A recent Sports Illustrated interview with Philadelphia Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie reveals President Barack Obama’s thoughts on the controversial rebirth and amazing re-emergence of Eagles’ quarterback Michael Vick, who was disgraced and written-off after an illegal dogfighting conviction that landed him a short prison sentence. SI’s Peter Lurie writes in his Monday Morning Quarterback column about Lurie getting an unexpected call from the President, praising Vick and the Eagles’ decision to completely green their football stadium otherwise known as Lincoln Financial Field or “The Linc” by Philly football fans:
“The president wanted to talk about two things, but the first was Michael,” Lurie told me. “He said, ‘So many people who serve time never get a fair second chance. He was … passionate about it. He said it’s never a level playing field for prisoners when they get out of jail. And he was happy that we did something on such a national stage that showed our faith in giving someone a second chance after such a major downfall.”
In November, the football franchise announced the retrofitting of the Linc as the “the first self-sufficient alternative-energy sports stadium in the country.” That will include 2,500 mounted solar panels and 80 wind turbines for 30% of stadium energy and a nearby biodiesel plant to supply the remaining 70%. It’s a $60 million energy project expected to employ 200 people for a year.
Lurie “… told Obama he was happy to put a plan like this in place, but he wouldn’t have done it unless it made some financial sense. “It’s good business for us, which is the point,” Lurie said. “We talked about policy and what he hopes can happen with alternative energy, and he raved about us being the first to put a plan like this in place.”
Vick, for his part, continues receiving massive praise for leading the football franchise from a terrible 2009 season into NFC glory in 2010. The Eagles await a postponed Sunday Night Football game against the Minnesota Vikings, which was rescheduled for Tuesday night due to a winter storm that blew into the Northeast.