Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Michael Vick Out Against Panthers, Ron Mexico In

When the Eagles take the field against the Carolina Panthers Thursday night many expect recent signee Michael Vick to be part of the Philadelphia contingent, but sources close to the team tell The Phunyun that no player wearing a Vick jersey will appear on the field that evening.

Instead, wearing number 7 for the Eagles will be Ron Mexico, the name Vick has legally taken following the outrage after his signing earlier this month.

Some might find the name change as a surprise, but there is some precedent.

In 2005, a female healthcare worker filed a lawsuit against Vick, claiming that she contracted herpes simplex 2 after having unprotected sex with the Atlanta Falcons QB. In the lawsuit, the woman claimed Vick knew he had herpes after being tested multiple times for the disease under the name Ron Mexico.

Although the case was settled out of court with Vick never acknowledging his use of the pseudonym, he has now decided to embrace the Ron Mexico moniker, saying the embarrassment surrounding the name is easier to handle than what he went to jail for.

"Who wants to go around admitting that they have herpes?" Mexico (nee Vick) said in an exclusive interview with The Phunyun. "But I just had to ask myself, 'what's easier to swallow, having herpes or killing and electrocuting puppies?' I'm going with herpes."

As with most decisions surrounding the former No. 1 pick, the Eagles were heavily involved in the evolution of Michael Vick to Ron Mexico.

"This wasn't necessarily a 'football decision,'" said Eagles president Joe Banner. "But sometimes you have to look at things from a PR perspective. And at the end of the day what's an easier thing to sell to public? Using a false name to see if you have herpes or forcing dogs into death matches and allegedly hanging them? I'm going herpes every time."

The decision to change Vick's name to Ron Mexico may have financial repercussions for the Eagles who will be unable to sell Mexico jerseys in stores or online because of a ban on the name by the NFL.

But some, like Philadelphia resident Charlie Balducci says he's showing his solidarity with the Eagles QB in another way.

"Look, who out there can saw we didn't go down to Cancun for spring break or something and not come back with a present we didn't exactly want?" said the 38-year-old mechanic. "You know what I'm saying? A little Valtrex. Boom! All better."

While the name change seems to get the Eagles and their new player one step ahead of the backlash from PETA and a variety of other groups, a new challenge may be facing the team and its quarterback in the coming months.

According to sources south of the border, Mexican President Felipe Calderon is considering a boycott of Philadelphia-based products if Mexico takes the field Thursday night.


Anonymous said...

can't believe michael is chaning his name to ron. I like it, though.

B. Hold said...

It's a joke, Anonymous.