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Obama praises Eagles for giving Vick second chance, use of alternate energy

In a phone call with Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie, President Obama praised the team for giving Michael Vick a second chance, reports Peter King of Sports Illustrated and NBC Sports.

From the item:

Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie was surprised to hear the president's voice on the phone. Barack Obama had two things to discuss with Lurie: the redemption of Michael Vick and the alternative-energy plans Lurie unveiled this fall for Lincoln Financial Field. I talked about the Vick story on NBC last night.

"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.''

Lurie said Obama and he talked football. "He's a real football fan,'' Lurie said. "He loves his Bears. He really follows it. He knew how Michael was doing. It was really interesting to hear.''

The Eagles announced last month they would run the first self-sufficient alternative-energy sports stadium in the country. They'll install 80 spiral wind turbines to the stadium and mount 2,500 solar panels. Together, those devices will power about 30 percent of the stadium's energy needs. In addition, a biodiesel plant will be built nearby and that alternative energy source will help power (along with natural gas) the remaining 70 percent of the stadium's power needs. In addition, the project to install all the devices will employ 200 people for a year in, obviously, a down economy.

Over the course of the stadium's life, the team believes it can save $60 million in energy costs. That was big to Lurie, who's aggressively conservation-minded. He 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.''