Mike Florio Hates My Brain

Posted: July 19th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 22 Comments »

I’m a PFT fan.  I’m a Mike Florio fan.  But there are times when he makes me want to chug a bottle of bleach and then walk into heavy traffic.  Tonight is one of those times.

For those who don’t know, Mike Vick made some interesting comments about how the Eagles could be like the great Niners, Packers, and Cowboys teams he watched growing up in the 1990s.  He said the team could “develop a dynasty”.

Naturally some are making this into Dream Team 2.

Florio is on that team.  He said in his post that last year’s Eagles crossed the line from from confident to unbridled hubris.  I’d love to know more about that.  Is he going off Vince Young’s dream team comments?  If so, Florio is full of it.  The backup QB said something dumb and the press would not let it go.

The Eagles were arrogant last year, but honestly I think that vibe came more from Joe Banner and Howie Roseman than the actual players.  The Eagles added a bunch of high character guys, not showboats.  The biggest problem with arrogance was the notion that the 3 CBs could work, when none of them was natural in the slot.  The other arrogant moves involved having proven veterans as role players, something those guys didn’t handle well.  You cannot force talent into roles.  Doesn’t work like that.

Were some players arrogant?  Sure.  Unbridled hubris?  No.  Missed tackles were a bigger problem than hubris.  Turnovers were a bigger problem than hubris.  But it is more fun for Florio to say hubris.

My next problem with Florio comes in his comments on Vick.  Let me start by saying that I have no problem with people who don’t like Vick because of his past or people who think Vick is putting on an act.  That isn’t the case from everything I’m told, but Vick crossed a line that permanently changed his status to some.  I can’t blame those people for hating him forever.  That’s their right.

Florio starts by saying that Vick’s new book is “ill-advised”.  Maybe.  Maybe not.  From the sound of it, Vick told the truth in the book.  He didn’t make himself out to be some hero.  He showed just what a scumbag he was at his low point.  Reading about his actions will bother some people, but Vick is at least being honest.  It sure sounds like Vick was trying to show how much of his life and his NFL career was wasted.  Young players and young people can learn from that.  You can go from the top of the world (the NFC title game) to rock bottom in a short period of time.

Florio says that a “little restraint and/or humility” could have gotten Vick to pass on writing the book.  Florio is stuck with the belief that the book is a bad thing.  I don’t think you can make that definitive statement.  You can argue that since Vick is a popular player right now the book will have its most impact.  If this is truly a tale about what not do to, this is the time to put it out.  If the book is 30 pages of dogfighting stuff and then 250 pages about how awesome his life is now, then that’s a book that could have waited.

And it might turn out that the book is a bad idea.  I just don’t like how Florio is so definitive about it.  He hasn’t read the book.  Florio is coming at this like a lawyer.  He doesn’t want his witness to testify, but the witness decided to write a book and tell all.  We’ll see.

Florio’s next comment really bugged me.

With many still wondering whether Vick has changed or whether he’s just smarter about the things he says, Vick’s book will be picked apart for any clues or proof that the old Mike Vick and the new Mike Vick are the same person.

I don’t know how Florio can say this.  Vick isn’t a saint, but he’s definitely different.  I get that some people don’t fully believe him, but I think even those people will admit this is a different guy than the man from the mid-2000’s.  That guy lied to Roger Goodell’s face.  Remember the shooting incident a couple of summers ago?  Vick called Andy Reid and told him everything over the phone.  He didn’t try to cover anything up.  He was completely innocent so there was nothing to hide, but his first instinct was still to call Reid and get the situation out in the open.

Vick spent 19 months in federal prison.  That changes everybody, some for the better and some for the worse.  I don’t think there is any question that Vick is a better guy.

Florio is going to dismiss 3 years of good behavior if he reads something in the book that doesn’t sound right to him?  Does that seem insane to anyone else out there?  Does Andy Reid have a history of keeping jerks around?  Do the Eagles have a bunch of bad guys and off-field incidents?  No.  If you spend 3 years with Reid and the Eagles make a huge financial commitment to you, that should speak volumes about the fact that Vick is a changed man.

Florio’s conspiracies and crazy ideas can be interesting at times, but oh so frustrating at others.  This is one of the others.  I’d much rather have read comments from him saying that he still has doubts about Vick and simply doesn’t buy that he’s changed.  I would disagree, but that would be Mike’s right and I’d respect it.  Instead Mike writes as if he’s genuinely curious, but also has enough negative comments that you can tell he’s not keeping a truly open mind on the subject.  He is dying for Vick to say/write/do something so he can pounce and prove that this is an act and say “I told you so”.

It must be miserable to go through life with a lawyer’s mentality, always suspicious.  You’re right some of the time, but you also waste a lot of time looking for things that simply aren’t there.  Florio will find something in the book to write about.  Hopefully it will be another case of him making a mountain out of a mole hill.


22 Comments on “Mike Florio Hates My Brain”

  1. 1 Patrick Sullivan said at 3:11 AM on July 19th, 2012:

    I read PFT every day around the time Florio actually was breaking news on Vick’s initial arrest. Since then he’s grown increasingly intolerable. As a newly minted talking head I guess that’s part of the job, but it’s killed his credibility for me.

  2. 2 Cliff said at 3:33 AM on July 19th, 2012:

    Florio has always been intolerable. I honestly have never liked PFT.

  3. 3 Matt Hoover said at 4:06 AM on July 19th, 2012:

    I go to PFT everyday its a nice site for a collection of stories, but this is just flat out ridiculous, we get it, you don’t like Vick, you wont ever like Vick, but stop reporting opinion as fact. Nice work as always Tommy.

  4. 4 Jason A Hines said at 4:12 AM on July 19th, 2012:

    My problem with the whole dynasty thing is the issue of the soundbite vs. the context. If you look at the totality of Vick’s comments, it’s seems apparent to me that he realizes the work that it’s going to take to get to that level. His comments went so much further than just, “we can have a dynasty,” and yet the media will do what Florio did – link to the article but slant the coverage to make this into Dream Team 2.

  5. 5 Arby1 said at 1:57 PM on July 19th, 2012:

    Good point about context. I cringed when I saw the “dynasty” word on Philly.com When I read the entire story, it softened the power of the word somewhat. But I still think it was stupid of Vick to use such a word. That’s a word you use after you’ve already won something. Win the SB this year, then suggestively use the “d” word, otherwise it sounds stupid and needlessly puts added focus and pressure on the team.
    As far as timing of the book release goes, it does coincide with the rollout of his sportswear line of clothing which suggests Vick is trying to maximize his marketability at this point in his career.

  6. 6 phillyangst said at 5:42 AM on July 19th, 2012:

    It’s a shame how reading comprehension has taken a back seat to speculation and misinterpretation. Florio’s got to get those clicks to the PFT page by any means necessary. I’m amazed how misinformed our society is becoming in the so called “Information Age”.

  7. 7 nathalie a said at 6:19 AM on July 19th, 2012:

    i hate and despise pft, and mike florio. he is the epitome of what a media person shouldn’t be. voyeur and uneducated. i’m shocked that you are a fan. clearly, you’re in a much much different league than he is. growl.

  8. 8 Tyler Phillips said at 7:30 AM on July 19th, 2012:

    I read that drivel yesterday. Florio is such a hack.

  9. 9 rage114 said at 7:50 AM on July 19th, 2012:

    A good journalist will look at the facts, investigate statistics, read the quotes, etc. and draw a conclusion based on those items.

    A bad journalist will draw a conclusion, then go back and find facts, statistics, or quotes that justify the original conclusion.

    Florio is one of the latter. I do not read Florio or go to PFT at all for that matter.

  10. 10 Homer Frizzell said at 8:06 AM on July 19th, 2012:

    I stopped reading PFT. I’d go back if there were a way to strip out the Florio posts.

  11. 11 Matthew Verhoog said at 9:27 AM on July 19th, 2012:

    Wow, just watched Vicks interview on PTI, nothing new, but I think Vick demeanor “looks” much more sincere then I’ve ever seen him, the little smirk is gone, the darting eyes are less (I think some of that is just how he was born, can’t hold that against him). I never trusted him, just from his demeanor before, but I think I can now.

  12. 12 Dave Scott said at 10:08 AM on July 19th, 2012:

    I hate Florio PFT used to be such a
    great site, now it’s part of NBC and has developed the typical bias that comes
    along with Mega Media Coverage. Florio doesn’t see both sides when the lockout
    was going on he killed the NFL and supported the Unions, he has been beating
    the drums for Vilma and the Lawsuits in the “Bounty Gate Case”, he
    also hates the Eagles with a passion and would love to stir the pot with last
    year’s outcome! I will stick with Football Outsiders, Iggles Blitz, PFF,
    PE.com, and Adam Caplan for my Eagles News.

  13. 13 aerochrome2 said at 10:43 AM on July 19th, 2012:

    I started reading PFT for eagles updates and still read it out of habit but with BGN’s trigger quick response time and then Tommy’s more in depth analysis, that’s a habit that may need to be weened.

  14. 14 ACViking said at 10:59 AM on July 19th, 2012:


    Only someone deeply frustrated by a one-sided argument — which, as an attorney, I deal with every day — could have the energy to generate a thoughtful, fact-based response. Well done.

    As for Florio . . . and his slow but steady slide into a snarky poster . . . I have a theory.

    Before NBC bought PFT, Florio had about 4-5 hours every morning, before going to his real law-firm job, to collect NFL news — emphasis on the word *news* — from around the United States. He acted as a clearinghouse for the fans. And he occasionally included what I’d call an Op-Ed piece on the more substantial goings-on in the NFL, which I generally found to be pretty even handed.

    BUT NOW . . . Florio’s living off the NBC teet 24 hours per day — with supporting “reporters” who, for the most part, have no clue what the difference is between a “fact” and an “opinion” based on fact.

    What happened to Florio? NBC expects — wants — him to churn out *controversial* and hard-hitting pieces that will make people talk about what he said and, hopefully, raise traffic for PFT.

    What have Florio and PFT become? FOX News. And my opinion is based on my own experience appearing as a guest legal analyst on some of their shows.

    On the big stories about the big hitters in American politics and business, it’s not about the facts. For Fox News, it’s about the viewer’s blood pressure. Sure, there’s some run-in-the-mill stories that’re pitched.

    But Fox is about getting people angry . . . so they’ll come back for more. It’s been a great business model so far.

    Why do I say this is how Fox News works? Because before I’d go on, the producer would always whisper in my ear to take one side of the argument and be as provocative as I could. Demean the other person’s opinion. Trash the individual who was the subject of the story.

    It was all about entertainment . . . .

    When Florio opens his mouth now, that’s all it’s about. Just entertainment.

    Too bad. PFT used to be quite a place to visit.

    And PFT’s slide reminds me of what Burt Lancaster’s character, a small-time and over-the-hill hood, said in the movie Atlantic City:

    “You should have seen the Atlantic Ocean in those days.”

  15. 15 laeagle said at 1:31 PM on July 19th, 2012:

    I disagree regarding Florio. I believe he’s always had that approach, even in the early days of PFT. It used to drive me crazy. He would have stuff that no one else had yet (as you say, he was a great clearinghouse). But they you’d have to put up with his opinions. Everything was a conspiracy theory, and he always had a point to make about it. And no matter what, he would never let his theories go, and would be kind of a dick about it. He’s definitely got his own opinions of the way the NFL (and the world) works and he’s very reluctant to admit when he’s wrong.

    The worst is his “lawyer-speak” when he implies a conspiracy theory by suggesting that the burden of proof is on those who doubt it. “Oh, you don’t think the Rosicrucian’s are behind the Bounty Gate suspensions? Hmm, it must be nice to be such a simpleton.”

  16. 16 midnitemud said at 11:42 AM on July 19th, 2012:

    I also enjoy PFT, but I’ve said it many times before…. I truely think Florio despises the Eagles (and especially Vick). He will say some complimentary things about the Eagles on occasion (just to try and level the field), but destroys them in other posts. When I saw his post about this, I cringed. I know he will run with the book & dynasty story for awhile, just to fan the flames. PFT is slowly turning into TMZ.

  17. 17 Matthew Harbin said at 11:53 AM on July 19th, 2012:

    I don’t think Florio hates the Eagles. He does the same thing with every other team. It could be just a gimmick and insincere or he could be sincere in his opinion. I think he knows that he will get more hits on his website with an inflammatory story about Vick and the Eagles.

  18. 18 Dave Scott said at 12:12 PM on July 19th, 2012:

    All media sites are following the same formula in the age of
    the 24 hour news cycle.

    1 Report first check facts second it’s better to lead on a
    story and be wrong than to follow others and be accurate.

    2 Pick stories that are controversial, they generate far
    more traffic. (Traffic=Advertising=Money)

    3 Money>Being a respected news outlet

    4 Be bias pick a side (usually the more controversial side
    see above rule 1)

    5 Let the public watch a “Greek Tragedy”! Build someone up
    then tear them down an Owner, Coach, Organization, Player, League, Team, School
    doesn’t really matter it all sells.

    (Watching the fall of something great sells see rule 3

    6 Sell out anyone and everyone for a buck

    The reality is there is very little difference between CBS,
    NBC, ABC, TMZ, or the Enquire. I have no idea what they teach any of these guys
    in J-School but ethics in Journalism and fact checking is not one of them.

    As sports fans we are lucky we still have an analytical
    metric based approach to cut through the subterfuge. Maybe in a sense this is
    why so many fans enjoy sports…………it’s much easier to analyze a play than it is
    a person. There is way too much background noise in today’s society.

    As an Eagles fan I appreciate the dying breed of journalism
    that is nothing but fact based! Tommy you are doing a great job keep up the
    good work!

  19. 19 D3FB said at 1:41 PM on July 19th, 2012:

    Actually this is one of the central topics that gets explored on that new HBO show THE NEWSROOM. Only four episodes have come out so far but is a very thought provoking show which is a nice change compared to most other programming options.

  20. 20 dislikedisqus said at 2:00 PM on July 19th, 2012:

    Brilliant comments. Bravo.

  21. 21 Eric Weaver said at 2:33 PM on July 19th, 2012:

    I didn’t like that he took Vick’s comment as “we have the potential to be a dynasty” as a definitive, when it’s clear that’s not what he was stating.

    Although Young’s dream team comment wasn’t exactly in a definitive either, but that’s neither here nor there.

  22. 22 sonofdman said at 7:13 PM on July 19th, 2012:

    One thing that really bothers me about Florio is when he uses the passive voice to say what he intends to do. He says “Vick’s book will be picked apart for any clues or proof that the old Mike Vick and the new Mike Vick are the same person” when he is the person who will pick Vick’s book apart to try to find anything he can turn into a controversy.

    He also throws rumors out there and then later refers to “various media reports” when referring to his own previous made up reports.