People love a good comeback story. We root for the underdog and we clutch onto nostalgia. There are countless examples of actors, politicians and athletes who have fallen from great heights, were shunned by society and eventually overcame their demons to become national treasures. This is especially true in professional football (there are even awards for the players who make the greatest comebacks!) where injuries and bad seasons can plague even the most dynamic of players.
What about disgusting habits, public humiliation and prison? Can a player overcome these things? Roger Goodell (the NFL commissioner) seems to think so. For Goodell, Michael Vick is the epitome of the comeback. After suspending Vick indefinitely in August 2007 in connection with dog fighting, Goodell reinstated Michael Vick starting in the 2009 season. Now, three years later and after 18 months in prison, Vick is back and arguably, better than before.
In fact, in an interview with NY Daily News, Goodell says, Vick’s “obviously taken responsibility for his actions, been accountable and focuses now on what he can do to make others aware of the fact that you have to conduct yourself properly and make good decisions. I thought the decisions he made with dogfighting were horrific. He’s turning himself in the right direction. For that, I’m very proud of him.” Proud?! Did we all read that?!
Can Vick actually redeem himself? After Monday’s 6 touchdowns and the general consensus that he has been a great member of the Eagles franchise, Vick has proven himself as a player. But what about as a person? Can a person change? We know very little about Michael Vick. He doesn’t talk trash, but instead acts very humble in response to his athletic accomplishments. He works in tandem with the Humane Society, speaks out against dogfighting and clearly is working to clean up his image.
I just don’t know if that’ll ever be enough. There have been plenty of allegations against professional sports players. However, rarely has one actually served time. There is no doubt about Vick’s guilt and his crime has truly innocent victims. I guess only time will tell if Vick can make a comeback not only on the field, but off it as well.