The chair was empty. More than 200 boys had come to the Franklin Institute on Monday for an event called What It Takes, the brainchild of Philadelphian Anthony Martin, who is trying to provide mentors for kids at risk of dropping out of high school.
Martin put together a high wattage panel of African American men that included a Pennsylvania state senator, a Grammy-winning producer, a heavyweight boxing contender, a command sergeant major in the U.S. Army, a wealth adviser, a Nike vice president of sports marketing, and an NBA star.
Eagles quarterback Michael Vick was also on the panel, or at least he was supposed to be. Depending on whom you choose to believe, Vick either was a disappointing no-show or he canceled last week because of a personal conflict that required his attention in Virginia on Monday. Either way, it left some very unhappy people at the Franklin Institute.