Skip to comments.Michael Vick in the Land of 'R' Words
Posted on 10/04/2010 10:55:49 AM PDT by Kaslin
First, a disclaimer. I am not particularly a Michael Vick fan. Nor have I ever cheered for the Philadelphia Eagles. The NFL is not a top priority for me. However, for the rest of this season, I will be a fan of Vick and the Eagles, which means I will spend more time than usual following the NFL.
Why? Because of the R words. The real American R words have been experiencing a renascence just across the line from New Jersey in Philadelphia, the new home of Michael Vick.
Redemption. In 2007, Michael Vick experienced professional death. When he pleaded guilty to federal felony charges around his dogfighting operation, Vick quickly lost everything. His name became synonymous with evil and cruel. His reputation was shattered to bits. His freedom vanished with a prison sentence. His fortune quickly evaporated into bankruptcy. His future appeared bleak.
After more than two years in professional and personal purgatory, Vick returned quietly to his football career last year in a backup role to Donovan McNabb. Vick played occasionally, and he kept a low profile.
Now, two weeks into this new season, Vick re-emerged in the role of starting quarterback for the Eagles when the planned starter, Kevin Kolb, suffered a concussion. Vick's play was so spectacular that coach Andy Reid restored him to his long-lost role as starting NFL quarterback (lets hope that hit by the Redskins defense Sunday didnt stunt the process).
While the NFL does not top my priority list, I am a fan of second chances. We are moral beings, capable of making good decisions and bad, capable of helping or harming others, and capable of learning from our mistakes in order to become better versions of ourselves. Second chances are crucial. And Vick, thus far, is making the best of his. Redemption.
Through this slow "Restoration" process, Vick has been quiet, unassuming, and dare I say, humble. He has spoken sparingly, and when he has spoken, he has said the right things. The better things have gone on the field, the more his jersey sales boom off the field, the more Vick has remained steady and even-keeled. In his first start, his on-field performance sparkled, as he threw for nearly 300 yards and 3 touchdowns while running for another against the Jacksonville Jaguars. Vick still never acts as if all is forgiven. "I needed to change my life," Vick said again last week.
Vick now lives like a guy whose experience in purgatory has taught him that he never wants to go back. He admits weakness, acknowledges feeling vulnerable and expresses gratitude to the Eagles, who generously offered him a second chance. The blossoms of redemption are beginning to show.
All of which leads to additional R words. Racial reconciliation. Remarkably, it went almost unmentioned, even unnoticed, that a white NFL coach selected a black back-up quarterback to replace his white starter. Injury initiated the change, but then Andy Reid, the white coach, said that Vick was simply playing too well to remain on the bench. Vick became the starter. He had been evaluated by his employer based solely on his performance.
The fact that a white employer (in a situation regarding the historically racially sensitive position of NFL quarterback) evaluated talent, and went with the best performer without any regard to race failed to gain notice in the media coverage. That omission is wonderful. It merely points to another step in progress for a culture that itself is a moral being, capable of improving itself and learning from its mistakes. Judging a man by his performance and the content of his character, without regard to the color of his skin, has taken us some time to achieve. And now that it occurs frequently in America, it is worth celebrating our culture's own redemption.
While many merely focus on the football, the story of Michael Vick is worth celebrating. Thus far, Vick is traveling well a road that is possible only in America. The land of R words. Redemption. Restoration. Racial reconciliation.
In Vick’s case, todays ‘R’ word is ‘Rib’ as in ‘Rib Cartilige Injury.’
Sorry, I don’t root for scumbags of any color...
Thanks for posting it; I can identify. He’s been getting rocked lately, another R word. I’ve seen the hits he’s taking and they ain’t pretty. He’ll be out a while and we’ll see what he says in interviews. Idle time makes guys lose their focus. Hope he doesn’t lose his.
he’s a scumbucket
I may go to Hell for this, but I was happy he got hurt.
Karma’s a bitch.
-- Hope he has a great season---
“...in a situation regarding the historically racially sensitive position of NFL quarterback.”
The only ones who have made QB a “racially sensitive position” are black racists, and the liberal white sports media.
Someone who murders animals in the fashion he did gets zero respect from me. I hope he has a short-lived career in the nfl and the has to find some sort of job which he has to rely on his education to succeed.
The real American R words have been experiencing a renascence...
Looking for the word renaissance???
Sloppy, I find there’s a bunch of hacks (along with some good writers) on Townhall.
This whole article is really, really bad, written by a raging metrosexual obsessed with the “feel good” aspect of the Michael Vick story and the race of the coach and the 2 Quarterbacks.
As the kids say today, this is real “weak sauce”, if this article was a food dish it would be a pile of mush covered in weak sauce.
First....there was some scurfluffle involving Vick, a bar and some gunshots recently. My memories are vague and he might well have been innocent.
Color me suspicious.
Second, yes I understand redemption. But let us not forget that this fellow, while all mad at his dogs for losing, certainly could afford to have them be administered some sort of injection that they be out of his life forever.
Instead he, all by himself, holds them by their back legs and SLAMS them against a brick wall.
He also has a swimming pool electrified in some fashion then has the losing dogs thrown into the pool to die screaming in agony.
Silly me, I don’t think that sort of meanness just melts away.
I’m wary of the guy. Color me NOT fooled.
He’s not done with his brand of evil....I predict.
Thank you for having the courage to speak up. This writer starts off saying he doesn’t know much about professional football, then goes on to make a fool of himself proving it. Maybe before he starts sounding off on all the racism in the NFL, he ought to do a team by team negro count. What a crock of shinola. And to think, I used to like this writer.
Nope. There are lots of things that happen like this on a daily basis. The majority of Americans are racially blind (I believe)--the lamestream mediat doesn't talk about it. They only make points when a white person (rarely) takes advantage of a minority.
Agreed. I haven’t followed what he has said in the media, but if prison served its purpose and reformed his behavior then best of luck to him. I’m glad he is getting a second chance to use his talents to succeed.
What size batteries does it take to run that halo of yours? And does it use conventional penlight bulbs or LEDs?
Rottweilers? Rhodesian ridgebacks? Russian wolfhounds?
The full story of his fall from grace, his punishment, and his journey on the road to redemption is set forth in the TV show, The Michael Vick Project. I watched it last year on BET, before his recent success, and had the same impressions as the author of this article, except the race angle wasn’t really part of it. It’s a great story. He’s not the world’s most articulate guy, but he’s sincere, contrite, humble, and grateful to have a second chance. A big part of his community service was working at the Boys Club that he frequented as a youth. He did janitorial work, spent a lot of time with his former mentor and other people who loved him when he was nobody, and talked a lot to kids about what he’d done wrong. He’s come a long way.
I used to knock him for his shortcomings. Now I’m pulling for him.
I’m staying out of this ‘cause I don’t have a dog in that fight.
Me neither. Vick’s sadistic treatment of dogs for fun, something he did many times, reveals him to be a sociopath. This not a case of “he made a mistake.” There were deliberate acts on helpless animals.