The League

Zach Leibowitz
Sideline Reporter

Zach Leibowitz

A former sideline reporter for ESPN

Risky Bonds Investment

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In the PR world where image is everything and reality is perception, good luck to those publicity hounds potentially forced to deal with either Michael Vick or Barry Bonds. Let's see, admitted dog-abuser and convicted felon or alleged steroid cheat and ultimate baseball fraud? It's always nice to have a healthy selection of options to choose from. It should be noted I wouldn't go near either of them if I were an owner. And I would cringe if I were the PR guy, especially if it was Bonds I had to handle.

There is nothing good anymore that could come from the tainted home-run king's presence. On the field, he would probably walk a little bit and hit a few home runs for whomever he played for, but what would that say about the priorities of that organization? What message is that sending to the fans? What kind of circus is that creating? Sure, every team wants to win, attract fans and generate revenue. But not like that, not with that "large" a distraction.

Vick's presence wouldn't be particularly good for a team's image either. What Vick did off the field was horrific and cruel. However, Vick has paid his debt to society according to the judicial system. While it doesn't condone what Vick's done, it does allow some semblance of closure to this sad saga. Society has a much stronger appreciation for those who are contrite and willing to make amends for their mistakes. Over time, people are willing to give someone a second chance and that's why Vick would be the safer PR choice for a team.

Bonds may never admit what he's allegedly done. He's denied the allegations against him for far too long to suddenly change his story and seem remotely credible. Bonds has become a sports pariah, an arrogant sports pariah which is worse. He would become a baseball team's PR nightmare -- as he had in San Francisco.

By Zach Leibowitz  |  March 4, 2009; 7:27 AM ET  | Category:  Atlanta Falcons , Michael Vick , Steroids , Zach Leibowitz Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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