Given that the NFL has in the past muscled ESPN into dropping the well-done Playmakers series (which to our knowledge never dared to present something as far-fetched as a dog-fighting story line), and that the league reportedly squeezed ESPN’s parent company, Disney, into recently dropping a new show about the lives of the wives of pro football players, it’s reasonable to assume that ESPN cleared this volatile story with the league office before running it. And it’s also reasonable to assume, then, that the NFL deemed the source sufficiently credible to allow the entire embarrassment that is the Mike Vick dog-fighting investigation to be turned up a notch or two with this item from one of the league’s broadcast partners.

In other words — we’re starting to think that the NFL thinks Vick is guilty, and likewise wants to see him go down for this.Pro Football Talk, May 27, 2007

The NFL doesn™t want this story covered up – it wants resolution, and quick. There™s a big difference. The league can protect its image with the best of them. It strong-armed ESPN into taking the weekly sex-drugs-lies-and-football serial, œPlaymakers, off the air. That doesn™t mean the themes in œPlaymakers don™t exist in the NFL. Of course they do. But those ills also are a significant part of society.

But dogfighting? No. There is no rationalizing that. Goodell needs anybody associated with that sick pastime out of the league.Jeff Schultz, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, May 28, 2007

For perhaps the first and last time in CSTB history, I’ll give Colin Cowherd some credit. At least he’s willing to acknowledge PFT as a source when talking about the Vick escandalo.