Michael Vick and Prison

Philadelphia Inquirer 12/29/10

It was obvious Michael Vick was playing hurt – really hurt, he could barely walk by the end – last night.  It was equally obvious there was no way he was coming out of the game while he could stand.  He was hurt on the first play from scrimmage, yet took all the heat for the, shocking, loss and his turnovers.  All the heat.

I was not a Vick fan when he was in Atlanta, did not think he was a quarterback one could rely on in the Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, Drew Brees, Rivers, Rogers, mode . . .  as a dog lover, well, no need to go further there . . . .

I have written this before, repeat it now with some revision: in prison you have a choice, a very clear cut choice, between taking the easy route with 96% of the other inmates and sit around watching TV 18 hours a day while eating junk food from commissary, bitch about the system, your lawyer, the COs, warden, other inmates – in short be popular by joining(if not embracing) the misery; or working your ass off – physically, emotionally, psychologically, morally – to be something once the nightmare is over. That’s exceedingly hard because it’s different and inmates handle different with a ferocity that makes the citizens of Salem circa the late 1600s look like paragons of acceptance.

Vick got back to the NFL after long absence; is a different, better quarterback . . .  and isn’t coming out of any game while he’s conscious and can stagger or limp.  No one but those who have survived like conditions can truly appreciate how remarkable this is, how remarkable he must be to pull this off.  I salute him – – – and the Eagles for rolling the dice on him last year.  Remarkable all the way around.

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