Michael Vick has had one of the most remarkable turnarounds in history. If, say, five years ago, you went to a Hollywood producer/director and gave him a script about a superstar athlete who gets convicted of dog fighting, only to come back to his sport, and, after sitting on the bench his first year back, returns to the game as a starter after the original starter gets hurt, and plays better than he ever has in his career, becoming a Most Valuable Player(MVP) candidate, you know what that director would have told you? That is unbelievable, after several minutes of laughter. But that is the miracle of Michael Vick. Not even his coach, Philadelphia Eagles Head Coach Andy Reid would have predicted this, otherwise Vick would have been named the starter prior to the season beginning.
In the 2010 National Football League(NFL) season, Vick had a quarterback ranking of 100.2, good for fourth in the NFL. Vick also threw for career-highs in yards with 3,018, completions, with 233, completion precentage, with 62.6%, touchdowns, with 21, and yards per attempt, with 8.1. These statistics, plus Vick leading the Eagles to a 10-4 record after a spectacular, fourth-quarter comeback win against the Giants after trailing by 21 points in the fourth quarter, have Vick in contention for the NFL MVP award. (It says here that he will finish second to Tom Brady.)
After a disappointing loss to the Green Bay Packers Sunday, many question what the Philadelphia Eagles will do with the soon-to-be free agent. The Eagles have numerous problems, but Michael Vick is not one of them. NFL contracts are not guaranteed, so the Eagles should sign him to a long-term deal so that he can receive the bonus money. If they don’t, does it mean they truly believe quarterback Kevin Kolb, starter at the beginning of the season, is their future starter? If so, they wasted another year of his “development”. If not Kolb, who are you bringing in two seasons from now for yet another “rebuilding” season? There are numerous football reasons why he should be resigned, but his value is not only to the team, but to the city of Philadelphia as well.
“He made people excited about football again. He took a team that was going to have a throw-a-way season into the playoffs. At first, people were wary, angry… afraid for the team even. But Mike played his heart out – since he had so much to prove” said Elizabeth Wellington, style writer for The Philadelphia Inquirer and Eagles fan. When asked if the Eagles should re-sign Vick, Ms. Wellington replied “Absolutely. I think we should keep Vick. He brought a lot of energy to the team and the city. He made people interested in football who never followed football.”
Michael Vick started several conversations in the city of Philadelphia among football and non-football fans. The conversations were about second chances, the value placed on animal rights versus human rights, and, of course, racism. In a city where the passion for the Birds is always on high, Vick “re-energized” a fan base that had basically resigned itself to a lost season. For the fans that were “pro” Donovan, I think the sting was lessened by seeing Vick take the helm in place of Kolb. Also, with the season (regular and post) ending with the same result as last year, “pro” Donovan fans feel like Andy Reid’s coaching style has truly been exposed.
Whether his critics like it or not, Vick has established a leadership role on this team. With a better line (think the next Tra Thomas and John Runyan) he will develop into an even better pocket passer with the ability to run when the time comes. With healthy offensive weapons and another productive offseason of training and studying, the sky’s the limit. The Eagles have given Vick the opportunity to grow as a football player and a person. In return he gave the organization and its fans a helluva season. At his final press conference of the season, Vick admitted that he got greedy on the last play. “It’s a bad way to go out, but at least I went out swinging.” Those are the words of a champion fighter. That should be rewarded with an extended deal. The Eagles have numerous problems, but Michael Vick is not one of them.