching Drew Brees and getting flagged immediately.
Either way, if Vick is getting hit late or not, him voicing his opinion is going to work in his favor. Vick is going to get all the calls now, because the refs and the league are going to be afraid of looking like they are not protecting Michael Vick and they are protecting everyone else. Vick will get calls the same way that the Lakers do when Kobe Bryant and Phil Jackson call out refs between NBA playoff games and the following game Kobe shoots 15 free throws when he only shot four the previous game. I’ve seen Michael Vick make a lot of dope moves on the field, but this move off the field with the media might be his best yet.