Michael Vick had the most talent of any player in NFL history. He was blessed to have a Cannon for an arm and legs of an Olympic track star. He made a name for himself day one.
This legend came from New Port News, Virginia, the same city as Allen Iverson and Ronald Curry two super stars in their own right. Michael Vick grew up in the projects. I remember years ago I read a great article on him, he was discovered at the age of 9 years old and even at that tender age he showed raw talent throwing the ball playing with friends in the neighborhood. Most of your top players come from the projects it’s been this way for decades. You can mold talent but with some people natural talent can’t be taught. You just have it! Michael Vick was born with talent.
Greatness can also come in a curse and I believe Michael Vick’s talent came with a curse. The young man was the most athletic person I had ever seen play football and only Lawrence Taylor, a former New York Giants Hall of Famer is in the same class as Vick, while at Virginia Tech in 1999, Michael Vick put the entire football world on noticed by displaying his gift on the football field. Fans, players, and pundits had never seen this kind of skills in a quarterback before. His speed was untamed and no one could seem to slow him down. God created something special in Michael Vick. It was hard for any coach to really coach a player like him because he was so different from other quarterbacks.
Michael Vick had one of his best performances at the Sugar Bowl as everyone watched him on the big stage versus Florida State. The only game he ever lost as a starter. In that game Virginia Tech was big time underdogs and the Seminoles had the number 1 ranked defense and a roster full of stars including Peter Warrick and Chris Weinke. At the age of 19 he threw for 225 yards and rushed for 97 yards and had 2 touchdowns. No other quarterback at that time could have played a game against Florida State like Michael Vick did in that game. Chris Weinke won the Heisman trophy that year in 1999 but in my opinion Michael Vick should have won it. The fact is the Florida State Seminoles had more talent than Virginia Tech in that game. I believe the voters got it wrong that year. The National title was won by the great team from Florida State 46 to 29 but this game was much closer. Michael Vick played one more seasoned at Virginia Tech before moving on to becoming the first black quarterback to be drafted number 1 making NFL history.
The Atlanta Falcons traded up with the San Diego Chargers to get the rights to the number 1 pick and many fans were excited that Michael Vick was coming to Atlanta including myself. I had dreams of Michael Vick leading my Atlanta Falcons to many Super Bowls. ESPN loved the brother, he brought a lot of excitement to the NFL because he was the “Michael Jordan” of football the way he played the game.
It’s sad that Michael Vick career ended up not being what I had dreamed but the opposite. His poor work ethic and poor choices he made in his life lead him to become a player with no return. Things like drugs and hanging around people who did not have his best interest helped bring him down. The truth is, the dog fighting was wrong and yes he paid a big price for it!
He took advantage of people using his star profile and he abused it. The same gift that brought out his spectacular talent also cursed him too. Many black people gave him a pass on his behavior but not me. I don’t feel sorry for a man who made millions of dollars and then lost it all because of choices he made in his life that could have been avoided. He made it to 3 pro bowls for the Atlanta Falcons but he wasn’t the dedicated player like he could have been. Michael Vick had an outstanding arm but no accuracy. He could run through many defenses but he could not read any defense because he never studied the playbooks to take his game to the next level. He wanted to remain being that Michael Vick from New Port News, Virginia hanging with his old friends. Michael cursed himself and shamed his family. Michael Vick made some of the most exciting plays in the NFL but talent alone won’t keep you in the league. His career was mediocre and his talent never reached his pinnacle. He blew it! I am still disappointed on how Vick could have become the best quarterback of the century!
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