Michael Vick has played only two full games this year, and both games came against lousy opponents. So we’d be getting ahead of ourselves if we imagined Vick leading the Eagles to 15 straight wins and a Super Bowl title. That would be presumptuous.
But let’s do it anyway.
Coaches and players have to stick to that one-game-at-a-time nonsense, but we fans do not. No, no, we’re free to skip over the entire regular season and begin daydreaming right NOW about Vick going to the Super Bowl, throwing and running for 16 combined TDs, and then waving a magic staff on the podium at Cowboys Stadium and resurrecting all the animals he killed four years ago. I’m not saying that’s going to happen. I’m just saying it’s on the mind of a few Eagles fans right now.
The question is, if Michael Vick became the most unlikely comeback story of this NFL season, if he suddenly were to bring Philly a title and fulfill all the promise that he seemingly once had squandered forever, how would that make people feel?
I’d be fascinated to see the world’s reaction to Vick turning it around. Everyone loves a comeback story. Everyone loves the idea of a man redeeming himself, because that means if he can, we can too. But Vick is a unique in the sense that his crime enraged so many people to the point of permanent anger. There are some who will never forgive him for his crimes, just as there are some in Atlanta who will never forgive the Falcons for letting him walk, despite having a wonderful replacement in Matt Ryan.
If Vick wins the Super Bowl, it’ll bring to mind the 2000 season, when Ray Lewis led Baltimore to a title after pleading guilty to obstructing justice in the stabbing of two people. Lewis was not exactly adored by the public that year, and he still isn’t. This is because Ray Lewis dances around before games like a moron. Despite his transgressions, Lewis never seemed all that sorry for what he did. He became almost comically defensive about the incident, and painted himself as God’s Linebacker when he had no business doing so.
Vick has been the near opposite of that. He’s said and done all the right things since this season started. What’s more, it hasn’t looked fake at all. Vick seemed like a genuinely humbled guy trying to make things better. Is he? I dunno, but he sure seems like the real deal right now.
If Vick were to end up guiding Philly to a title this year (or even in the coming years), I think his turnaround would ultimately be admired by most Americans, and not scorned by those who think the NFL was too lax to let him ever play football again. Vick’s resurgence is a fascinating occurrence that could end up being the story of the entire 2010 season. Maybe you hated Michael Vick before, but tell me you aren’t drawn in now. Tell me you aren’t interested in seeing if he can pull off this ultimate redemption. More important, tell me it isn’t awesome to watch him blow apart defense with his arm and feet right now. He’s mesmerizing to watch, and even the strongest of haters can’t deny it.
So strap in, Philly fans. This could be the beginning of something insane.