Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

01 Feb 2017

Michael Vick on Atlanta

Michael Vick's essay on why he'll always think of himself as an Atlanta Falcon is just really nice. A love letter to the fanbase, with the added benefit of some very funny comments about Madden 2004.

Posted by: Aaron Schatz on 01 Feb 2017

12 comments, Last at 03 Feb 2017, 12:17pm by ChrisS

Comments

1
by Peregrine :: Wed, 02/01/2017 - 2:58pm

Hmmm. The tale of this man, the Falcons, and the city is a very, very long and complicated one.

Not crazy about him writing this days before the Super Bowl, but as distractions go, I suppose it's better than the starting free safety getting arrested for solicitation the night before the game. Baby steps.

2
by Aaron Brooks Go... :: Wed, 02/01/2017 - 4:01pm

That's a pretty good letter.

3
by bravehoptoad :: Thu, 02/02/2017 - 12:24pm

Wow. I had zero idea before this that Michael Vick had anything like that kind of intelligence, one, or empathy, two. Holy crap I can't recall writing by a player that more surprised me than this did.

4
by BJR :: Thu, 02/02/2017 - 12:46pm

Well, cynically, I'd suggest he has a strong PR/media team behind him. And he's just about to officially retire so is likely angling for some post-football employment.

Not that I'm doubting his sentiment, but, given the timing, there's clearly some self-promotion going on.

6
by Bright Blue Shorts :: Thu, 02/02/2017 - 3:50pm

I found it hard to gooey over this. It just seemed like he was piggybacking Atlanta's success to try and get some redemption.

Of course he still thinks of himself as a Falcon because the day he left the team, his NFL career was essentially over. He was never a great passer but he was one of the hardest QBs to defend and I think he had a shot at the HoF if he'd put together a relatively successful 15-year career just for his impact on the game. But it all got taken down by his own stupidity.

8
by dbostedo :: Thu, 02/02/2017 - 11:55pm

"...the day he left the team, his NFL career was essentially over."

Maybe his stardom, but not really his career IMO.

Pre-arrest : 6 seasons, 11505 yards passing, 1153 yards rushing
Post-incarceration : 7 seasons, 10959 yards passing, 726 yards rushing

10
by Bright Blue Shorts :: Fri, 02/03/2017 - 8:16am

Wow - I didn't realise how bad his stats in Atlanta were. That bit I wrote about HoF ... maybe not.

Edit: his rushing stats are completely wrong - those are his yds lost on sacks.

First 6 seasons ... 74 games - 3,859yds rushing
Last 7 seasons ... 59 games - 2,249
Total - 133 games - 6108yds

For comparison Steve Young 169games - 4,200ish yds / Randall Cunningham 161 games 4,900ish

9
by BJR :: Fri, 02/03/2017 - 6:25am

Exactly. He doesn't need an opportunity for redemption, or to be begging for forgiveness now. The NFL already gave him that.

5
by Steve in WI :: Thu, 02/02/2017 - 2:23pm

Too bad he didn't have some empathy when he was torturing, drowning, and electrocuting scores of dogs.

Listen, I'll admit I'm not capable of being very rational when it comes to Vick, but I don't care how eloquent a letter that he supposedly wrote is. What he did wasn't simply animal abuse, it was sadistic and I find it impossible to believe a man could do those things if he didn't deeply enjoy it. It goes beyond just participating in dogfighting, which is heinous enough.

If you're interested in being surprised, might I suggest learning more about the fate of some of the dogs who were taken from Vick's property when he was arrested. Many of them were able to be rehabilitated and went on to live relatively long lives as pets. It's a testament to the amazing capacity for forgiveness and love that these dogs had to be able to transcend the absolutely horrible abuse they experienced at Vick's hands and trust humans again. The fact that Vick is still talking about his pain at letting the Atlanta Falcons down rather than the horrors he inflicted on those dogs, and whining about how sad it was in prison, tells me he's learned nothing. I'm not interested in anything someone as despicable as him has to say.

7
by dbostedo :: Thu, 02/02/2017 - 11:53pm

"Listen, I'll admit I'm not capable of being very rational when it comes to Vick..."

I'd agree with that. I feel like the article said plenty in the section below (i.e. I think one non-specific mention is plenty), and there's no reason for him to not be allowed to write articles about what he wants to write about, and not mention what happened to the dogs.

"But to be honest, that really wasn’t the case at all. In those first few months of my sentence, I really did come to understand how far I had fallen. I came to understand how much hurt I had caused, and how much work it was going to take to earn back just a portion of the respect that I had lost — both people’s respect for me, and my respect for myself. I came to accept the consequences."

Should every single thing he ever says or writes about the rest of his life have to be apologies about the dog abuse?

12
by ChrisS :: Fri, 02/03/2017 - 12:17pm

In general I don't like to judge someone by the worst thing they have done. But what he did was unjustifiable and not really one thing but a series of actions. I hope he is a better person than he was but I am not going to read this because I am shunning him. What a weird/old concept, but I think the concept reflects my feelings.

11
by Steve in WI :: Fri, 02/03/2017 - 12:08pm

The section you quoted says it all. In Vick's eyes, the consequences of his actions were: that *his own* life had been dramatically impacted, that he had lost the respect of others, and that he had hurt other people. Based on the context of the article, there's no other way I can read "just how much hurt I had caused." He's not talking about the dogs; he's talking about his family and teammates and people in Atlanta.

It's actually not surprising, because there has to be something deeply wrong with a person to enjoy torturing animals. I don't see how Vick can ever truly be rehabilitated. And I think the heinousness of his crimes puts him in a certain category where no one should be interested any longer in what he has to say about something as insignificant as football.

There are probably some football stories that could be told by O.J. Simpson, Darren Sharper, and Jerry Sandusky, too, but since their horrible crimes were committed against humans no respectable organization would ever give them a forum.