It has been a busy week in professional football, with a couple of big, controversial stars — Brett Favre and Michael Vick — joining NFL rosters. No worries, though, for John Madden, because both are set to take the field in “Madden NFL 10,” his namesake video game.
Fans who bought “Madden” when it came out Aug. 14 can download both players thanks to roster updates posted by publisher EA Sports. For Favre, the process was easier: Taking him out of last season’s New York Jets uniform and putting him in his new Minnesota Vikings gear. “We know what Brett can do,” Madden said. “He’ll be quarterback No. 1.”
Vick, however, has been out of the league for a couple of years while serving jail time on felony dogfighting charges. What the new Philadelphia Eagle does “is going to be determined on the road,” Madden said. “When’s he gonna play? What’ll they do with him? It’s a big guessing thing.”
• EVERY DOG HAS HIS DAY — In the latest sign that the NFL is trying to give Vick another chance, fans can order on NFLShop.com a Philadelphia Eagles dog jersey with Vick’s name written on the back.
A New York Daily News reporter successfully purchased the “custom pet jersey,” making it clear that Vick isn’t on the league’s list of words and names shoppers cannot use for customized jerseys.
Fans might be worried about the message, but they shouldn’t worry about their pets’ safety. NFLShop.com says the dog jersey is made of “breathable polyester micromesh fabric and has a stylish and comfort-fitted v-neck cut.”
“Like any other player, (customers) can obtain that name and that jersey if they wish,” league spokesman Greg Aiello told the New York Daily News. “As far as putting it on the dog product, he’s working with humane societies, working to educate others on this issue, so we don’t see a problem.”
• HOT DEAL — Boxing promotor Roy Englebrecht is used to providing additional airline tickets, hotel rooms and money to secure a fight.
He fielded a new request while trying to line up an opponent to fight George Foreman III for a boxing show Sept. 10 at San Manuel Indian Bingo & Casino in Highland, Calif. Boxer Jesus Hernandez requested a George Foreman grill and an autographed photo of the former heavyweight champion.
“In my 25 years, nobody has come close to asking for something like this,” Englebrecht said. “Thank goodness, a Foreman grill isn’t that much.”
And how did the elder Foreman respond?
“He got into it and laughed when I told him about it,” Englebrecht said. “He said, ‘I’ll be glad to present Jesus the grill at the weigh-in.’ “
• NEVER HAPPENED — Geoff Calkins of the Memphis Commercial Appeal listed a few trivia questions about John Calipari after the NCAA ruled Thursday his 38 wins and Memphis’ Final Four appearance during the 2007-08 season will be forfeited because point guard Derrick Rose had a high school teammate take his SAT.
One of them included: “When is a Final Four appearance not a Final Four appearance? When Calipari is coaching! First, the University of Massachusetts is stripped of its Final Four. Now it’s Memphis’ turn.”
LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL WIRE SERVICES