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Vick talks Burress, endorsements in awkward interview

Michael Vick leaves the field after losing to the Green Bay Packers in their NFC Wild Card NFL playoff football game in Philadelphia

Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick leaves the field after losing to the Green Bay Packers in their NFC Wild Card NFL playoff football game in Philadelphia, January 9, 2011. REUTERS/Gary Hershorn (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT FOOTBALL IMAGES OF THE DAY)


Eagles quarterback Michael Vick confirmed today that he’s hoping to play with Plaxico Burress, and he offered Burress some advice about adjusting to life after prison, from someone who’s been there: Focus on your family first, and football later.

Vick’s comments came in an interview with CNBC that was booked to promote Unequal Technologies, a manufacturer of football pads that has an endorsement deal with Vick. CNBC and Vick obviously knew going in that the interview would include some promotional comments on behalf of Unequal Technologies, but it became awkward when Rob Vito, the CEO of Unequal Technologies, kept interrupting to steer the discussion away from the questions being asked to Vick and toward Unequal Technologies.

Early in the interview, Vick talked football, saying he’d love to have Burress as a receiver.

“We all Eagles would love to have Plaxico as a teammate,” Vick said. “I think he would be a great fit. You know, I think he would be a great playmaker for us. It all remains to be seen. I think the thing for him right now is to get back, acclimated into society and with his family and then talk football later.”

Vick’s comments about Burress were interesting, but Vito clearly thought the focus needed to be on his company, and he pushed to talk about his company’s pads, saying that Unequal Technologies was “on the front page of every newspaper across the free world.” (Funny, I don’t recall seeing the Unequal Technologies front-page story in my newspaper.)

When Vick was asked about going from a pariah to having an endorsement deal, he spoke about the second chance he has received.

“I’m blessed to have the opportunities, I’m blessed that, you know, I was able to come back and be the best ambassador in the community I could be, work with the Humane Society, you know, and further my future and make changes,” Vick said. “That’s what I’m trying to do, be an instrument of change.”

With that, Unequal Technologies President Rob Vito jumped in to start talking about how his company’s padding is better than other kinds of padding because it uses “a three-layer composite” rather than “traditional foam.” Vick looked like he was trying not to laugh as Vito interrupted the interview to plug his company.

In any event, we learned two things from this interview: First, that Michael Vick wants to be both a teammate and a mentor to Plaxico Burress. And second, that Rob Vito will stop at nothing to get some free air time for Unequal Technologies.