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Will Michael Vick’s Road to Redemption Ever End?

54 for 89 (60% completions). 6 passing touchdowns. 1 rushing touchdown. 0 interceptions. And a QB rating of 110.2. Those are Michael Vick’s numbers three weeks into the 2010 NFL season. Vick started the season as backup to Kevin Kolb. But after a Week 1 Kolb concussion and a dominant Week 2 performance by Vick in his place, head coach Andy Reid made the decision to give Vick the chance he’d been waiting several years for, to be a starting quarterback in the National Football League once again.

But this post is not about Michael Vick the football player, it is about Michael Vick the person.

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Don’t Pull a Johnson…Follow the Rules!

Rules, rules, rules, why is it so hard for athletes to follow the rules!

On Sunday, for the second time in as many months, a ‘Johnson’ broke the rules in the world of sports.

First, way back on August 12th, Dustin Johnson grounded his club in a destroyed sand trap on 18th hole of the PGA Championship incurring him a 2-stroke penalty. The move cost him more than just 2 strokes as it knocked him out of a playoff for the major title. The entire world watched when Johnson first heard what he had unknowingly done.

Then it happened again, on September 12th. Seconds remained in the Detroit Lions-Chicago Bears game when Lions receiver Calvin Johnson and everybody else in the world thought he caught the game winning touchdown. The play was reviewed and overturned after it became clear that Johnson lost the ball while attempting to use it to help him get up from the ground.

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How Fantasy Sports Unites Fans All Over the World

While sitting in a New York bar watching the New Orleans Saints successfully open the football season last week, it struck me that there is one thing that unites sports fans all over the world. Whether it is the NFL here in the US, rugby league in Australia or the English Premier League (EPL) soccer, today’s sports fans want to be engaged and actively interact with their favorite sports. They satisfy that desire by playing fantasy sports or by getting involved in forecasting weekly results. In Australia we call that tipping. Technology, fast-speed internet access and our increasing use of social media is making this engagement even easier and more fun for the fan.

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Missed Opportunity for the NFL on Opening Weekend

As I write this post on Monday afternoon, the day after Opening Sunday (and six hours before kickoff of Monday Night Football), the NFL is being mentioned on Twitter at an extraordinary rate. In the past hour, “NFL” has been tweeted 1,500+ times.

I want to take this as a chance to highlight a missed opportunity for the NFL. In the past four days (Thursday was the first game of the season and yesterday was Opening Sunday), the league has received thousands and thousands of mentions and @replies, yet they’ve failed to respond to a single fan. It’s about time for the league to stop using their account as a news feed. To be fair, the MLB doesn’t do much better, but the NBA and NHL both respond to fans all the time. And you can bet if it were opening day, their feeds would be full of @replies.

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Sponsorships Gear Up for New NFL Season

Visa Kicks Off Another Season With NFL Sponsorship

Visa is going into its 15th year of sponsorship with the NFL and has new marketing plans including greater emphasis on local teams.

Visa has become the exclusive payment services sponsor of the Jacksonville Jaguars, Minnesota Vikings, Indianapolis Colts and Tennessee Titans — adding to its roster that already includes the Atlanta Falcons, Baltimore Ravens, Buffalo Bills, Carolina Panthers, Cleveland Browns, Denver Broncos, New England Patriots, New Orleans Saints and San Francisco 49ers.

Visa is the preferred card for ticket sales, concessions and merchandise and will have point-of-sale branding online and at all team payment terminals within the stadiums, including concession areas and team shops of 13 NFL teams.

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The Recipe for Post-NFL Broke Athletes

The ingredients are simple: Take one talented young athlete. Add one agent, one team owner, dozens of family members not heard from in decades, a few dashes of self-entitlement, several bushels of undisciplined spending habits, one unscrupulous financial advisor, a couple of shakes of bad business investments, and a handful of injuries. Yield: One post-NFL broke athlete.

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A Twitter Guide to the 2010-11 NFL Season

The 2010 NFL season is quickly approaching. The preseason is already under way, and the regular season begins on Thursday, September 9th, with the Minnesota Vikings visiting the New Orleans Saints in a rematch of last year’s NFC Championship game. I love baseball and I’m a huge basketball fan as well. In fact, I really enjoy watching most sports. But there’s nothing like sitting on your couch on a Sunday afternoon with a couple of buddies, and a table full of junk food and beer, and watching nine straight hours of hard-hitting football.

So, why am I writing this article? Why a Twitter Guide? Twitter has become the best platform for up-to-the minute news and analysis in most arenas. If you want to stay on top of… anything you care about, Twitter is the place to do it (especially with “fast follow”). I’ll list a number of my favorite NFL-related accounts with a brief reason as to why they’re worth following. Enjoy!

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Baseball Fans Sidetracked

While Major League Baseball diehards were tuned into each of their favorite teams’ games during everything from LeBron-athon to World Cup soccer, and especially their all-star game, it wasn’t easy for it to hold the attention of the masses according to W. Scott Bailey in the San Antonio Business Journal.

It was reported that Major League Baseball’s All-Star Game, broadcast by FOX, received a 7.5 Nielsen rating which makes it as the least watched Midsummer Classic in history.

My initial thought as we head toward the start of National Football League training camps: is there any sport or off-season activity that would distract NFL fans from their season?

Is baseball officially not America’s Pastime anymore? We’ve long heard that professional baseball television ratings pale compared to the NFL and even the NBA, much of the latter which is broadcast on cable outlets. But a scripted special about where an NBA free agent is going to play next and – soccer?

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Sports Business Weekly Buzz

The Elliptical For The Rich, Tai Chi For The Poor

* Every year, the Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association releases its state of sports participation in America study. The 64-page document is filled with interesting tidbits that will make you smarter at the office water cooler.

* Of all the fitness machines, the elliptical motion trainer has the highest percentage of participants whose annual household income exceeds $100,000 a year. Forty percent of those who use the elliptical make over $100,000.

Internal Watchdog Criticizes ESPN for Ethical Missteps on LeBron James Coverage

* ESPN’s internal journalism watchdog sharply criticized the cable-sports network for what he said were ethical missteps in its recent broadcast of a TV program devoted to basketball star LeBron James.

* The Walt Disney Co. network two weeks ago aired a one-hour special about James, who used the program to announce that he signed with a new team, the Miami Heat. In an unusual arrangement, James’s sports-marketing company suggested the program to ESPN and brokered an arrangement whereby the show’s advertisers donated money to the Boys & Girls Clubs of America, a charity James supports.

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The Rooney Rule

According to Wikipedia, “The Rooney Rule, established in 2003, requires National Football league teams to interview minority candidates for head coaching and senior football operations opportunities. The rule is named for Dan Rooney, the owner of the Pittsburgh Steelers and the chairman of the league’s diversity committee, and indirectly the Rooney family in general, due to the Steelers’ long history of giving African Americans opportunities to serve in team leadership roles. It is often cited as an example of affirmative action.”

Those are the facts in a nutshell. The opinions and results, however, are steeped in controversy and conjecture. Any potential NFL coach is groomed and prepared with years of hands-on training and development, progressing from a supporting role to head coach. Coaches are chosen based on character, commitment, work ethic, leadership and motivational skills, and of course the ability to create winning football teams.

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How Technology is Changing Athletic Scouting

Technology helps us do a lot of things; it saves time, saves lives and is now beginning to save the careers of sports executives. With sports being a multi-billion dollar industry, professional teams, and more specifically scouts are looking for anything that can give them the edge over their opponents.

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The Off-Season Businesses of Pro Football Players

Just because a pro player has on-field success does not mean he’ll have automatic off-field business success. He often struggles with identity crisis issues when his name and face doesn’t bring immediate recognition. The NFLPA works hard to provide players and retired players with the tools and resources to be successful during post-football life. The…

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