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Invisible Vick?

So there's this guy, he played quarterback for the Atlanta Falcons the past few years … I forget his name … haven't heard too much about him recently, you know?

If that sounds like you – or anybody you know who's been living a recluse Unabomber-esque existence for the past few months – the National Football League isn't going to mess with that.

But for the rest of us, the fact that the NFL has gone into damage control mode over Michael Vick's criminal problems is ridiculous, bordering on absurd – maybe even insulting. According to yesterday's Detroit Free Press, the league is trying to dab Wite-out over all references to Mr. Vick.

The "NFL Quarterback Challenge" -- which was supposed to air on ESPN this month -- may never see the light of day.

Why? Because Michael Vick was in the annual skills competition, taped in May, and the NFL is trying to erase all traces of his existence.

See how well that worked? You're not going to see him on the field – likely between "The World's Strongest Man" and replays of some competitive eating contest – so you're going to completely forget about him. It's like the little magic amnesia machines from "Men in Black."

Except it's not.

It reminds me a lot of the lame 'edits' made when "E.T. – The Extra-Terrestrial" was re-released a few years ago. Because of post-9/11 sensibilities, the guns held by federal agents were digitally altered to appear as walkie-talkies. (Because nothing drives fear into your heart like "Stop! Or I'll …communicate to a colleague!") Even more insulting, when the mother criticizes one of her children's Halloween costumes, her original line "you look like a terrorist" was changed to "you look like a hippie." (Joan Baez bin Laden?) Did these enhancements keep the evildoers from another victory? Didn't it make you forget about the World Trade Center? No?

And now, instead of allowing the "NFL Quarterback Challenge" to air – nearly unwatched as always, dying a lame tree-in-the-500-channel-forest media death -- the NFL has actually succeeded in bringing more attention to the man whose existence they're trying to make us forget.

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