In a Powerade commercial that aired a few years ago, Michael Vick is shown throwing the ball to receivers. Upon catching the ball, the players are knocked back 5 to 10 yards. At the end of the commercial, Vick takes a casual three-step drop and throws the ball over the stadium.
That football might as well have been his career.
Vick led Virginia Tech to the national title game as a redshirt freshman with moves that even Wilt Chamberlain would blush at.
Vick was so good in baseball, a sport he had not played competitively since eighth grade, that the Colorado Rockies took him in the 30th round of the 2000 MLB draft.
Vick was electrifying, unstoppable. He was a savior.
He was drafted by the Atlanta Falcons with the first pick in the 2001 NFL draft. To get Vick, the Falcons made a deal with the San Diego Chargers giving them their first round pick, their third round pick and a second round pick in 2002 plus Tim Dwight.
Vick’s career soon took off. He beat the Packers at Lambeau Field in the playoffs for the first time ever. He became a face for many of the top companies in the world, even headlining the Madden 2004 video game. Vick was even listed as the 33rd richest celebrity in 2005, according to Forbes magazine’s 100 richest celebrities list.
On April 25, 2007, the world soon started crashing down on the athlete when it was reported that dog fighting had happened at one of his compounds.
In July 2007, Vick was charged; in August, he pleaded guilty to a series of charges; and in December 2007, he was sentenced to 23 months in prison.
Soon, Vick will soon be released from prison. He only has two months to go and then the Michael Vick sweepstakes will begin.
Many teams are treating Vick like the plague and would rather not sign the Pro Bowl player that bleeds athleticism.
To me, this is the dumbest idea.
I understand Vick was involved in dog fighting and that if he weren’t Michael Vick, he would have gotten the original five years and not been given a plea.
The point is not to speak to his moral integrity; it is to speak to his gifts and abilites as a football player.
While the era of athletic quarterbacks seems to be closing very quickly, Vick is special.
Heck, he doesn’t have to even be a quarterback. Transform him into a punt returner, wide receiver. I don’t care. Make up a position for him.
It might be a media nightmare, but teams keep signing Terrell Owens for 10 times the amount it will take to resign Vick.
Take a chance on the guy. People have the ability to change. Unlike most athletes, Vick has served his time. He wasn’t given a slap on the wrist and told to do community service without any repercussions.
The primary reason for Vick’s downfall was his inability to escape his past. He could not forget his brothers from his old neighborhood. The guys who helped him get where he was at the height of his career.
Take a chance on him. You give him a contact worth a paltry $750,000. You tell him if he screws up then he ends up with nothing.
I believe people can change. Now, Vick may be terrible at football and his moves and footwork may be gone, but you don’t know unless you give him another chance.
Paul Harris is a sophomore in pre-journalism and mass communications. Please send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org