SUPER BOWL XLI--WINNING COACH
This is an article from the May 11, 2009 issue
The recentretiree was invited in March by President Obama to join his Advisory Council onFaith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships
Dan Patrick:There's been a lot of discussion about rookie salaries. Do teams care about thefinancial obligation that comes with trading up in the draft?
Tony Dungy: It'svery difficult to draft in the top 10. You hope to only do it once. You hope toget a great player. But it's very tenuous. If it is Peyton Manning or EdgerrinJames, it's beautiful. But it doesn't always work out that way.
DP: The Colts'war room was divided on Peyton....
TD: That's whyyou don't want to be there. That's a $30 million or $40 million decision. Therewere a lot of people in the country who thought Ryan Leaf was the pick to make.And there were a lot of people the next year who thought that Ricky Williamswas the pick rather than Edgerrin James. If you make the right pick, you get a10-time Pro Bowler. If you make the wrong pick, you lose a lot of money.
DP: Are you goingto visit Michael Vick in prison?
TD: Yes, Iam.
DP: What do youhope to accomplish?
TD: I want to goout there as a friend. I met Michael when we played [the Falcons] in Japan, andwe'd always talked about going fishing together. I'm just going out there totalk about life and what he's going to face. Most people are going to beagainst him, and he's got to understand that. I'm going to talk to him like Iwould talk to my son.
DP: If you werestill coaching, would you take a chance on him?
TD: What I do inthose situations is visit with the person and look in his eye and try to seewhat's in his heart. And if I get a good gut feeling, I would. I remember whenwe had the Mike Vanderjagt situation. Everyone was telling me, "You've gotto get rid of this guy." And my son told me, "No, there's somethinggood about Mike." So I brought him in, and after we had a 45-minutediscussion, I decided we'd make it work.
DP: Thecommissioner says he's waiting for Michael Vick to be remorseful, but he's beenvague about what that means. How would you advise Michael to be remorseful?
TD: I'm sure he'sremorseful. I don't know if that's got to be the standard. We've got a lot ofguys playing in the league who've had some issues. Michael's situation isdifferent because it's such a national cause. Most people aren't going toaccept him. Most people aren't into second chances. So it's going to have to bethe commissioner making that determination that he's paid enough penance. Andthen it's going to have to be a team that says, Let's take a chance on thisguy.
DP: You couldkill somebody and have a better chance coming back....
TD: I've saidthat. I agree with you. We've seen it. It's happened.
DP: [Ramsdefensive end] Leonard Little killed somebody with a DUI, and it's not broughtup. But Michael Vick killed dogs, therefore he doesn't deserve anotherchance.
TD: Some peoplesay, "That could have been me; I drink a little bit. So I can have empathyfor that, because that could have been me. But I could never kill a dog, so weshouldn't give this guy a second chance." It's a strange mentality. Butthat's what Michael is going to be facing. And that's what I want to speak tohim about.
Hockey playerslose their teeth all the time—just usually not when taking batting practiceagainst soft-throwing, 46-year-old pitchers. Jamie Moyer told how he wasthrowing BP to Wayne Gretzky this spring. The Great One wanted to see acurveball. "I wasn't that loose," Moyer said. "Unfortunately itwent up toward his head, and he tried to move and chipped a tooth."
The economicdownturn has been tough on fans, but Mavericks owner Mark Cuban says the oneswho are turning out are "louder and rowdier" than they've been inyears. "People are going to sporting events because it's the one placewhere it's O.K. to yell and scream as much as you want," he said. Of courseCuban hasn't been hit as hard as the nonbillionaires of the world, but thatdoesn't mean he's not doing his part to help. He said he recently sold hisforeign cars and replaced them with American models.
Line of theWeek
Funnyman WillFerrell offered his choice for the most athletic cast member in the history ofSaturday Night Live: "I don't know if you remember, but Sal Bando was inthe cast that first season."
Now Hear This
Listen to thepodcasts at danpatrick.com/interviews
1. Mike Sciosciadiscusses how the Angels coped with the death of pitcher Nick Adenhart.
2. Larry Bird onPaul Pierce.
THE FINE PRINT:Anaheim shocked Detroit in triple OT in Game 2 of their Stanley Cup series. RedWings fans were so upset, they threw the Octomom onto the ice.
Hear Dan announcethe week's Got It Done Award every Monday.