After spending some time reading a few redemption stories around the web, and the more recent news of possible contract talks, I can't help but wonder something. Will Michael Vick ever be fully embraced again. With his improved game play, and his behavior aside from the birthday fiasco, he has already begun to win over the hearts of many fans, columnists, and NFL analysts. But lets look at the bigger picture....
In a country of second chances and a league in which redemption is so prevalent, Vick is the face of the NFL, version 2010. He symbolizes this season, where almost every team has a feel-good story, or two, so many of which have been under-reported. As much as we bemoan those teams -- owners, coaches and executives -- willing to extend an opportunity to beleaguered players, and as quick as we are to ridicule such moves, we fail, all too often, to recognize those who manage to shed their mistakes of the past and prove their detractors wrong.
Who embodies this principle more than Vick? There were legitimate questions about his ability to rise to prominence again, ability to regain his skills, ability to win over a fan base, ability to break free from all of his past transgressions and devote himself more completely to the game of football. Vick has done all of the above in remarkable fashion. Jason La Canfora
There are those of us who have already made it over the hump. We feel like he has paid for his sins, and fully embrace Vick as our teams leader and possible future. On the other side of the spectrum there is still a large fan base that refuses to support him. Wether they can't forgive him for what he did, or wether they believe the new, more accurate Vick will regress to the Vick of old, they dont want to see him succeed. While reading through these articles which paint vivid portraits of Vick as the comeback, feel good story of the year, I can't help but scroll down to the comments section. The attacks against him are numerous, filled with anger and animosity.
Many of us would just as soon never have to see Vick on a football field, let alone hold this "dog killer" up as some sort of "leader"!
So here lies my question. Lets look at a hypothetical situation for a second. Suppose Vick only gets better from here on out. Lets pretend he, and the Eagles, play lights out football and win the Super Bowl. The Eagles sign him to a lucrative deal. Do you think he will be embraced as the long term face of the franchise? Will his face be on billboards around the city? Are sponsors too afraid of the possible backlash of signing Vick to endorsements? Even with an impeccable off-season, and the full support of the franchise, will he ever become the icon he once was prior to his downfall? I want to see him succeed. Hell... I want everyone who has worked hard and earned it to succeed. Will the rest of the world allow it... who knows. What do you guys think?