Falcons Pay the Price for Vick’s Actions

Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick is facing charges of animal cruelty and sponsoring dogfighting operations across state lines, but his legal problems are the least of the concerns facing the Atlanta Falcons franchise. Though ultimately Vick is facing jail time if convicted, what happens between now and then could very well affect the organization for years to come.

The indictment puts the Falcons into an uncomfortable position. There are many people who were outraged by the grisly details of torture and abuse the dogs suffered at the hands of Vick and associates, outlined in the 18-page indictment filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia. There is some expectation that the team should take a hardline against Vick. Others are pleading for Vick to get his day in court before he’s crucified by public opinion.

Formally, the latter is also the opinion of the Falcons organization, who want nothing more than Vick to stand trial in order to prove his innocence, if he can. Truthfully, the outcome of the legal action probably won’t make a difference to the team from a business point of view. If Vick is found guilty, he won’t be playing for the team anyway. And even if Vick is found not guilty, he has already poisoned the team’s season just by the virtue of being indicted. Maybe that’s unfair to Vick, but that is exactly what has transpired in just a short time.

Falcons owner Arthur Blank issued a statement that read in part, “This is an emotionally charged and complicated matter.” And further, though he didn’t say it explicitly, this is also a no-win situation for his team. Vick is their star player, the face of the franchise, and has been a huge draw for ticket sales since the day he was drafted the first overall pick in 2001. And there is a financial consideration as well. He is owed $6 million this year alone in salary. Blank must find some way to balance what Vick represents as the organization’s star against what consequences there will be if Vick simply plays as much of the season as he can.

The problem is that if Vick plays, he is going to draw the ire of protesters all season long as well as considerable attention from fans and media alike. Every single Falcons press conference, every single Michael Vick news story is going to mention the indictment and the trial, whether or not Vick is eventually found innocent or guilty. And what happens if the Falcons have a losing season? All of the sudden, that scrutiny gets exacerbated to an extreme.

The alternative may come down to a quiet agreement between Blank and Vick. Blank also said in his statement that “there are a wide range of interests and legal issues that need to be carefully considered as we move ahead, including our need to respect the due process that Michael is entitled to.” While it might sound like Blank prefers to wait out the conclusion of the legal action, it may also ultimately signal a gentleman’s agreement that Vick would take the season off, likely a paid leave of absence. This, too, is a less than ideal solution. The Falcons traded proven back up quarterback Matt Schaub to the Houston Texans. Heading into the season, they have Joey Harrington and Chris Redman to back up Vick.

Regardless of who steps up to replace him, releasing Vick may not be an option for financial reasons. Vick will count for $13.57 million against the salary cap this season, and $15.1 million in 2008. Because of his 10-year contract and $37 million signing bonus, the Falcons would save essentially nothing to cut him in either year.

And none of this takes into account the fall out that will affect the Falcons in tangential ways. It already started after an announcement by the National Football League commissioner Roger Goodell that Vick would be allowed to practice and play with the Falcons while federal investigators pursue their case against him. Activist group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals immediately issued a public protest, and will take their complaint in person to the league front office today. PETA spokesman Dan Shannon has called the charges against Vick “staggering” and there is talk of boycotts against the Falcons organization and/or the NFL itself if Vick is allowed to play. The Humane Society has also said it will protest in some fashion.

Also after the indictment was announced, Nike pulled a line of signature shoes bearing Vick’s name. The Air Zoom Vick V has been indefinitely shelved, though Nike’s other Vick-branded shoes will still be available at retail stores.

There will be more of these types of reactions as businesses and other athletes all scramble to get as far away from the negative stigma that Vick’s actions have brought upon himself, the Falcons and the NFL. Some people will unconditionally support Vick. Others will claim he’s being singled out because of his status as a high profile athlete. But all of these things are really besides the point. As NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy succinctly put it, “We are disappointed that Michael Vick has put himself in a position where a federal grand jury has returned an indictment against him.”

That’s right, guilty or not, the price has already been paid.

Millionaire Mindset: Cedrick Harris and Todd Falcone Have It

Millionaire Mindset: A Top 10 Takeaway

This past Thursday night Todd Falcone had a one hour call about his top 10 ‘takeaway’s’ he received by being the Emcee at the NESII Event; one of those takeaways was the Millionaire Mindset and this takeaway resonated with me when he talked about it because it’s the key to why he’s still in the business 22 years later.

The Millionaire Mindset is the key to why he’s approachable, why he’s never stopped learning, why he keeps working on himself and his brand to create more value each and every day and why he always asks, “What do you want me to cover so that you can learn and become a success? What is it you want to know?” As a bonus to those who attended NESII Todd gave away his LBB of Scripts – something I’ve wanted for quite some time now and I’m reading it diligently – a valuable resource to create a valuable business.

Todd Falcone talks about a Millionaire Mindset on his Monday night calls and has decidedly coupled his efforts with another millionaire mindset Mrs. Susan Sly. But, that’s another story for another blog post.

I want to tell you about an experience I had with this millionaire mindset: Cedrick Harris.

A Great Example of a Millionaire Mindset: Cedrick Harris

A Millionaire Mindset is what you have when you show up at conferences, summits, events and speaking engagements and YOU’RE NOT SPEAKING! Millionaires were all over the No Excuses SummitII; walking around, mingling and having valuable conversations with the likes of people like you and me. They were connecting and networking and amazingly enough LEARNING. Because a Millionaire Mindset doesn’t start and stop on the stage it keeps working 24/7.

I first met Cedrick Harris in North Las Vegas in early 2010 at a very small gathering. I had no idea who he was or why I should care, but I liked his completely nonchallant style that served everyone around him. As if to say, “You know being a millionaire isn’t a big deal, anyone can do it.” That’s why I resonated with Cedrick Harris; because he has the millionaire mindset. He exudes his passion for helping others because inevitably it’s going to help the greater good, e.g., our country’s broken down economy.

He spent a great deal of time with our group and was gracious and grateful throughout his entire presentation. There were no expectations and there was no dissension based on who would become a part of his Team or not. He treated everyone with deference and created a really awesome ‘vibe’ in the room. Of course, it helped that the people who were hosting Cedrick also had a pleasant vibrational energy.

Both Todd Falcone and Cedrick Harris have been at every event I’ve attended. Somehow I’ve found my way, through my economic debacle to attend these events such as riding my bicycle 50 miles round trip in 110 degree heat to the first NES, having to sleep in my car for the CCPro Mastermind Event 6, and multiple other sacrifices I’ve had to make in order to network and connect with the Millionaire Mindset.

You want to be a millionaire Nicole? You must learn to network with the millionaires and get to know them. Through my tenacity, drive, determination and sheer will I’ve not only met Todd Falcone and Cedrick Harris, but I actually know them and have had conversations with these Millionaires.

A Millionaire Mindset: How It Works

So, I walk in to the breakout session for Susan Sly at the NESII and it’s packed, there are no seats and everyone’s excited. Conversation is at an all time decibel high and some guy walks up to me and says, “What’s your name? Where are you from? What do you do? and multiple other questions. I don’t know him, he doesn’t know me and all of a sudden, we have about 5 things in common. It was organized chaos Susan Sly Style.

As the crowd settled down and Susan started to present dressed in her off the shoulder black dress with these cool black boots on I started taping on my little video recorder.

Lo and behold, who’s standing next to me?! Like right next to me?! Cedrick Harris. He’s taping too. Yep, he’s got his camcorder out and he’s listening intently. A multi-millionaire listening to another multi-millionaire, standing in the back of a breakout session with everyone else, just like everyone else and ready to get in the game, just like everyone else. Now that’s how a Millionaire Mindset works!

As Susan instructed us to do in our ‘play the game of live prospecting’, Cedrick and I traded places pretending we were on the phone and of course, he displayed his professional phone etiquette succinctly and with style as I fumbled all over myself to achieve the first two questions and then I slammed down my pretend phone and exclaimed “dammit I screwed up!”

Cedrick assured me I was doing the right thing and that I just needed a little practice. He was in the game. He was there, experiencing, learning, doing, being and get this, BUYING Susan Sly’s information! Cedrick was just like everyone else in the room: getting in the game.

At the conclusion of the breakout session Susan yells to the back, “Coach Nic can you help them?” Immediately I ran to the table and did whatever I could to help achieve the handing out of papers. I was so excited to be called upon to ‘get in the game’ I almost ran over a few people! As I handed out the paperwork on behalf of Susan, Cedrick collected one of the sheets and started filling it out, getting in line with everyone else to purchase her cd’s, books, or better yet, become an attendee of one of her amazing private summits she holds once per year – for women only. I don’t know how he’ll pull that one off, but he’s very savvy that Cedrick Harris.

The Takeaway: A Millionaire Mindset Starts Before You’re A Millionaire

After listening to Todd’s call on Thursday night while driving to coach my triathletes at the pool I realized that a millionaire mindset is what you have when you listen. Listening to hear, not listening to judge, lay blame, defeat the other or create dissension. Listening to hear what your prospect has to say – that’s the millionaire mindset. A great example of this? Todd, at the end of his call says, “I want to go through the questions to see if I didn’t answer anyone’s question.” he read through the questions and answered them in Todd Falcone Style – purely off the cuff and so very clear and concise.

A Millionaire Mindset is what I’m striving to achieve in this business and I truly believe it must start now.

Week Thirteen Preview – Atlanta Falcons

The Eagles continue their march towards the playoffs as they travel to Atlanta to take on the Falcons. Atlanta is a team on the outside looking in on the playoff race and will really need to beat Philadelphia if they want to have a shot. The Falcons are unbeaten at home and will look to continue the trend. Both teams have been struck hard by the injury bug and will need a lot of players to step up in order to find a way to win.

Here’s some quick team stats and league rankings:

Points per game: 24.7 (8th)
Yards per game: 339.5 (16th)
Pass yards per game: 221.3 (17th)
Rush yards per game: 118.2 (13th)

Points per game: 22.3 (19th)
Yards per game: 373.9 (27th)
Pass yards per game: 252.6 (27th)
Rush yards per game: 121.3 (23rd)

Chris Redman – We can’t say a whole lot about Chris Redman, because we don’t know a whole lot about Chris Redman. Most people don’t. He’s been in the league for quite sometime but doesn’t have anything to show for it. He was able to hook up with Roddy White last week on a game winning touchdown but it was against a terrible Tampa Bay team who had Atlanta on their heels. I don’t think Redman will be one of the better quarterbacks the Birds face this year but they can’t afford to take him lightly. I’m sure they will attack him as much as possible and force him to make turnovers. I look for Asante to really toy with his mind and get his hands on the ball.

Running backs – Atlanta has had a bit of a running back carousel going on the last few weeks. Michael Turner tried to come back too early and ended up re-injuring himself last week. If he is unable to go, Jerious Norwood and Jason Snelling will handle the duties. Snelling had a big game when he replaced Turner and will look to do so again. Norwood is more of your explosive third down type back who has a lot of success catching balls out of the backfield. Turner is a solid running back but they have the depth behind him that they can get by with.

Roddy White – His numbers are down a bit compared to last year in terms of yardage but he’s found the end zone as many times in 12 games this year as he did last year. He is an explosive receiver and on the Birds will have to keep an eye on all day. I’m not sure if they will give as many downfield opportunities with Chris Redman in the game rather than Matt Ryan, but I still expect Redman to look his way a lot.

Tony Gonzalez – Oh boy. The Eagles have to face yet another elite tight end. Gonzo is one of the best in the business and has been for quite sometime. Tight ends get checked down to a lot so I think Redman might try to use him as a security blanket early and often on Sunday. Since we’ve had trouble covering the tight end position all year, I could definitely see Gonzalez having a big game. Hopefully, the Eagles can minimize that as much as possible.

I’m not going to focus on any players here because none really stand out to me. If you look at the numbers, the Falcons defense has been very vulnerable all year. They have been giving up over 250 yards through the air and 120 yards on the ground and rank near the bottom as far as yards per game are concerned. Not having DeSean Jackson will be tough but I think this is the kind of team you can really move the ball against and control the clock. We haven’t seen the Eagles do this a whole lot but would be nice to see them start Sunday. I’d like to see Leonard Weaver get involved early and pound out some solid yardage all game. You wouldn’t think the Birds will attack down field as much without DeSean but this is a secondary you should consistently be able to pick up first downs against. Donovan has to be accurate with his passes and his receivers have to create some space. I think this could be done and the Eagles should be able to put up some serious points.

Special Teams
The Falcons have brought Matt Bryant in to take over field goal duties. If you don’t remember who he is you can go here to have your heart re-broken. Hopefully this game doesn’t come down to Falcons having the opportunity to kick a game winning field goal again because my heart can’t handle that.