Thoughts on Vick and Oprah

I don't know the whys and wherefores of Michael Vick's canceled Oprah appearance. There have been reports that the Eagles asked Vick to cancel. A team spokesman told me today that wasn't true, that the spokesman was in the process of making travel arrangements to accompany the quarterback to next Tuesday's taping when Vick told him he was calling it off.

The spokesman said the Eagles were supportive of Vick's initial decision to appear and equally supportive of his decision not to appear.

That's a whole lot of "supporting" for a nonevent.

Here's my whack at this, which I don't claim comes from any deep, inside source: Vick has talked an awful lot about his path to redemption; he did several network TV interviews last season in connection with broadcasts of Eagles games. The same familiar ground was trod over and over again. I think the Eagles and Vick are at a point where they would like the narrative to be more about what he has done since getting out of prison than what got him in.

The Oprah appearance probably would have been about what it was like having to go to prison, how Vick feels about what he did to the dogs, how the Oprah audience feels about what Vick did. One thing about Vick's appearances -- they are pretty tightly controlled. Vick tends not to talk in detail about his criminal activities. He doesn't tend to put himself in situations where he takes hostile questions. Vick and the Eagles have avoided situations where, say, Vick would be confronted by, or just have to engage in dialogue with, people who have adopted some of the dogs he abused. I don't know that Oprah intended to do that, but I do believe Vick and his handlers would want some say over the format and the tone, say that a media heavyweight such as Oprah might be reluctant to grant.