Friday, August 14, 2009

Michael Vick: At a Crossroads

Michael Vick, the disgraced, former quarterback of the Atlanta Falcons, will get a fresh start with the Philadelphia Eagles this coming NFL season. Recast from Hero to Villain after a trial that exposed his horrific involvement with a dog-fighting ring, Vick spent 18 months in prison before being released this year. Once the highest-paid player in the NFL, he filed for bankruptcy while incarcerated.

Vick is being given a second chance; one I think he deserves. He made some terrible, sad mistakes. He has paid for it financially and with a prison sentence. Now that he is out, he is saying all of the right things. Vick has the support of some powerful people in and around the NFL; notably former Indianapolis Colts Head Coach Tony Dungy. Dungy has been advising Vick and Vick could have not chosen a better mentor for his counsel.

Now he must keep on the straight and narrow. When the Eagles travel to New York, the Giants fans will hurl epithets at him. Knowing the Eagles fans, if they start losing (and it appears to be Vick's fault, they will turn on him, as well). I am confident the 'fans' will bring stuffed animals to the games depicting terrible animal abuse in order to get under his skin. He had better make that skin thick.

Mike, keep your chin up. What you did was awful. You are blessed with a second chance. You have the opportunity to show young people everywhere that people can make mistakes, accept punishment and come away a better, stronger person. It's time to suit up. Take full advantage of this challenge.

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