Posted by: Ashley Zavala
Mike Vick turned 31 on Sunday, marking another year of life, another year of rebuilding, another year of progression. In the last few hours of his birthday, BET announced he was the recipient of the Subway Sportsman award. That same night, NFL Network unveiled Vick as the 20th ranked player out of 100 Top players In 2011. All on his birthday.
If you Wikipedia Mike Vick, the result is consumed by what had to have been one of the roughest patches in Vick's road of success. Half of his Wikipedia profile talks about the criminal charges and repercussions he faced, all centered around him at the age of 27. In July of 2007 (just a month after his 27th birthday), Vick was charged with a felony for operating an interstate dog fighting ring called "Bad Newz Kennels." As the the investigation swelled, other damaging details of Bad Newz Kennels poured out including the involvement of drugs and gambling. Vick pleaded guilty to " traveling in interstate commerce in aid of unlawful activities" and to "sponsor a dog in an animal fighting adventure." After his guilty plea was accepted and after failing a drug test while on bail in September 2007, Vick went to prison that December where he spent the following twenty-three months. Heading to prison was just the beginning of his downward spiral headed rock bottom. On July of 2008, Vick filed for bankruptcy protection. Creditors had been pressuring him, stating he owed them millions. An incomplete initial filing stated he had assets worth less than $50 million and debt ranging from $10 million to $50 million. Broke and in prison, Vick would eventually have to face the adversity brought on by the public eye's perception of him. As he re-entered society, his fan base had dwindled. The number of NFL teams that wanted him after his prison release could hardly be counted on one hand. The number of people believing his career could recover was close to zero. The public's forgiveness for Mike Vick didn't become apparent until this past NFL season, his second season with the Eagles and his second season out of prison. Vick received the starting QB spot on the Eagles in September 2010, resulting in the demoting of Kevin Kolb. That same month, Vick was named NFC Offensive Player of the Month. During the Monday Night Football match-up versus the Washington Redskins, Vick passed for 333 yards, 4 touchdowns and rushed 80 yards for 2 touchdowns. He was named NFC Offensive Player of the Week. The Pro-Football Hall of Fame asked for his game jersey to display after becoming the first player to ever pass for three touchdowns and rush for two in the first half of a game. By the conclusion of the 2010-11 season, Vick passed for 3,018 yards, and 20 touchdowns and rushed 676 yards for nine touchdowns. The Eagles then placed the franchise tag on Vick in February. According to Twackle.com, the sight of Vick's dog fighting scandal in Virginia is now going to be used as a dog sanctuary, a place where abused dogs can receive rehabilitation and recovery. Much like Vick, this property that was once a place of destruction and torment will now be revamped into something productive, something bringing about a lot of good- a sign of healing. Much like the new sanctuary, Vick proved that good can come from evil and that everyone deserves a second chance.