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Michael Vick– It’s Time To Forgive And Cheer

Sometimes in life, a certain theme keeps popping up and you don’t know why. Lately, in different ways that has happened to me. The theme at this particular time is, forgiveness. I imagine if this kind of thing happens to a person, its life’s way of saying “Hey dummy , I’m trying to tell you something!” I guess I am a dummy because for the life of me I don’t know what it is I’m supposed to understand. But I do know that forgiveness is the greatest gift you can give, not only for someone else, but for yourself.

Yesterday, this occurred to me as I watched my favorite football team, the Philadelphia Eagles pull off the most amazing come back I have ever seen in professional sports.  The come back itself wasn’t the only  big deal to me.  What was also amazing is that the man at the helm of the team, the quarterback and leader, two years ago was in federal prison.  Micheal Vick  who I might add, I have never been a fan of as a player before he went to jail and certainly not after hearing about him running and or allowing dog fighting  rings on his property, was now the man I was cheering for.

Even when the Eagles signed him two years ago, I was mad.  I couldn’t see how in the world a guy who had no apparent work effort or ability to really learn the position of Quarterback in the N.F.L. could in any way help our team.  Add to that the fact that he in my eyes was nothing more than a hoodlum who would always be surrounded by the people who would drag him down at every chance they got, and I was just livid.  What in the world was Head Coach Andy Reid thinking!   Well, once again, I was dead wrong.

Over the last two years, it would seem that Micheal Vick, not only turned his back on the people who were his bad influences,  he stayed out of trouble.   It wasn’t easy that’s for sure, there were stories about how they would try to inject themselves into his life again, but he stood strong and just went back to work.  Work , a concept that Micheal himself admits was something completely foreign to him, was now his ticket to personal growth.  In an interview with his old Coach from the Atlanta Falcons, Vick admitted that his car at the time was filled with unopened DVDs of game film his coach asked him to study.  His Coached joked, “So I could have put a check for a Million dollars in one of those DVD cases and you would have never found it?”   Yes, Micheal said.  Yet, now his new Coach’s say if they fax him new plays at night, he has them memorized when he shows up to practice the next day.  You don’t really need to know all these things to see he has learned to work, and study.  His performance on the field as a passer and leader is proof in itself.  And to me, a staunch Micheal Vick hater in the past, nothing short of miraculous.  And so I cheer.  Not just for the football player, but I cheer for the man.

Could he let me down? Could he make bad choices again?  Sure.  But for right now.  He is a man that has been at the top of the mountain, and through his own poor choices fell quickly to the hard reality of rock bottom.  I think many people would just give in at that point. Let the prison system hold them down to level of the criminals around them.   Many would just blame others and never look within.  Many would not admit their mistakes and try to atone.  Micheal did not.   He has showed remorse, and he has showed his resolve to be a better person on and off the field. And now it is clear, he didn’t do these things just to get back in the N.F.L., if he had he never would have succeeded.  He truly changed because he wanted to change, needed to change.  And  he did all that in the face of ardent skeptics and naysayers as well. Like me.

For all that, not only can I say I forgive Micheal Vick for his mistakes, and the sins he committed were horrible, I know. But I can say I admire him.  And I truly do wish him luck and continued success, not on the football field but in life, as a man.  Perhaps more of a man than most of us. Actually as a Eagle fan, I wish him continued success on the field as well.  Go  Seven!

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