Friday, August 14, 2009

The Michael Vick Story

By now most of you know that Michael Vick will be a Philadelphia Eagle. I know this might excite at least one or two SuperFans out there. However, I struggled with whether I wanted to write about this chapter of the Michael Vick story. I struggled with my feeling toward him ever since hearing about his crimes against nature.

Michael Vick defined the start of the modern era in Hokie Football. In 1992, the Hokies went 2-8-1. This was not unusual, nor was Virginia Tech looked to for great football. Come the next season and that year's most improved team went on to go to the Independence Bowl and hasn't missed getting into a bowl since. Still, throughout the rest of the nineties, while the Hokies would continue to improve, including beating Texas in the Sugar Bowl, the words Hokies and powerhouse were never uttered. Along comes, this young kid from Newport News that everybody talked about, but really had no idea at what he could do.

Michael Vick put Virginia Tech football on the map. No longer was Tech just that reputable engineering school confused and often questioned "Do you mean VPI?" It was a legitimate football contender who in any year could compete for a top 25, or top 10 ranking. No, Tech was not a Northwestern or a Kansas that rose quickly and fell just as quickly. They were here to stay.

Much of this we owe, of course, to Coach Beamer and [most] of his staff. And to the loyal fans who continue to aid by donating and buying tickets. But most would agree, we would not be speaking of ACC or national championships if it were not for Vick. In fact, the closest we've ever come to said national championship was with Vick at the helm.

But still, in my mind, I separate that Michael Vick from the Michael Vick we know today. However, here we are. Crime and punishment aside, Michael Vick is now a Philadelphia Eagle. The crux of what that means is that he'll be in uniform and on the sidelines as early as week six of this upcoming season.

The small irony of this is the McNabb/Vick story. For those of you that don't recall, when Michael Vick was being recruited out of high school he was being sought after by many teams of which it seemed that he had narrowed his selection to Virginia Tech and Syracuse. At Syracuse, he was hosted by a very talented and mobile quarterback named Donovan McNabb. In the end, Vick decided on Tech stating he wanted to be the first Michael Vick and not the next Donovan McNabb.

So, I resolve to accept this as an opening of the next chapter in the Michael Vick story and, in the words of McNabb, "everyone deserves a second chance."

1 comment:

Lefty said...

I'm one of those superfans that is psyched to see Mike Vick back on the football field. Not just because I'm an Eagles fan (he could throw the franchise into ruin for a year or two just as easily as he could help them win games), not just because he was/is a Hokie and I'd like to see his story end on a higher note (though that's most of it), but also because he's one of the most amazing talents I've ever seen and I want to see him play football. I still haven't heard him apologize in a completely satisfying way, but I don't count any success he has in the future as some sort of karmic injustice in light of his obviously heinous crimes. He's a football player that I want to see on the field. I can think of 10 better reasons to boycott/protest the Eagles or the NFL (did you know that Eagles owner Jeffery Lurie produced "V.I. Warshowski?"), but I look the other way because hey, football is great!