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.
“The real American R words....”
How about REALITY. You can’t do some cozy jail time, make a few commercials against animal cruelty and expect fans to worship at your heels. This man did horrible things to defenseless dogs like drowning. Maybe I am the mean person but that hit to him was perfect. What goes around, comes around in one way or another. Just a thought.
The “Rehabilitation of Michael Vick” is just as scripted as was the earlier “Piling-On of Mike Vick.” Being a dog-lover I tended to agree with the harsh treatment that he received and the public condemnation.
OTOH, he seems to be turning things around. I can wait a while longer before deciding whether he’s praiseworthy. I’m an Eagles fan, but I do have my limits.
I was actually rooting for Vick to get hurt on that play, and every time he’s out in the open field. When he comes back I hope his knee gets destroyed and he never plays again.
I hope he truly has changed and is able to be a productive member of society. Good for him.
However, I will root for the guys who have always done it right, not those who need redemption from henious crimes.
And yes, I’m a Falcons fan and am biased.
Sorry, I believe in redemption, too.
But I have a few problems with Mr. Vick’s supposed redemption.
First, he should have been imprisoned for much more time. Five years might have been sufficient. 10 years would not have been too much.
Second, I don’t see that “redemption” means getting to play a game for millions of dollars a year, again. To me, “redemption” might mean release from an adequate prison term, followed by a career, say, working a middle-class blue collar or white collar job. I hear plumbers make good money.
Third, things are a little out-of-whack to say that Mr. Vick is morally-acceptable to make millions of dollars per year in the NFL, but Rush Limbaugh isn’t morally-acceptable to the NFL. Sorry, if Rush can’t participate in the NFL because he’s not sufficiently morally worthy, then neither is Michael Vick, nor will he ever be.
Nothing about Vick is worth celebrating, honoring or respect.
I’m very tired of people who value animal life equal or greater than human life.
If Mike Vick had killed a man and got out and went on to doing something in the public eye, people would roundly praise his rehabilitation.
Here, you have people wishing this guy ill, for past crimes. Crimes he’s paid his debt for. Does anyone here know what’s in Mike Vick’s heart? I sure don’t.
Give the man a chance.
Ditto. The play was perfect. If I hear one more idiot say that Vick came from a “poor area” and “did what was acceptable to many of his community”, I am going to scream. I never thought he should have been given a second chance at the NFL. Plenty of other players that didn’t do this sort of thing.
I'm still hoping he eventually gets a rib through a lung and/or a broken neck.
bump that !
I’m hoping for the Eagles to play Cleavland this year with a run-up score so we can see the headline: VICK TORTURES DAWGS.
“No, but I wouldn’t be bothered much if it were a jagged fence post during a car wreck.”
Clearly you aren’t worried about what your Maker, if you believe in such a thing, sees in your heart.
I doubt Vick knew what he did to those dogs was cruel and horrible, hey, they were just dogs!
While I don’t think a crime against an animal is equal to a crime against a human, I can judge Vick’s actions against animals as being a look into the heart of the man. I don’t like what I see in his heart.
The NFL has "been there", "done that" and"arranged the plea bargain" already...
Not sure how many more times they can get away with that one...
“He has spoken sparingly, and when he has spoken, he has said the right things.”
This the only part of the above opinion I agree with. Vick has undoubtedly gotten some excellent coaching on restoring his public image, and it’s working. His crimes were not thoughtless impulsive acts, but a pattern of reprehensible cruelty that evinces a total lack of conscience. Getting caught, imprisoned and losing millions of dollars is hardly the kind of epiphany that humbles a man and purifies his heart. I would have to see more than spirited football playing from this man to believe he’s any different than he was.
I was kinda hoping the same thing but the score would be reversed and the Headlines read "DAWGS MAUL VICK!"...
-- Hope he has a great season---
R words as in recidivism?