Michael Vick and redemption: still not sold, but now paying attention

I listened to the Redskins-Iggles game on Sirius, occasionally popping into the house to watch the madness unfold via moving-pictures. If you don’t follow the NFL, I’ll sum the game and its aftermath to you this way: The NFL Hall of Fame requested Michael Vick’s game-day jersey.

Vick had one of the best single-game performances in NFL history, and is on track to win the League’s MVP. He passed or rushed for 6 touchdowns – unheard of in the NFL – while leading the Iggles to a 59-28 shellacking of the ‘Skins.

In the rain.

In Washington.

Being an NFL geek, I actually listen to the pregame stuff on Sirius NFL if I don’t watch it on NFL Network, and there was a surprisingly candid interview with Vick. I say surprisingly, because most Sirius and NFL Network pieces about controversy are usually not that controversial. Football, as Rush Limbaugh might put it, has been chickified, and it’s as much as anything a soap opera at a certainly level.

What has not changed is that Michael Vick was a lead player in an illegal gambling ring centered on the bloodsport of dog-fighting. Vick wasn’t just a minor player – he was  a ring-leader, and many of the fights took place on his property in a set of buildings and facilities dedicated to the gruesome activity of, yes, dog fighting.

The King is many things, and one of them is an animal lover, and I don’t say that with sentiment or with frivolity. Most people would claim to be animal lovers, even those budding psychopaths who pit mammals against each other in blood sports that end in death, either in the ring or out of it shortly after defeat. It was difficult for me to enjoy the NFL for a long time after Vick was re-instated – yes, he served his time, but no, there is not a civil right to earn a living in the NFL.

Like many NFL fans, I too partook in a secondary bloodsport – debating with NFL friends whether or not Vick should be reinstated. At issue for me – aside from the dog-fighting – was the gambling, something that in humanitarian terms pales in comparison to the dogs, but is rather relevant in a sport where billions of dollars are wagered annually. I was against Vick’s reinstatement on both grounds, but the gambling was a far more serious issue in my eyes so far as the image of Vick being allowed back in the League.

To his credit – and I’m still loathe to admit this – Vick has made all the right moves. He has seemed sincere and repentant, he served his time, paid his debt, was publicly crucified and digitally lynched, and has now, in his second season back in the League, become the quarterback many cockeyed optimists (not me) always thought he would be.

The redemption of Michael Vick is underway, and what has most moved me from the sickened to the nonplussed to the now-paying-attention category is not the great season, it is the man’s actions and words.  Vick recently Tweeted that God can turn mistakes into miracles, and when asked on Sirius NFL’s interview what he’d change, he said the only thing he would change is not doing as much time, adding that in some ways getting caught was a good thing.

I still don’t know, and I’m still mixed, but I’m not heartless. Unlike many NFL players, Vick has not been accused of abusing humans – that he did so to dogs still makes his past actions tragic. Yet, redemption – true regret atoned through action and deed and exemplified through living – is possibly at hand for Vick.

I hope he continues on his current course.

Cross-posted at the GOC.



About godsowncrunk
I'm King B, the originator of the Jellywhite lyrical style and god's own crunk.

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