FanDuel - WFBC

July 28, 2007

Upper Deck pulls Vick cards, memorabilia: Upper Deck has removed all Michael Vick autographed memorabilia from its online store and will remove the indicted quarterback's trading card from NFL sets that are scheduled to be released in October.

posted by commander cody to football at 10:37 PM - 49 comments

Personally I think that if anyone can get their hands on the cards that were pulled, they'd be the hottest cards in the collectors market. The article may say that there's been a "very strong emotion within our organization and among the collecting community", but I doubt it'd be nearly as strong as the market for the hard to get cards.

posted by commander cody at 10:40 PM on July 28

I think it is BS, maybe he is the next satan but who gives a crap, don't pull it untill he is convicted. After that then maybe you have a moral need to do so but untill then let those who want it get it.

posted by cptdon at 12:46 AM on July 29

Anyone know what Upper Deck's precedent on this is? Did they pull Randy Moss's cards when he ran his car into that meter maid? Ray Lewis's the day he was charged with murder? If they pulled those cards the day they were arrested, then fine. If not, then I have a problem with it. Vick is charged with being cruel to an animal, Moss and Lewis were charged with being cruel to human beings. Seems that humans should register higher. Those cards are instant collector's items.

posted by dviking at 02:02 AM on July 29

Can't say I'm surprised it happened though. Reebok and Nike have already pulled their Vick-related merchandise off the sales shelves, it was a matter of time before card companies followed suit. No company wants anything to do with him anymore because the allegations are so strong, especially in the court of public opinion, they don't want to be seen as condoning the crimes he's accused of. This is merely a reflection of how serious the Fed indictments are, it's not against Vick personally. On the opposite side of the coin, assuming a few Vick cards find their way into the hands of the public, who would actually want to own such a card? My guess is that the card will trade hands, as dviking implied, at exorbitantly high prices; if Vick's convicted, or something odd happens very soon that Vick is completely disassociated from the case and is reinstated unconditionally in the NFL AND in Upper Deck, that card is likely to devalue very very quickly.

posted by NerfballPro at 04:04 AM on July 29

All I know is that I was selling Vick's sports items on ebay, and since this dog thing has hit,none of it is selling well now!

posted by robi8259 at 06:16 AM on July 29

I'm with Nerfball. The problem with Vick is he wasn't all that great a quarterback prior to all this crap. For someone who has been in the league as long as he has, his completion percentage and accuracy is terrible. He's a guy who was always exciting with his legs, but that's it. The rest was potential which may or may not have ever been reached. Pulling his merchandise is an easy call for companies. Why subject themselves to all the demonstrations and uproar over this issue? It seems like a simple business decision. As for Vick's legal standing at the moment, his co-defendant copping a deal, as was reported, seems to point towards him giving the prosecution info. they wanted to nail Mike. All of Vick's future income may revolve around writing a bestseller titled, "How To Lose $25 Million A Year Without Thinking."

posted by dyams at 08:52 AM on July 29

Did he not have a yacht?What a dumbass,he'll be broke by 35.

posted by nafsfeihc1#oN at 09:06 AM on July 29

I heard that if Vick is found not guilty he is going to dedicate the rest of his life trying to find the real dogfighters.

posted by urall cloolis at 09:07 AM on July 29

It didn't take long for Vick to become radioactive. I saw his footballs at Target the other day and wondered if they were about to disappear. The doublespeak from Upper Deck's marketing exec almost makes me feel sorry for him. (Unsolicited advice: Don't acknowledge that someone's "innocent until proven guilty" when you are treating him as if he were already convicted.) I think it's getting easier to scare corporations these days with media protest campaigns, like the ones Bill O'Reilly and Daily Kos are waging against each other. Between humane societies, PETA and pet lovers in general, Vick is getting hammered.

posted by rcade at 09:16 AM on July 29

"Who would actually want to own such a card?" I remember a few years back when a card company issued a serial killer collection,complete with"stats".Despite the outrage they did rather well with certain collectors.

posted by sickleguy at 09:43 AM on July 29

sickleguy, I have to admit one thing, at least we (collectors) knew up front the people on those cards were socially irresponsible. Vick was a high-profile athlete and a role model to many...what's his excuse?

posted by NerfballPro at 11:24 AM on July 29

I think if he's convicted the price will just go up more. Remember after the Duke arrests the team Lacrosse shirts were selling like hotcakes. Hardly a week goes by out here in L.A. that you don't see someone wearing one. I'm betting that half the gang-bangers in South Central will want Vick shirts, esp if he's found guilty.

posted by commander cody at 12:54 PM on July 29

Not really suprised by this. Nobody wants to be associated with Vick. If a company were to become the only one selling Vick materials they'd most likely recieve more negative publicity than they wish to encounter. Also, none of these companies wish to attract the wrath of organizations like PETA. It isn't worth potential revenue from memorabilia sales.

posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 02:04 PM on July 29

Okay, so pulling Benoit merchandise after he murdered his wife and kid then hung himself... THAT I can understand. While Vick isn't exactly a model citizen, this seems a bit... Hmm... Side note: Wasn't Michael Vick a Madden covergirl one year? Since I don't pay much attention (any?) to football, but I know his name. And yes, the price on his merchandise will now sky rocket.

posted by Drood at 02:39 PM on July 29

If it's an over reaction, or a weak-willed reaction - it's an inevitable one. Too easy to take such a stance, and it's unlikely any of these companies would stand to make more money if they kept him in the fold. At best they get some minor positive spin, or more likely no change in revenue - at worst (they choose to support him) they suffer the fallout and stand to lose millions. Dogfighting - the lynch pin charge. Who knew?

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 03:18 PM on July 29

Weedy- good points. What seems to be forgotten is that all of these BUSINESSES- the NFL, Nike, Reebok, Upper Deck, Atlanta Falcons, Gatorade, etc... are in the business of making money and making their companies grow. Bad publicity equals bad business. A conviction does not have to happen for anyone to be terminated, just something that isn't good for business. It is not the god given right of Vick/Mexico/Ookie to be a spokesperson for products, a QB in the NFL, an employee of Atlanta Falcons. They all have the right to cut ties with him whenever he no longer can do his job properly and effectively. He can no longer sell products (at the same rate) due to image and marketability, which is why he was hired by the advertisers to begin with. There are many including myself that would not shop an entire product line (Nike, Falcons, Home Depot, Gatorade) just due to the overwhelming indictment against him. He brings a bad image to the Falcons and the NFL and they have every right to sever ties with him.

posted by urall cloolis at 04:23 PM on July 29

Side note: Wasn't Michael Vick a Madden covergirl one year? Since I don't pay much attention (any?) to football, but I know his name. Yes, I remember that well. Madden 04', I want to say. It was supposed to the The Falcons Big Year. And then Vick broke his leg (Fibula) pre-season or early in the season. We had the Vick cutout from Madden in our apartment at the time. Regardless of how this all pans out, it is certainly a lesson on how to throw your career down the tubes. Feel free to be implicated in murder, but sure as hell don't piss off the pet lovers.

posted by jmd82 at 04:57 PM on July 29

Feel free to be implicated in murder, but sure as hell don't piss off the pet lovers Have you spent the time to read the indictment? The federal government does not waste its time on cases it is not certain it can win. It is not a local crime, it is a federal case, as it occurred over several states boundries. If I were a Falcon/ Vick diehard fan I would be more pissed off that he spent more time and energy trying to be the dogfighting godfather instead of a great quarterback, which sadly, he probably could have been if he put his off time and energy into football.

posted by urall cloolis at 05:54 PM on July 29

Down the road if the dog charges stick, his troubles won't be over by any means. With all the betting going on, you gotta beleive the IRS is watching this. Vick is in some serious dog dodo.

posted by robi8259 at 09:04 PM on July 29

JMD: Thought so. If I recall that was the first year I heard about the "Madden Curse". As I said, I don't really follow football. (And I actually own Madden 2004 I think. I usually stay a couple of years behind the curve, that way you can get the games for pocket change.)

posted by Drood at 09:12 PM on July 29

(And I actually own Madden 2004 I think. I usually stay a couple of years behind the curve, that way you can get the games for pocket change.) I save a fortune on video games...I don't have any at all..... ;-)

posted by commander cody at 09:36 PM on July 29

Sidebar: Madden hasn't changed much since Madden '02. Serious football gamers and hardcore football fans play 2K football (admittedly, the company that paid to use OJ Simpson in its latest title - shocked that the lazy media hasn't picked up on this yet). Topic: Vick is in trouble, there's no two ways around it. He's going to get stuck on the dog fighting charges, he's going to get stuck with the IRS, and after that, he'll be hard pressed to find a consistent income even one tenth of what he used to command. Being that there likely won't be another XFL, Vick really screwed the pooch with his career and the rest of his life. He should of just dealt drugs or shot up strip clubs as his vices - he would have gotten a few extra chances if he went that route. I find it funny that UD pulled his cards, though, since trading cards are supposed to be an objective record of the players in a given league. Vick played last season, so he should be included in at least one more round of trading card issuances.

posted by BCHockey at 10:45 PM on July 29

I am not a collector or trading card expert, but I do not believe that they issue cards for players that retired the previous year. Since these cards are not supposed to come out until October it makes sense not to include Vick, since it looks more likely than not that he will not play this season. I am fairly certain that there will be no Adam Jones, Chris Henry or Tank Johnson cards either. I think that they put out cards for current players or players that look like they will be on rosters at the beginning of the year.

posted by urall cloolis at 11:10 PM on July 29

Have you spent the time to read the indictment? The federal government does not waste its time on cases it is not certain it can win. It is not a local crime, it is a federal case, as it occurred over several states boundries. My snide wasn't about what cases the state or national government is perusing, but rather about the court of public perception. Two totally different things. If I were a Falcon/ Vick diehard fan I would be more pissed off that he spent more time and energy trying to be the dogfighting godfather instead of a great quarterback, which sadly, he probably could have been if he put his off time and energy into football. I don't think it's so much him being lazy as it is a coach hasn't been able to figure out how to use Vick consistently. Every year, I heard coaches say they're going to use him in a different way than last year. He's a great runner and injuries be damned, it helped them win games and every year it was, "We need to run less, pass more (with Vick)." Just look at his last two years where they tried to make Vick a passer. Didn't work so well. Vick was a pretty damn QB when he ran the ball and defenses respected that. It also masked his inability to throw accurate on a consistent basis. When he sat back in the packet more, the D coordinators had to be rejoicing.

posted by jmd82 at 07:20 AM on July 30

The federal government does not waste its time on cases it is not certain it can win. The federal government has spent quite some time investigating Bonds and haven't managed to get an indictment. The govt is just a collection of different people of varying skills and abilities, some good and some bad, sometimes wrong and sometimes right. An indictment, even a federal one, is not an automatic conviction.

posted by bperk at 09:01 AM on July 30

If I recall that was the first year I heard about the "Madden Curse". That may be but the curse has been around since Eddie George was first on the Madden cover in 2001 and it's been around ever since. Whether you believe in the "Madden Curse" or not, the fact is every cover boy has gotten hurt since appearing on Madden football. Madden hasn't changed much since Madden '02. Serious football gamers and hardcore football fans play 2K football. Total disagreement. "Serious football gamers and hardcore football fans play" Madden football since it's a lot more realistic than any other football-related game out there, including 2K football. Plus, there's a little something that's called the "Madden tournament" that pits players from all over the world to see who the best gamer is out there. Madden '08 will feature Vince Young on the cover so I'm just waiting to see what injury he'll be inflicted with this coming season.

posted by BornIcon at 09:22 AM on July 30

A bit more info on the Madden Curse. I also agree with BornIcon. Madden is widely accepted as the best football game available. It is also the only one to feature NFL players. In addition, The Madden Challenge is probably the largest football gaming tournament there is. The winner recieves $100,000, an amount larger than any other tournament prize.

posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 09:35 AM on July 30

It's the only football game available and I feel like EA hurt themselves by buying the exclusive rights to every football league they could find. The lack of competition has reduced their incentive to innovate and I think it's hurt the games. Sure you get a hit stick and some new franchise options now adn again, but where's anything new and different? When the PS2 had Gameday, Sega and Madden, there was real improvement year-to-year instead of paying $60 for a glorified roster update. In addition, The Madden Challenge is probably the largest football gaming tournament there is. The winner recieves $100,000, an amount larger than any other tournament prize. Way to step out on a limb. What does that prove about the quality of Madden? You aren't suggesting popularity inherently proves quality, are you?

posted by yerfatma at 09:48 AM on July 30

I was addressing BCHockey's comment that serious football fans and hardcore games play 2K sports, not the quality of Madden. Obviously the quality of the game is going to be related to its popularity among games and football fans but I doubt the Madden Challenge has a serious impact on either.

posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 09:52 AM on July 30

The federal government has spent quite some time investigating Bonds and haven't managed to get an indictment. The govt is just a collection of different people of varying skills and abilities, some good and some bad, sometimes wrong and sometimes right. An indictment, even a federal one, is not an automatic conviction. Think you're missing the point here, bperk. The point isn't that federal prosecutors catch every bad guy out there; it's that when they do pursue a criminal indictment, they've probably cherry-picked something that they are pretty sure they can win.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 10:00 AM on July 30

The point isn't that federal prosecutors catch every bad guy out there; it's that when they do pursue a criminal indictment, they've probably cherry-picked something that they are pretty sure they can win. Maybe for the cases that actually go to trial, but indictments have pretty low standards with no cross examination and the like. The feds can get an indictment and hope the defendant pleads to a lesser offense just to avoid the risk of trial. It's low risk and done all the time. A federal indictment shouldn't be held up as proof that the feds are comfortable that they can get a felony conviction against Vick.

posted by bperk at 11:44 AM on July 30

What does that prove about the quality of Madden? You aren't suggesting popularity inherently proves quality, are you? I hear what you're saying but the bottom line is, a game of this caliber would not be as popular as it is if it wasn't for the fact that the quality of the game is far superior than of it's competition (even before EA purchased the rights for the NFL). Madden is the ultimate sports video game franchise and has been for a very long time and will be for years to come.

posted by BornIcon at 11:49 AM on July 30

Maybe for the cases that actually go to trial, but indictments have pretty low standards with no cross examination and the like. Federal Indictments have a 95% conviction rate. Plea bargains come out of the remaining 5%. The federal government doesn't waste its time trying to get plea bargains. The Feds want convictions. Also on a side note, the plea bargain appears to have been offered to Vicks co-defendant who is now singing like a canary.

posted by Steel_Town at 12:52 PM on July 30

Don't want to take this off topic, but I can't read some of these pro-Madden comments without breaking out in laughter. Where are the expectations for this title? How can some of you be OK with its mediocrity? Madden's alleged "realism" is stuck back in 2001. Madden 07 couldn't touch NFL 2K5, and Madden 08 probably won't, either. IF you think Madden is realistic, then I take it you don't have much experience with real football. If you want to live out your fantasy of controlling "real NFL players" (i.e. a name and a uniform graphic) in an outdated archaic game developed by a company that does not respect its customers (I'm still waiting on online leagues and next-gen titles that have all the features of the last gen titles), instead of diving into an incredibly realistic chess match of a football game, then be my guest . . . I'll take the superior gameplay and leave the fantasizing to some one else. Saying Madden is better than 2K is like saying that 50 Cent is a better MC than Nas. Or any other mass-market middle-of-the-road product / movie / idea is superior to a more refined, intelligent, targested alternative. It's an argument that has major problems, albeit one that is ultimately determined in subjectivity. Large sales like Madden demonstrate one thing = a dumbed down, mediocre appeal riding a wave of incredible in-your-face marketing and a long history of what once was great football gaming. Oh, and I guess it also implies something that we already know about the American consumer. Now EA's marketing department on the other hand? Pure gold. And of course video game payola doesn't hurt, either. Those that think Madden is (can't stop laughing here) the "ultimate" sports franchise have INCREDIBLY low expectations, and apparently don't know what's really possible . . . has any one played Winning 11, NBA 2K, or the last 2 iterations of Sony's MLB franchise? Even excluding 2K football for a monent, Madden can't touch these franchises. BornIcon, you're off the mark here, IMO, brother.

posted by BCHockey at 01:01 PM on July 30

Federal Indictments have a 95% conviction rate. Plea bargains come out of the remaining 5%. The federal government doesn't waste its time trying to get plea bargains. Not according to the Department of Justice. From the link: Cases were terminated against 83,391 defendants during 2004. Most (90%) defendants were convicted. Of the 74,782 defendants convicted, 72,152 (or 96%) pleaded guilty or no-contest.

posted by bperk at 01:20 PM on July 30

Vick's co-defendant pleads. Sounds like he basically sold Vick out in a statement. Dog fighting's loss is penitentiary football's gain, it would seem.

posted by The Crafty Sousepaw at 01:30 PM on July 30

a game of this caliber would not be as popular as it is if it wasn't for the fact that the quality of the game is far superior than of it's competition See also: Van Winkle, Rob.

posted by yerfatma at 01:35 PM on July 30

Dog fighting's loss is penitentiary football's gain, it would seem. Seems like the perfect chance for a real life version of The Longest Yard.

posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 01:57 PM on July 30

Those that think Madden is (can't stop laughing here) the "ultimate" sports franchise have INCREDIBLY low expectations, and apparently don't know what's really possible... And you my friend are certainly entitled to your own opinion(s) but since my expectations remain high, I'll stick with the true NFL franchise in Madden football. ...has any one played Winning 11, NBA 2K, or the last 2 iterations of Sony's MLB franchise? Even excluding 2K football for a monent, Madden can't touch these franchises. To answer your question, yes I have. FIFA is a better game than Winning 11 and MLB 2K is a great game but since EA doesn't have exclusive rights to the MLB, you can't really compare these two sports. I also have both NBA Live 2007 and NBA 2K7 and to be honest, NBA Live (graphically) looks great but the gameplay and control scheme of NBA 2K is top notch and the graphics aren't so bad either. Now go and check out Tiger Woods 2007 (XBox 360) and tell me that isn't the most realistic golf game you've ever experienced.

posted by BornIcon at 02:02 PM on July 30

True, BornIcon, we all have the right to our own opinions. Mine are pretty strong, and I'm sure yours are as well (why else would we bother posting here). Being that you "went there" with FIFA, it's probably just appropriate that we agree to disagree. I'll hold off for Woods 08, which drops in August. Didnt cop the last one because EA took out too many features for next gen. The Wii version should be the most realistic, since you are actually swinging. I will admit that the Wii version of Madden is also enjoyable. Edit: I meant "The Show" for the baseball title, not the MLB franchise. I favor The Show. MLB 2K is too glitchy. On Topic: Vick should remain in trading card sets and video games because it is supposed to be objective. Additionally, the card or game is supposed to speak only to Vick as he existed between the white lines, not to his personal life. Because he played last year, and is seeking to play this year (unlikely as that seems right now), he should remain. If he is convicted and thereafter suspended or banned? Sure, pull him then.

posted by BCHockey at 03:13 PM on July 30

I could be wrong but I assume Vick will be available in Madden 08. Since the game is quite close to release it seems unreasonable for them to go through the hassle of removing him from the game. However, Madden does offer online roster updates which could make Vick unavailable. Though I'm not sure how that would be accomplished without removing him from the game entirely.

posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 04:28 PM on July 30

BC, "The Show" is a great baseball game but since it's Sony exclusive and I moved towards the XBox 360, I only played it this year's version for a little bit but I still have the last two beforehand. I still have my PS2 but I don't play it much any more these days and the baseball game that gets mucho airplay at my spot is MLB 2K7. I cannot wait until TW 08 comes out but I think you're dead on about the Wii version being more realistic since you can use the controller as a golf club (The 360 version should be up to par...get it?). Little things like that makes a game feel more real and as if you're actually playing a round of golf. IMO, Mike Vick will be in Madden 08.

posted by BornIcon at 06:59 AM on July 31

"FIFA is a better game than Winning 11 " Oh dear. Meanwhile, Madden isn't so hot, but it becomes a great game on the PC thanks to the work done by the modding community. The franchise software available for the last couple of games really extends the playability and finally makes it competitive to play against the CPU. Without the ability to crack the whip to keep the AI in line, it makes some incredibly stupid decisions. See the brilliant moves in my 06 game where the Browns lost Frye to a career ending injury, so drafted in Brady Quinn to challenge Derek Anderson, and then signed Kerry Collins. And Marques Tuiasospo. And Patrick Ramsey. And Sage Rosenfels. So just the six quarterbacks. (I use "quarterback" loosely.)

posted by Mr Bismarck at 07:40 AM on July 31

Has anyone played the golf title that comes with the Wii? It's not the friendliest golf interface. Tiger Woods is frustrating enough without having actual swing problems added on.

posted by yerfatma at 08:31 AM on July 31

Tiger Woods is frustrating enough without having actual swing problems added on. I thought so too until I actually started getting more into it. Graphically, TW 07 is absolutely beautiful but swinging the golf clubs was the stuff of nightmares. The whole process is now very easy to register since it's just a simple up-down motion but in order to pitch or putt, you need to know when to add or take off a little, just like in actual golf. There are many other sport titles out there that are easy to pick up and play and are just as appealing to the eye. There's Virtual Tennis, Rockstar's Table Tennis (I know but trust me, just try it!) and even NHL 2K or EA's version of NHL (but I'll stick with NHL 2K). Mind you, these are XBox 360 titles but I'm pretty sure that other consoles have their own versions. "FIFA is a better game than Winning 11" Oh dear. Again, this is just my opinion on these games and I like what I like just as I'm sure you like what you like. The thing is, we can sit here and debate which games are better but overall, to each your own.

posted by BornIcon at 09:05 AM on July 31

Absolutely BI, which is why I didn't go into some long ramble about why you were "wrong." I find FIFA a bit like lite beer - it seems like the real thing until you taste it. I don't get to say what's good or not though. FIFA is certainly a lot better now than it was and shows that EA will step up its game when it has competition, while Madden shows why when they land an exclusive, as with the NFL deal, it's bad news for the game.

posted by Mr Bismarck at 09:15 AM on July 31

I actually like the golf game on Wii Sports. It's obviously pretty shallow, but it shows the tremendous potential for how great golf games on the Wii can be. With the balance board coming out next year (and the likely ability to turn it sideways), the added element of lower body weight distribution will come into play in the swing mechanic. The same technique could be used for baseball games. Can't wait for some one to implement these ideas. Rockstar Table Tennis is headed to the Wii. If it's anything like Wii Sports Tennis, it should be a smash hit (ouch). I'm still waiting for the Wii soccer game that requires you to strap the controllers to your feet . . .

posted by BCHockey at 10:15 AM on July 31

I thought so too until I actually started getting more into it. Graphically, TW 07 is absolutely beautiful but swinging the golf clubs was the stuff of nightmares. Huh? I'm saying Tiger is tough enough when it's just a matter of pushing the stick back and forth. The Wii controller . . . never mind.

posted by yerfatma at 10:19 AM on July 31

I'm saying Tiger is tough enough when it's just a matter of pushing the stick back and forth. Dude, I know what you meant and I was right there with you with being frustrated. The first time I played the Tiger Woods game, the whole analog stick was quite a mess, I was slicing balls to my left & right that it wasn't even funny. I can't remember exactly when it happened but then suddenly, I was wailing balls 280+ yards away. I know that some games are just so freakin' hard that I just want to throw the 'stick' right thru my plasma but a little patience can go a long way and soon I was drilling putts from 78 feet away and doing the 'Tiger fist pump' soon thereafter.

posted by BornIcon at 10:37 AM on July 31

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