Wednesday, May 20, 2009
Michael Vick was released from Federal Prison at 5:00 AM this morning, marking the beginning of what could be one of the greatest comebacks in professional sports, or the continuation of one of the greatest collapses.
Everyone has an opinion on Vick, and why not. Once dogs come into the situation even people who know nothing about football voice their distaste over Vick. I may have a slightly different perspective, but I'm also somewhat biased. (and perhaps I'm even scared of being hypocritical)
Regardless of how you feel, it's worthwhile to take a look at a piece on Vick by ESPN.com's Lester Munson. Munson paints a picture that dog fighting or not, Vick's life was going downhill fast. The two main vices in Vick's life were not drugs and dog fighting, but rather the individuals he surrounded himself with, "Whoop" and "Woody". "Whoop", a large operation drug dealer in Vick's childhood home of Newport News VA, and "Woody" a lawyer who doesn't help the stereotype.
These two were pitted against perhaps the most positive influences (other than his mom) in Vick's life. Michael Smith, a financial adviser who saw the big picture and Aaron Brooks, former NFL QB and a cousin of Vick. (Suck on that ESPN)
We'll never know whether this decision was based on Michael being ignorant, wanting to keep it real, or to please people. Michael always struck me as an introverted (shy?) person, and I truly doubt if he'll ever spill the beans on his life.
As far as football, nobody can doubt the impact Vick had on the game, and his ability to play quarterback at the highest level. Vick was the first example in the modern version of the game (post option offenses) of a quarterback who can do it all. Maybe I'm reaching but I'll always consider Vick to be the best athlete to ever play. You can argue this point and I'll disagree. Regardless, nobody can argue the impact he had on the game. After Vick's career at Tech we started seeing the likes of Pat White, VY, Reggie McNeal, Tim Tebow, etc. (Even though Vick played in a multiple I offense at Tech) These Qb's were in the mold of old singlewing tailbacks. Sure you could argue that these guys are not directly correlated to Vick, but I'll argue till I'm blue in the face that Vick changed the way the game was played.
Vick also had a significant impact on the NFL. Once Vick was paired up with zone running expert Alex Gibbs, the Falcons started to roll. The bootleg off of the wide/tight zone is the cousin of the NCAA zone read. I'll also add that Vick was running the West Coast offense for a good part of his career and he never really got the chance to settle in (Multiple coaches). Not that Vick is the best passing QB, but it took guys like Montana, McNabb, Hasslebeck, Young, and Favre several years to settle into the system.
Now back to the main issue. Should Vick be able to play in the NFL? Well first off, it's the right of the NFL to decide who can play, but lets get over the "Is Vick remorseful argument". I have no problem with the NFL deciding who can play in their league. However, I do find it funny that Vick finds himself in a situation similar to certain NFL stars here and here (Debatable)
At the end of the day I want Vick to get a second chance, but then again that's not my call.
Go ahead and flame in the comments.
*If you really want to piss me off put something like "I heard on ESPN" or "Colin Cowherd say"
Posted by Steve Lattimer at 3:26 PM