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Herschel Walker’s MMA Debut!
PHILADELPHIA — Michael Vick’s peers appreciate his tough journey back to the NFL.
Vick won the Ed Block Courage Award, voted on by his teammates on the Philadelphia Eagles, after the once-disgraced star quarterback returned to the league after spending 18 months in a federal prison for his role in a dogfighting ring.
“It means a great deal to me,” Vick said Wednesday. “I was voted unanimously by my teammates. They know what I’ve been through. I’ve been through a lot. It’s been great to come back and have an opportunity to play and be with a great group of guys. I’m just ecstatic about that and I enjoy every day.”
A three-time Pro Bowl pick in six seasons with Atlanta, Vick has played sparingly with the Eagles. He has two touchdowns rushing and one passing in 12 games.
The Ed Block Award honors players who exemplify commitment to the principles of sportsmanship and courage. Each of the 32 NFL teams selects a recipient.
“I’ve overcome a lot, more than probably one single individual can handle or bear,” Vick said. “You ask certain people to walk through my shoes, they probably couldn’t do. Probably 95 percent of the people in this world because nobody had to endure what I’ve been through, situations I’ve been put in, situations I put myself in and decisions I have made, whether they have been good or bad.
“There’s always consequences behind certain things and repercussions behind them, too. And then you have to wake up every day and face the world, whether they perceive you in the right perspective, it’s a totally different outlook on you. You have to be strong, believe in yourself, be optimistic. That’s what I’ve been able to do. That’s what I display.”
The Eagles were criticized by animal rights activists for signing Vick less than a month after he was released from prison. Dozens of protesters voiced their outrage outside the team’s practice facility the day after Vick was signed, and many fans threatened to give up their tickets.
But Vick got a warm reception in his first game with the Eagles and by most accounts has been a model citizen off the field.
The animal rights group, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, issued a statement reprimanding the Eagles for giving Vick the award.
“The Philadelphia Eagles fumbled when they gave Michael Vick the Ed Block Courage Award, which was named after a man who advocated in behalf of abused children,” the PETA statement read. “Michael Vick should not be the person anyone points to as a model of sportsmanship, even though he has now exchanged dogs for touchdowns after serving time for extreme cruelty to animals. We wish him well in educating others, but this is not appropriate and does not mark a joyous moment in NFL history.”
Vick has spent time working with the Humane Society of the United States, speaking to school and community groups about the mistakes he made in getting involved in dogfighting.
“It was a big obstacle proving I’m worthy of a second chance,” Vick said. “It doesn’t stop here. I have to continue to prove that. I think it’s not going to be a day-to-day process, it’s going to be a year-in, year-out process. It’s a challenge to myself. The thing I told (NFL commissioner) Roger (Goodell) is that four or five years from now, I’m going to come to him and say, ‘Everything I told you I was going to do, I’m still doing it.’ And that’s what I pride myself on and that’s my focus and that’s my goal.”
Quarterback Donovan McNabb called the award “well-deserved.”
“Congratulations to him for straightening his life around and bettering himself as a human being,” coach Andy Reid said. “He’s obviously very well-respected by his teammates.”
After a six year dispute, prolific writer and profound spiritualist, Sophia Stewart has received justice for copyright infringement and racketeering and will finally recover damages from the films, The Matrix I, II and III, as well as The Terminator and its sequels. Yes, you heard that correctly – the entire Matrix & Terminator franchises, and her suspected pay off is expected to be the highest in history – an estimated 2.5 billion.
Her case is a true landmark, and far too uncommon as countless creatives are exploited by the snake-like dealings of the movie industry. Here’s a recap of her triumphant journey by way of George2.0:
“Stewart filed her case in 1999, after viewing the Matrix, which she felt had been based on her manuscript, ‘The Third Eye,’ copyrighted in 1981. In the mid-eighties Stewart had submitted her manuscript to an ad placed by the Wachowski Brothers, requesting new sci-fi works.
According to court documentation, an FBI investigation discovered that more than thirty minutes had been edited from the original film, in an attempt to avoid penalties for copyright infringement. The investigation also stated that ‘credible witnesses employed at Warner Brothers came forward, claiming that the executives and lawyers had full knowledge that the work in question did not belong to the Wachowski Brothers.’ These witnesses claimed to have seen Stewart’s original work and that it had been ‘often used during preparation of the motion pictures.’ The defendants tried, on several occasions, to have Stewart’s case dismissed, without success.
Stewart has confronted skepticism on all sides, much of which comes from Matrix fans, who are strangely loyal to the Wachowski Brothers. One on-line forum, entitled Matrix Explained has an entire section devoted to Stewart. Some who have researched her history and writings are open to her story.”
Although it’s long overdue, and buried in large part by the media machine, Stewart has finally received official credit (and hopefully financial settlement by 2009) for her prodigious contributions to both Hollywood, and the world for her ground breaking sagas, both the Matrix & Terminator franchises. Let us hope that this landmark ruling provides a measure of hope for other ripped off screenwriters seeking justice even if only by way of public recognition.
To echo her 2004 victorious press release:
‘The Matrix & Terminator movie franchises have made world history and have ultimately changed the way people view movies and how Hollywood does business, yet the real truth about the creator and creation of these films continue to elude the masses because the hidden secret of the matter is that these films were created and written by a Black woman…a Black woman named Sophia Stewart. But Hollywood does not want you to know this fact simply because it would change history. Also it would encourage our Black children to realize a dream and that is…nothing is impossible for them to achieve!’
We’d like to believe that the justice she received was not in name only, and she is able to reap the benefits of her enormous creative contributions.
Facebook has won yet another massive judgment against a spammer who already owes $234 million to MySpace.
A California federal judge on Thursday granted Facebook’s request for a default judgment against Sanford Wallace, who is known to have been involved with spamming since the mid-1990s and with junk faxing before that.
Court documents indicate that Wallace and an associate who was later dropped from the case spammed Facebook users with phishing messages. Those who clicked on the links and submitted login information to phishing sites allowed Wallace and his associate to then spam the phishing victim’s friends, in turn generating more potential phishing victims. Facebook claims that Wallace also received payment for redirecting some spam recipients to Web sites that pay for referrals.
Facebook sought damages of more than $7 billion dollars, as allowed under the CAN-SPAM Act and the California business code.
Expressing skepticism in his ruling that such a figure would be proportionate to Wallace’s offences, Judge Jeremy Fogel instead awarded Facebook $710,737,650.
“The record demonstrates that Wallace willfully violated the statutes in question with blatant disregard for the rights of Facebook and the thousands of Facebook users whose accounts were compromised by his conduct,” Fogel said in his ruling.