Monday, December 20, 2010

*Michael Vick: Role Model

Over my first three blog entries I have not shied away from using the term "Douche" (make that 4, the streak is still alive!). There are many a douche in the world of sport. In a world laden with massive paychecks with egos to match, who can really blame these babied primadonna's for thinking their lives and opinions hold so much weight? There are womanizers (Ben Roethlisburger, Tiger Woods), gun toting gangsters (Gilbert Arenas, Plaxico Burress), drug abusers (Michael Irvin, Theo Fleury, 20 years of Major League Baseball) and even a few murderers (OJ Simpson, Rae Carruth) in the mix. Amid all of these horrid creatures one man seems to be standing tall as a beacon of hope and redemption:

Michael Vick.

Too soon? Fuck it.

After spending close to two years in a federal penitentiary for bankrolling and participating in an underground dog fighting ring, a pastime that saw Vick murder unfit dogs in a multitude of creative and disgusting ways, Michael Vick has torn down the road to redemption at an unprecedented pace. The mere mention of his name only a year or two ago meant all types of nasty reactions. There was a time when animal rights groups were lighting torches and tying lynch ropes in the wee hours of the morning to bring him to swift and decisive justice. 'This sick fuck must pay for his crimes against humanity!'. Now, in his second season since returning to the NFL, Michael Vick is the most popular player in the league. He currently holds a head and shoulders lead in pro-bowl fan voting. Even opposing players are approaching him on the field for autographs.

'What has the world come to?' one might think, but upon closer investigation we may actually discover that Vick has genuinely undergone a personal transformation. That, or he has one hell of a P.R. rep pulling the strings like some sort of diabolical puppet master. It's probably a bit of both, but either way it is a story that deserves all the attention it has received. Vick is saying and doing all the right things and is a poster boy for the 'everybody deserves a second chance' attitude that left-leaning North America fights for, and almost unanimously seems to resent any time it actually works out. How dare this heathen dog-killing bastard learn from his mistakes and become a better person for it?! The gall!

Vick's personal growth off the field has been mirrored by a comparable level of growth on it. He is currently enjoying a career season in which he has morphed from a one-dimensional running quarterback into one of the league's finest passers. Anyone arguing the contrary need only reference the fact that it took more than half a season before Vick threw a single interception. That's no random-sports-fact to sneeze at. His accolades are not only personal either, the Eagles are tops in the NFC East division, solidifying that position after a monumental comeback win against the Giants this past weekend. Wins and losses are the stat that truly measure a player's worth to his team, and Michael Vick has proven his worth with as much class and selflessness as the Mannings, Brees', and Bradys of the world. Michael Vick is the real deal.

Couple Vick's amazing on-field success with his (strategically well-publicized) charitable work and you have the recipe for a role model. Yeah, I said it. Micheal Vick is a role model, somebody we should emulate and aspire to be like (particularly Tiger, Big Ben, and other disgraced athletes of their ilk). Who would have ever thought we would see the day?

Vick's post-game thoughts after engineering an amazing fourth quarter comeback versus the Giants: "I have to thank God for the opportunity"...

WOW, AND he's a christian? Somebody get this guy a campaign manager; "MICHAEL VICK FOR PRESIDENT". At the pace his image has been changing I wouldn't rule it out. Vick currently has a higher approval rating than Barrack Obama anyways. The only thing that could possibly screw it up for him would be saying something stupid like "I'd love to own a dog". ...Wait, what? "It's an important part of my rehabilitation". Yeah, and an important part of Lindsay Lohan's rehabilitation comes with a mirror, a razorblade, and a late-night visit from a local rapper named "Sir Pack Slingington". I guess he really screwed the pooch on that one.

Too soon? Fuck it.

 I guess some things in the world of sports never change, even when other things do. No matter how good a guy Vick has become, he will always be a star athlete, which means he will always have this misguided idea that his shit doesn't stink. Slow it down, Mike. Don't push your luck.

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