If you are a politically correct, Animals Have Rights Too, kind of a person you are probably not gong to like this post very much and I may even lose some potential readers because of it but for some reason I feel compelled to write it.
Let me start off by saying I am not a Michael Vick fan. Not because of the dog fighting deal, we'll discuss that later, but because he used to play, and play well, for the Atlanta Falcons and I am a die hard, have been forever, stay off of the bandwagon, New Orleans Saints fan. As those of you who read my books know I am from Louisiana and very proud of it, and was a Saints fan back when we were ecstatic if they won just one game a year. As a Saints fan, it is my solemn duty to hate the Falcons and anybody who ever played for the Falcons except for 1) those who now play for the Saints, 2) Bobby Hebert, and 3) Morton Anderson.
Before I get too far off track here though, back to Vick.
As you know, VIck was convicted and sent to prison for dog fighting, a crime which he would not have gone to prison for twenty years (and maybe even ten years) before it happened. I'm not in favor of dog fighting but it happens and the people who do it should be punished, although I think Vick probably was treated a little harshly because of who he was rather than the crime itself. Dog fighting, and rooster/cock fighting, are a throwback to a day that has long passed yet it still is a part of certain cultures. No excuse, but the simple fact is certain poorer Southern communities and cultures don't view it the same way that more enlightened folks do. To this day you can drive around the rural south, and I know a spot just a few miles from where I am typing this, and see small chicken coops with each containing a single rooster bred for one purpose…fighting.
Back on topic again, Vick did something wrong and was punished for it. However, his story is one echoed in thousands if not hundreds of thousands of books.
A hero falls and is then redeemed.
Vick came out of prison and went back to what he knew best, football. And no mistake about it, he is a gifted athlete.
He took his place as the third string quarterback on a team that gave him a chance, the Eagles. Then he fought his way back to being a starter.
While I don't agree with much of what he has done or much of what he has said in his life and career, he does deserve props for stepping back up from a place that is as low as he could go and making his way back to being an NFL superstar.
Hate him if you want, but he does embody many of the characteristics of our greatest fictional heroes. A willingness to fight, a refusal to give up, and the ability to use his talents.