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Michael Vick in the Land of 'R' Words
Townhall.com ^ | October 4, 2010 | Allen Hunt

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 (let’s hope that hit by the Redskins’ defense Sunday didn’t 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.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial; US: Pennsylvania; US: Virginia
KEYWORDS: michaelvick; nfl; redemption; vick
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To: Kaslin
I really don't know what to think. Part of me thinks the things he did to dogs was inexcusable, but if Ray Lewis can still play in the NFL, there's no reason Vick shouldn't.

I have a hard time not admiring at least the unbelievable athletic talent he possesses, even though he may be a scumbag. I think he might be one of the best overall athletes to play the game.

51 posted on 10/04/2010 1:22:52 PM PDT by GunRunner
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To: brownsfan
People need to realize that part of the reason that Vick didn't get more time is that they need the prison space for people to commit violence against other people.

As I said in an earlier thread, I am a dog-lover. The ASPCA radicals have used Vick for publicity, so they got what they wanted out of the Vick-affair and it cost them nothing.

The entire thing is sordid... including the alleged "rehabilitation."

52 posted on 10/04/2010 1:44:35 PM PDT by Tallguy ("The sh- t's chess, it ain't checkers!" -- Alonzo (Denzel Washington) in "Training Day")
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To: Kaslin

Vick’s misdeeds were of such a nature as to place him beyond redemption in my mind. I am convinced that the only remorse he feels is at being caught. He is a truly vile individual.


53 posted on 10/04/2010 2:14:31 PM PDT by Lonesome in Massachussets (The naked casuistry of the high priests of Warmism would make a Jesuit blush.)
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To: Tallguy

When I saw the “R” I thought - Republican.

Seems that was not the case.


54 posted on 10/04/2010 2:15:04 PM PDT by Tomato lover
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To: Mad Dawgg

"DAWGS MAUL VICK!"...


55 posted on 10/04/2010 2:18:04 PM PDT by Lonesome in Massachussets (The naked casuistry of the high priests of Warmism would make a Jesuit blush.)
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To: GunRunner

In fairness, Ray Lewis agreed to plea guilty to obstruction of justice charges for covering up for his friends, who were later aquitted of murder. The victims were most likely participants in a drunken brawl and had the misfortune of being on the losing side. The dogs had absolutely no role in their fate.


56 posted on 10/04/2010 2:23:51 PM PDT by Lonesome in Massachussets (The naked casuistry of the high priests of Warmism would make a Jesuit blush.)
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To: GunRunner

Neither Ray Lewis nor Mike Vick should play in the NFL. And just because Lewis was welcomed back (IMHO, a wrong decision), does not mean that Vick and everyone else who commits terrible crimes should be. I do not know much about Lewis, but Vick’s behavior was sadistic, that of a sociopath.


57 posted on 10/04/2010 2:33:56 PM PDT by Jane Austen (Boycott the Philadelphia Eagles!)
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To: Jane Austen
You're probably right. But I think Ray Lewis' crime was greater.

I think there's a difference between having a hand in stabbing a person to death and animal cruelty.

Vick did do time for it (Lewis got off scott free), and has lost his fortune and his already shaky reputation. I'm not sure that he should completely lose his ability to make a living.

58 posted on 10/04/2010 2:55:07 PM PDT by GunRunner
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To: Kaslin
Talented athlete, but too small to be a durable NFL QB.
59 posted on 10/04/2010 3:16:02 PM PDT by Major Matt Mason (Never trust a liberal...or a GOP moderate.)
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To: Lee'sGhost

“Besides, “race” issues are no longer an issue in America.”

###

For whites and Asians perhaps.

But. sadly with the vast majority of blacks and the majority of Hispanics, race issues remain front and center.


60 posted on 10/04/2010 4:44:10 PM PDT by EyeGuy
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To: Kaslin
Sorry, I am not buying this guy's act.

He got a million plus contract after being convicted of engaging in a vicious, illegal activity.

61 posted on 10/04/2010 5:06:14 PM PDT by fortheDeclaration (When the wicked beareth rule, the people mourn (Pr.29:2))
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To: brownsfan
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.

What has he done?

Do you think coming out against killing would have meant he was rehabilated?

62 posted on 10/04/2010 5:08:35 PM PDT by fortheDeclaration (When the wicked beareth rule, the people mourn (Pr.29:2))
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To: TaraP
As a Christian we need to see real evidence that he has in fact changed.

His last episode at his birthday Party showed otherwise.

Who throws themselves a public birthday party?

63 posted on 10/04/2010 5:10:53 PM PDT by fortheDeclaration (When the wicked beareth rule, the people mourn (Pr.29:2))
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To: GunRunner
Personally...I'd rather focus on the folks that can place me in jail...in a heartbeat if they pass a law to mandate it!

The folks in both Houses of Congress...that's the group that worries me.

The Vick's, Lewis's, Bonds's, Roethlisberger's, Howe's, Iverson, Patterson, Berbick, Harding, Danton, Becker, etc....don't jack with me.

These guy's make laws that DO, HAVE or CAN mess seriously with me.

Hastings, Frank, Brown, Bustamonte, Coelho, Moran, Rostenkowski, Reynolds, Smith...etc...

I'm much more wary and concerned about those type folks...that have some power over my life.

FRegards,

64 posted on 10/04/2010 5:24:19 PM PDT by Osage Orange (MOLON LABE)
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To: Mad Dawgg

Any neo-racist remarks about the “negro felony league” will be purged... Thank you < /sarcasm-off>


65 posted on 10/04/2010 6:31:14 PM PDT by Nat Turner (I can see NOVEMBER from my house....)
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To: TaraP

I have absolutely no problem with forgiving him for using an alias to seek treatment for his herpes infection. What makes you think otherwise?


66 posted on 10/04/2010 9:10:25 PM PDT by ConservaTexan (February 6, 1911)
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To: Spok
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.

That's exactly what I DID see in the Michael Vick Project. He was entitled, arrogant, proud, only thinking of himself, a thug, a liar and unspeakably cruel and vicious to the dogs.

Then he was brought low by his bad ways.

From the depths of despair, in prison, shamed, hated, bankrupt and broken, he has worked one day at a time - from beginning baby humble steps cleaning bathrooms at the Boys Club where he grew up - to put his life and his family's life back together. The tears were real. The humility is real. The gratitude is real. He is different, He has changed.

67 posted on 10/04/2010 9:14:07 PM PDT by Buckhead
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To: fortheDeclaration

“What has he done?

Do you think coming out against killing would have meant he was rehabilated?”

We have a system. In that system, you go to jail, you do whatever is prescribed in your parole, if parole is an option, and you are welcomed back to society. Debt paid.

Mike Vick did whatever he was required to do, by the system. In a free country, like this used to be, you’re free to regard Mike Vick however you see fit. For me, I see a man who did his time, and in my estimation a second chance is in order.

I laugh when I see freepers posting he shouldn’t be “allowed” to play football. He should have a working man’s job, janitorial, plumbing, etc. Really? That’s sort of a communist view of things. The state decides what you can and can’t do. In a free society, your debt is paid, you’re free to pursue any legal form of earning a living, barring jobs that don’t accept felons for security reasons. Being an NFL quarterback doesn’t require a security clearance, but it does require ability that very, very few have. To deny Mike Vick the ability to use his skills is the very opposite of a Free Republic.


68 posted on 10/05/2010 7:18:39 AM PDT by brownsfan (D - swift death of the republic, R - lingering death for the republic.)
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