Michael Vick, the star National Football League quarterback whose career was interrupted by a dogfighting conviction, has reached an endorsement agreement with athletic equipment maker Nike.
"We have re-signed Michael Vick as a Nike athlete," Megan Saalfeld, a Nike spokeswoman, said in an e-mail to CNN.
Vick, currently on the roster of the Philadelphia Eagles, served 20 months in federal prison after pleading guilty to bankrolling a dogfighting operation. He has since emerged as a spokesman against dogfighting.
"Michael acknowledges his past mistakes," Saalfeld said. "We do not condone those actions, but we support the positive changes he has made to better himself off the field. "
As Peyton Manning and the Indianapolis Colts prepare to take on the New York Jets Saturday in the NFL playoffs, the MVP quarterback has already scored a victory of sorts.
Manning is No. 1 in marketability, according to Nielsen, which evaluated the "N-scores" of top playoff signal callers in conjunction with E-Poll Market Research, a consumer research firm.
"N-Score gauges the effects of positive and negative news about athletes and sports personalities," the report said.
Manning, who guided his team to a Super Bowl victory in 2007 and came within an errant pass short last year, rates the highest in a number of measurable categories related to brand impact, Nielsen said. He has a N-Score of 262.
As a four-time league MVP, Manning has a varied endorsement portfolio and has been featured in numerous, often humorous, television ad spots for top brands.
New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees, who also plays Saturday, came in second place with an N-Score of 166. New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady came in third with a tally of 131.
“The N-Score is derived from a model that factors in audience awareness of an athlete, the overall appeal of the athlete and 46 specific personal attributes such as leadership and trustworthiness,” Nielsen’s report said.
Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Mike Vick had a score of just 16, attributable to “lingering public displeasure with his conviction on dog fighting charges,” the report said.
Forget that the 5-9 Minnesota Vikings were pretty terrible even before Brett Favre began showing his age and before star running back Adrian Peterson banged up his leg.
Forget that the 10-4 Philadelphia Eagles have been one of the most dominant teams all year, have already clinched a playoff spot and are Las Vegas' two-touchdown favorite in the game.
Forget that the Green Bay Packers have already handed the Eagles their division title by pummeling the New York Giants for them.
This game will be historic no matter what. Why? Well, because pro football hasn't been played on a Tuesday in more than six decades.
That probably won't be enough to buoy the spirits of Vikings fans, who not only have lost all hope of postseason action, but who also temporarily lost their stadium earlier this month when the roof of the Metrodome collapsed under the weight of snow.
Expect no redux this week, because Philadelphia's Lincoln Financial Field is outdoors – which seems, at least to this humble fan, like a better place to play football anyway.
Weren't able to tune in for CNN's and HLN's prime-time programming Monday night? Hey, we understand, which is why we're giving you a chance to catch up on "In Case You Missed It."
On "AC 360°," guest host Dr. Sanjay Gupta took a closer look at the case of author Phillip Greaves, who was arrested on obscenity charges Monday in Florida.
His book, "The Pedophile's Guide to Love and Pleasure: A Child-Lover's Code of Conduct," has sparked outrage.
But do Greaves' First Amendment rights protect him from prosecution? Gupta asks Sheriff Grady Judd of Polk County, Florida, and CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin for their take on the situation.
Later in the show, Gupta addresses whether Michael Vick should be allowed to own another dog – now, or ever again. Gupta is joined by Wayne Pacelle, president of the Humane Society of the United States, who takes what some may consider to be a surprising stance on Vick's statements.
Cuban film features zombie revolution – Fifty years after Fidel Castro's revolution, a new revolution is brewing. Cuba's first-ever zombie flick, “Juan of the Dead” brings the living dead to the streets of Havana. The plot features communist leaders claiming the living dead are part of a CIA-backed plot aimed at toppling the government. “Juan of the Dead," is Cuba's first zombie movie and is a mix of camp gore and wry satire. CNN’s Shasta Darlington walks with the undead and talks to the movie’s creators.
Let me begin with a disclaimer: I am a Dallas Cowboys fan and an opponent of drowning and electrocuting dogs, so I have two reasons to be skeptical of Michael Vick, especially after he shredded the ’Boys’ secondary Sunday.
So when I read this morning that the Philadelphia Eagles quarterback (seen above leaving a Virginia courthouse after his 2008 guilty plea) would one day like to own a dog again – well, I was more than a little gobsmacked.
Surely, I thought, he was making a passing quip. Of all the hell that rained down on him after his conviction – the prison sentence, the NFL suspension, the checkbook full of fines and retribution – the lifetime ban on owning a canine was the only provision that seemed a strong enough rebuke for his crimes.
Alas, it was no quip. Not only was Vick serious when he made the remark to thegrio.com, but he went into detail on how owning a dog could help him in his rehabilitation.
“I think it would be a big step for me in the rehabilitation process. I think just to have a pet in my household and to show people that I genuinely care, and my love, and my passion for animals,” he said.
NFL fans seem to have forgiven Michael Vick.
The Philadelphia Eagles quarterback, just a year and a half out of prison, is the leading vote-getter in fan balloting for the Pro Bowl, NFL.com reports.
Vick started the season as a backup to Kevin Kolb but has set the league on fire since becoming the starter. He's averaging 249 yards passing and 52 rushing per game, and he has scored 21 touchdowns.
Vick, who served 18 months in federal prison and was vilified after being convicted on charges related to dogfighting, had 729,838 Pro Bowl votes as of Thursday morning. He leads the Indianapolis Colts' Peyton Manning, who's having a rough season, by more than 38,000 votes and the New England Patriots' Tom Brady by more than 100,000.