Here’s the no-brainer: Vai’s rooting for the Birds on Sunday.
The question remains: Which Birds?
Here’s the controversy: Some silly guy in Arizona got it all wrong and wrote a big fat headline saying NBC 10's own Vai Sikahema is pulling for the Cardinals!
In an interview with The Arizona Republic’s Bob Young, Sikahema is quoted as saying he “openly roots for the Cardinals.” The article titled “Sikahema will root for Cards, not Eagles” talks about Vai’s past with the Cardinals and who he thinks will make it to the Super Bowl.
It seems that Young and his editors at The Arizona Republic used some creativity with their choice for a headline, because if you read the article, Vai never said he’ll be pulling for the Cards on Sunday.
By the time Vai landed in Phoenix on Thursday, that headline had become fodder for the talk radio types.
We here at NBC Philadelphia had to get to the bottom of the Controversy for the Birds so we went right to the source himself.
"Vai, do you want to clear things up?"
The Tongan Terror isn't happy -- to say the least.
Sikahema calls the title “blatantly inaccurate” and “misleading.”
“Why on God’s green Earth would I root for the Cardinals over the Eagles this Sunday?” Sikahema said Thursday. “I root for the Cardinals in general, not in this game.”
Read Vai’s full statement on the situation:
What I actually said was that I root for the Cardinals in general, not in this game. I do this for two reasons. First, they are the team that drafted me and the organization has always treated me well. Second, they are not in our division.
Why on God’s green Earth would I root for the Cardinals over the Eagles this Sunday? I have such a vested interest in this game that it would be silly to even suggest that I would support the Cardinals over the Eagles. If the Eagles win, I get to go and cover them in the Super Bowl. That’s the Eagles, the team I played for, from the city I have lived in for almost 20 years.
I want everyone to know the truth and not listen to a headline that is completely misleading and wrong -- so inaccurate it’s not even funny.”
-- Vai Sikahema
The rumor that Sikahema would be cheering on the Cardinals spread fast online and now has some fans back home steaming and feeling a little betrayed.
Readers of Philly.com’s Moving the Chains blog, let Sikahema know just how they felt about his “choice” in team, just check out these comments:
Ray: “Vai should go punch a goal post?”
SwoopCK: “The most interesting thing here is the shoddy reporting from Sheil Kapadia, not Vai's allegiances. If anyone bothered to do any legwork, Vai did an interview with a Phoenix news crew where he was wearing his old Cardinals jersey, only to take it off to reveal an Asante Samuel jersey underneath as his true colors.”
Ah yes, the Phoenix news interview. On Tuesday, Sikahema did a satellite interview with NBC10’s sister station to talk about the upcoming game. In the interview, he wore his old Cardinals jersey, but then took it off to reveal who he was really gunning for Sunday.
The radio was also hot with news of Sikahema’s “defection to the desert.” ESPN Radio 950AM’s Mike Missanelli asked Vai to call in and defend himself Thursday after listeners started bashing the former Eagle.
“I never told this nimrod that I was going to root for the Cardinals in this game,” Sikahema told Missanelli.
We’ll have wait and see if Sikahema got a chance to give Young a good whooping, but simmer down Philly fans -- Vai is our guy and you better believe he’ll be “Believing in Green” Sunday.
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