Look who’s back for the fall season, that’s right Madden 2012. Don’t know about Cleveland running back Peyton Hillis gracing the 2012 cover but regardless the game looks great. Check out some the videos that EA Sports has produced for this year’s installment. Enjoy!!!!
New Era Caps put together a couple of commercials using Alec Baldwin and John Krasinski to really heat up this old school rivalry. Watch these hilarious commercials as well a behind the scenes video at the end.
Stan Smith meets Dr. Marten on the adidas adi Navvy Boot. Dressed in brown leather, this sneaker inspired boot dons perforated branding similar to the tennis classic and cord laces common seen on hikers. Bronze eyelets and Trefoil stamping class up the top end while a white sole stays sporty. Cost: $100 (CLICK HERE FOR LINK)
Riccardo Tisci is the Italian creative director of Givenchy, the French couture house.
He was responsible for Jay-Z and Kanye West’s collaborative album “Watch The Throne“ artwork. The Deluxe packaging is printed on gold mylar with Tisci’s patterns and also includes an 18-panel poster.
“I am honoured to have been asked to be part of this incredible music moment with such amazing artists. I am impressed by the amount of respect they have for music and art. We share the same way of working: like a family.” said Riccardo Tisci
After ten years of intensive research, the Swiss watch manufacturer has succeeded in uniting solar time with sidereal time, together with astronomical displays, in a single watch. The result is a fascinating universal work of art which comes with a wealth of surprising complications and new technical features. The Portuguese Sidérale Scafusia is the most complex timepiece ever created by IWC. (CLICK HERE FOR LINK)
File this one under “Only In NYC”, LOL!!!!!
Story by Sean Alfano / NY Daily News Staff Writer
A New York street performer chased down a crook who swiped cash from a donation box, and he barely missed a beat.
The would-be thief was caught on tape trying to pull off his heist during the performance of a trio of beat boxers on Astor Place. As he leans down to place money in the box, he can be seen in the video grabbing a handful of cash and running off.
Stunned, rapper Kid Lucky drops his microphone and chases the robber down, dragging him back and forcing him to return the money.
“He took our money,” Kid Lucky said of the incident, referring to fellow performers Ashley “Saywut” Moyer and Kata. “Sometimes, things happen.”
While we’re plenty ecstatic about the safe return of the NFL, we’re pretty sure no one’s happier than Michael Vick. After his string of transcendent performances last season—including five TDs in one half on Monday Night Football—it’s easy to forget that only two years ago, Vick was a third-stringer just out of federal prison. But in winning our forgiveness, has he really convinced us that he’s a changed man? Or does it just not matter when you play football like Michael Vick?
Story By Will Leitch / Photograph By Peter Hapak / GQ Magazine
“I stand before you a changed man,” Michael Vick tells an auditorium packed with kids whose parents would very much like to see them change, too. “Use me as an example of an instrument of change.”
It’s early June, and Vick is at Philadelphia’s Kimmel Center, addressing the graduates of the Camelot Schools of Pennsylvania. These students are primarily from low-income African-American families, and most wound up here after being kicked out of other schools. Vick has stumbled through parts of his speech but nails this bit. It’s his second-biggest applause line—after an eleven-way tie between each time he says the word Eagles.
The students want him there; he won a popular vote. Their options were Vick, Philadelphia mayor Michael Nutter, and school-district superintendent Arlene Ackerman. The Camelot Schools claim the vote was “close.” I do not believe them. When Vick was selected and accepted the honor, Milton Alexander, Camelot’s vice president of operations, waved off any potential criticism by saying, “One thing that we are constantly addressing with our students is if you make a mistake, if you make a bad decision, there is accountability involved, and just because this is your reality now, it doesn’t have to be your reality forever. Vick’s story is very relevant to their situation.”
It’s a scene that many couldn’t have imagined last year at this time, when Michael Vick was out of prison but oddly irrelevant—neutered, almost. The man who’d not long before been the most controversial athlete on earth seemed forgotten and ignored, even by his own team. Vick had successfully navigated his way back to football after his infamous dogfighting scandal, but his problem was no longer picketing protesters or angry television commentators. It was the Eagles’ depth chart. He—Michael Vick!—was a third-stringer behind aging Pro Bowler Donovan McNabb and Kevin Kolb, both considered NFL starters in their own right. There probably wasn’t a professional quarterback farther from glory in all of football. And nobody knew it more than Vick.
“I think I can say this now, because it’s not going to hurt anybody’s feelings, and it’s the truth,” Vick tells me a few weeks after the commencement ceremony. “I didn’t want to come to Philadelphia. Being the third-team quarterback is nothing to smile about. Cincinnati and Buffalo were better options.” Those two teams wanted him and would’ve allowed him to start, but after meeting with commissioner Roger Goodell and other reps from the NFL, Vick was convinced—and granted league approval—to sign with Philly. “And I commend and thank them, because they put me in the right situation.”
That they did. After attempting only thirteen passes in 2009, his first season back, Vick moved up to second string when the Eagles traded McNabb to the Washington Redskins. But when Kolb suffered a concussion in the season opener, Vick took the reins and was a revelation—leading the Eagles to an 8-3 record in games he started, throwing for twenty-one touchdowns while running for nine, and steering Philadelphia to an NFC East division title during a year in which they were supposed to be rebuilding.
This Michael Vick was not the Vick of old; this Michael Vick was a supercharged, utopian version of the player who’d quarterbacked the Atlanta Falcons through six frustrating seasons before his forced exile from football. The old Vick had been plagued by indecision, by a lack of work ethic (“I had none sometimes,” he admits), by on-field impatience, by off- field distractions that were so numerous they almost turned football into a distraction, and by the unbearable weight of being Michael Vick, Preternatural Talent. In Atlanta, Vick flipped off fans, was suspected of bringing weed to the airport, and once used the fake name “Ron Mexico” with doctors to hide that he was receiving treatment for herpes. (This was not an effective strategy.)
In Philadelphia, coaches praised the New Vick as a diligent worker and perfect teammate, a quiet leader deserving of the team’s Ed Block Courage Award for “exemplifying commitment to the principles of sportsmanship and courage.” His crowning moment—one of the most astonishing performances in the history of the NFL—was on Monday Night Football in mid-November. Vick accounted for five first-half touchdowns (three through the air, two on the ground) against the Redskins and generally made everyone else on the field look like cats darting after a laser pointer. “I was a little out of my mind there,” he says. “Everything was just coming perfect.”
Before Vick takes the stage to address the Camelot graduates, he meets with several teachers, nearly all of whom are extremely large and joke about applying to be one of his offensive linemen. Vick then fields questions from a handful of students in the greenroom. After a few softballs (“Are the Eagles going to win the Super Bowl next year?”), one student, taller than Vick and about twice as wide, gets right to the point: “Are you mad about what happened to you?”
Fifteen feet away, halfheartedly taking notes alongside a cluster of reporters, I snap to attention. What a strange question. Certainly to many, framing the past four years of Michael Vick’s life in terms of something that happened to him suggests a gross misunderstanding of how he wound up behind bars. But this is not the way the Camelot students see it at all. The kid’s question is met with head nods and shouts of “You better believe it!” and “That’s right!”
Vick, who has barely changed his expression throughout the thirty-minute session with the students, smiles wide and looks over his left shoulder, directly toward the hallway of reporters. He glances left and right, cartoonishly grinning, all mock-conspiratorial. “Where the media at?” he says, and everyone laughs.
Since his release from prison in July 2009, Michael Vick has had a team of “at least seven” PR professionals working for him. He says they laid down a plan while he was still locked up, a plan “I try to follow to the letter.” They have him working with the Humane Society, with whom he recently came out against an Android app called Dog Wars. (“It just sends the wrong message,” he said in a press release.) Most recently, he appeared on Capitol Hill to back an anti-dogfighting bill: “During my time in prison, I told myself that I wanted to be a part of the solution and not the problem.” He’s made public appearances with beloved NFL figure Tony Dungy, who counseled Vick while in prison (but declined my repeated requests for an interview). Last year he produced The Michael Vick Project, a ten-part miniseries on BET meant to humanize himself. “These guys have been working for me for years now, trying to get my stuff back on track, and it has worked out great,” Vick says. “Everybody works on one chord and understands that every decision is critical and has to be made collectively. I think [the success] is a credit to myself making sure that I have the right people around me.”
In the Camelot commencement program, Vick’s story is described as “rags to riches to rags to redemption.” This is the company line, and Vick knows to ride it close. At the end of last season, Vick won the Associated Press’s NFL Comeback Player of the Year award and played in his first Pro Bowl since 2005. The plan is working. Which is why Nike, the sponsor that did as much as anyone else to build the Michael Vick brand in the first place, re-signed Vick in early July to endorse the athletic garb it designed specifically for him. (Vick says Nike never lost touch with him, even while he was in prison.) This is quite the turnaround: When the investigation into Vick’s dogfighting activities was in its early stages, Nike’s suspension of a highly anticipated Vick shoe was the point at which many realized the scandal wasn’t going to blow over. Now Nike’s back on board, fully subscribed to a metanarrative that goes something like this:
Michael Vick was undisciplined, young, and too loyal to (and trusting of) the people he grew up with. He made mistakes, including but not limited to dogfighting, and eventually his malfeasances were uncovered. He realized the error of his ways and accepted his punishment. While in prison, he “got his mind right,” discovered the perspective that eluded him as a free man, and vowed never to repeat the mistakes of his past. He took advantage of his second chance, becoming the quarterback he was always meant to be. His story is an inspiration to all. Particularly to those desiring the finest in athletic gear.
I’m not sure if it will strike you as a relief or an outrage that Michael Vick doesn’t really believe all of this, but you should know: He doesn’t.
As recently as last June, Vick was still terrified his NFL comeback could be derailed. Most of his anxiety likely stemmed from an incident at his thirtieth-birthday party. If you don’t know the story, it’s a wacky one: We came awfully close to missing out on this era of Vick’s career because of pastry. In the heart of the 2010 off-season, when Vick was still riding the bench, his fiancée, Kijafa, in front of hundreds of partygoers at a restaurant in Virginia Beach, playfully rubbed cake in Vick’s face, which he did not enjoy. Then Quanis Phillips, one of Vick’s dogfighting co-defendants, rubbed more cake in Vick’s face, which he enjoyed even less. They had a big public fight, and Vick, wary of getting in trouble again, left the party. Fifteen minutes later, Vick received a call and learned Phillips had been shot in the leg. (The shooter’s identity remains a mystery, and charges were never filed.)
Vick was ultimately found faultless in the incident, but it scared him even more straight than he already was. For a long time thereafter, he played the humble, stoic good citizen. You will recognize this Vick from all those court appearances during the dogfighting trial—head down, chastened, all traces of his famously brash and arrogant personality smothered. Every facial expression came with an implied thought bubble: I am a remorseful man.
Suffce it to say, Michael Vick no longer looks sorry. That Vick swagger, the charisma that once made the famously individual-averse NFL promote him as if he were Michael Jordan (remember “The Michael Vick Experience” commercials?)—that Vick is back. It’s this version of Vick that I encounter during a three-hour photo shoot, a few weeks after the commencement speech. I’d been so used to Vick looking forlorn during public appearances over the past three years that I didn’t anticipate how bold he’d be in person. Many athletes are reluctant to take their shirts off for photographers, which has always struck me as odd. (If I looked like an athlete, I’d take my shirt off to go to the gas station.) But Vick is shirtless before the photographer even asks.
When Vick went to prison, the general consensus was that he would never be the same quarterback again. Here was a guy who’d nearly led Virginia Tech to a national championship and finished third in the Heisman voting as a freshman; who’d been the number one pick in the 2001 NFL draft at the age of 20; and whose first professional coach, Dan Reeves, had said Vick’s talent “made you scratch your head and wonder what you just saw.”
And yet he’d never lived up to his potential when he had every opportunity to succeed. How in the world would he train himself back to a workable level (let alone MVP caliber) while atrophying in prison for eighteen months? But damned if he didn’t actually seem faster once he was out. How could prison—where he claims to have played a pickup game only once—have made him a better quarterback?
He says it didn’t. He says he’s just always been this good. “I have always been an outstanding football player, I have always had uncanny abilities, great arm strength, an immense ability to play the game from a quarterback standpoint,” Vick says. “The problem was that I wasn’t given the liberty to do certain things when I was young. The reason I became a better player was because I came to Philly.”
So then it wasn’t a change of mind-set in prison, as is so often claimed as a cornerstone of the Vick story? “No,” he says. “I had changed my life long before then. I was just with the wrong team at the wrong time.”