Tuesday, November 16, 2010

To Cheer or not to Cheer? That is the Question

After the arrest and sentencing of Michael Vick for the torture and murder of Pitt Bulls, I was like 90% of football fans in America; I was glad that he was going to be locked up and I vowed never to cheer for him again for the crimes he committed. Vick did his time, and we aren't talking about easy time, Vick did a hard year in a federal penitentiary. And that's not all that happened. He had to repay $19 million back to his former team, the Atlanta Falcons, had to pay lawyers fees, sell his 6 mansions and was left bankrupt as he had no income while imprisoned.

Did I feel sorry for Vick? Absolutely not. Even before the dog fighting incident, Vick had gotten himself into trouble for marijuana possession, scandals with women and being a malcontent on the field with his team. All of Vick's problems were self inflicted and there was nobody to blame but himself.

But now that Vick is back in the NFL and playing like the player he was supposed to be coming out of Virginia Tech, what is the appropriate reaction? He threw for 333 yards and ran for 80 yards with 6 total touchdowns in a single game. He became the first player to throw for over 300 yards, rush for over 50, throw 4 touchdown passes and run for two more in a game. What happened last night was comparable to watching Michael Jordan dominate a game in the early 90's, or watching Barry Sanders defy physics by running sideways, or watching Roy Oswalt pitch a perfect game. Vick was on and he dominated every facet of the offensive game.

He was the quarterback that was supposed to revolutionize the game coming out of college. We hadn't had an athlete that could both run and throw like that. Ever. When his career started flopping because of the previously mentioned problems we wrote him off. We forgot about the flashes of brilliance we saw his first year as he defeated the Green Bay Packers in a home playoff game for the first time ever. He was another young punk with too much money and not enough humility.

His money was taken from him and he was forced to become humble. He refocused on his profession and did something nobody thought he could do; he became better. He has no fumbles lost and no interceptions on the year so far. He wasn't even supposed to be the starter for the Eagles. That was Kevin Kolb's job. But a concussion in game one opened the doors for Vick and he has shined.

So while we can debate on whether or not cheering for Vick is the right thing to do I think we can all agree that we are seeing something special with him this year. I for one am going to cheer for him. So far he has said and done all the right things on the field. When Kolb was named starter he kept quiet. While he was injured and people asked if he was going to start when healthy he said he would do whatever the coach wanted him to do and help the team win. He has been a good teammate and a leader. He did his time, he paid his price and he has a second chance that he seems to be making the most of. He has owned up to his mistakes and apologized.

As long as Vick stays on the straight and narrow then he will be fine. The minute he makes one mistake then he is back where he started. He is not a person that will get a third chance. Roger Goodell has made it clear that one more big flub means that Vick is out of the NFL for good. So far he is making the most of his rebirth and it is a hell of a good thing to watch.

1 comment:

  1. I'm surprised Vick didn't wind up with the Cowboys as Jerry Jones loves show-boaters, pre-Madonnas, Divas, and misfits. But as for weather or not we should Cheer for Vick, remember the name of the game is "NFL Football" and not "My Favorite Person". Or in other words, the only thing that matters, is that My team beats Your team. And in the end, we are all misfits of one caliber or another.