Mike Vick: Dog Fighter, Football Player, Freak of Inhuman Nature

November 16, 2010

Wowwww. No, I’m not raving about that this blog title’s alliteration. I’m not even talking about the one word that comes to mind after you’ve been blue-blogged for over a week without my words that bludgeon like a hammer yet slice like a scalpel (much like the hotness of Olivia Wilde). I’m talking about the collective thoughts of football fans, nay, Americans after the display Mike Vick put on last night.

I know it's been a while since the last blog, but don't do anything prematurely, like stop reading.

Unless you’ve been trapped in a mine for the last 4 years, you know all about Mike Vick. He became the ultimate tale of athlete-with-unlimited-potential-who-couldn’t-escape-his-friends. If what happened on Vick’s Virginia estate doesn’t best exemplify the age-old expression “you can take the thug out of his hood, but you can’t take the hood out of the thug” then I don’t know what does. You had a guy who just signed a 10 year $130 million deal, the richest in NFL history. You had a guy with an entire Nike marketing campaign based on the “Mike Vick Experience.” which became a Disney themepark ride.

Unfortunately, you also had a guy whose friends were digging dog graves in his backyard, and electrocuting, drowning and beating pitbulls to death in his basements cement pits. You had a guy who lost all that

This is not how you want your name to appear on an SI cover

money, and that really awesome theme-ride. Above all things, I think the theme-ride is the biggest loss. You know you’re at a new level of awesome when Disney designs a rollercoaster named “The (Insert Name of Awesome Person) Experience.” Yes, I have a new goal for this blog. I also like to think in some fairytale world, Disney saved the ride, and waited for something amazing to happen in Vick’s life.

Last night, Disney may have gotten just that moment. It’s taken almost four years for Mike Vick to absolve himself from his sins. Since I’m a Catholic, and since I don’t particularly like dogs, I have forgiven Vick. In no way does that previous sentence mean I don’t think what he did was inhuman, but really, nothing Vick ever did on a field made me think he was a human. Anyway, on the first play of the game, Vick ran a play-action fake, set his feet, bounced once, patted the ball and rocketed the pigskin with his mesmerizing lefty release over 60 yards in the air to a barely open receiver, who did the easy work from there. ESPN showed the “Drive Summary:” 1 play, 88 yards. TD. I’ve seen longer summaries of Haiku’s on Spark Notes.

All that happened in the rest of the first quarter was Vick rushing for a touchdown using his 4.29 40 speed on the next drive. Then after an interception, Vick threw another, less spectacular, equally frustrating touchdown. After Redskins defenders were as successful at catching Vick as Wile E. Coyote on painkillers, Vick slipped a shovel pass TD to his receiver. By the time Vick got the ball to start the second quarter, his team was winning 28-0.

In between the quarters, a friend texted me saying simply, “Mike. Vick.” I responded with “Amazing.” Three words. Two texts. One brilliant performance… and that was just the first quarter. On the first play of the second quarter, Vick decided he wasn’t done. He threw a 50 yard bomb to a receiver being double covered, to the only place where it could be caught for a touchdown. It was caught for a touchdown, and Mike Vick already had three passing TDs and one rushing. For the rest of the game, the announcers simply laughed while lauding the effort of an athlete we weren’t sure we would ever get to see again.

His final box score line made fantasy owners everywhere pause for a moment of silence. 20-28 for 333 yards and 4 pass TDs. Eight rushes for 80 yards and 2 rush TDs. It was like watching a video game come to life. But even those gaudy numbers don’t do the “Mike Vick Experience” justice. After the game, Vick’s wide receiver DeSean Jackson made the freudian slip of describing his teammates play as that of “pit bulls.” It might be a shame that even on a night where Mike Vick’s talents were on full display, his past can’t escape him. It also might be fitting, because it’s the only thing on a field he can’t escape.

Life is all about learning from mistakes. The first time, you complain about ugly girls at a bar. The next time, you drink more. For Mike Vick, he learned from a mistake most of us can’t fathom. Can’t fathom fighting dogs. Can’t fathom letting our friends leech off of us. Can’t fathom two years in jail. Can’t fathom $130 Million dollars. Can’t fathom having our own rollercoaster ride. Unfortunately for the NFL, they can’t fathom a way to stop Mike Vick now that he’s not behind bars.


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