Where Have You Gone…

4 08 2007

by torytheeducator

There was a time when I absolutely worshipped Michael Vick. The reasons were twofold: first because he could chuck a football a mile in the air, while still in college, and secondly, because he is left-handed. I realize this may be a silly reason, but if you know anything about me personally, you realize this may not be that weird. My love affair with Michael Vick’s left arm and nimble feet began long before his Virginia Tech “throwback” jersey- if three years constitutes “back in the day”- littered sports memorabilia stores, and even before the Falcons changed their logo. It was the fall of 1999 and I was a senior in high school.

One could only watch in marvel with every pass he threw for Virginia Tech. I remember one game, where he sprinted out right, turned, flicked his wrist, and launched a pass to a streaking receiver 50 yards down field, who did not even have to break stride to catch it. It was moments like this that make it hard to fathom his plummet from superstardom. There was, of course, no questions asked when the Atlanta Falcons traded up in 2001 to draft Vick first overall. However, this is where the support from this fan began to waver.


Barry Sanders is my favorite player, ever. After his abrupt retirement in 1998, I began to shun the NFL for several years. I looked more toward the purity of the college game. A game where they ran the option and players rushed for 2,000 yards nearly every season. That is where I first ran into Vick. Desperate for a new football idol, I quickly latched onto him in any way I could. Yet, as I followed him into the NFL, I realized that there may be better players in the league, but none with greater upside.

As my interest in the NFL grew and grew, I found Michael Vick more and more in the back of my mind, marveling at his athleticism, but wondering when that cannon of an arm was going to produce. Meanwhile, players like Peyton Manning, Ladanian Tomlinson, and the like quickly took hold of my attention, and my allegiance. The climax of my appreciation for Michael Vick came when he broke his leg in preseason of 2003.

The story of Michael Vick is a sad and tragic one. Not only for this fan, but those who continue to support him through these difficult times. It is a cliché in sports we have seen all too often. A can’t miss superstar fails on the field which is only compounded by his problems off it. Make no mistake, Michael Vick is no Pacman  Jones. Surely, Jones was an above average player, but he was not the face of the new generation in the NFL. If anything, he serves as what not to do with your posse. Needless to say, Michael Vick may very well be innocent of these charges. One has to wonder if the fans will continue their undying support of a man so disgraced. For the answer, we need only to look in San Francisco, to see a group of fans blinded by the deeds of their “hero”, when in reality the man is anything but.



One response

4 08 2007

Very good read. Players today don’t think about their legacy and how they will be remembered off the field. I have been a Vick fans since 1999. It’s tough to support someone that just doesn’t see the big picture. If he doesn’t get any jail time, I won’t be surprised if Vick continues to have problems off the field. He will learn nothing from this ordeal. It’s sad.


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