OK, so he was wrong. He ran a dog-fighting clinic for years. Bets were made. Money was made. Michael Vick got richer. Michael Vick got caught. Michael Vick did time and Michael Vick lost millions - MILLIONS - of dollars.
In March, 2009, Donte Stallworth killed a man and pleaded to DUI manslaughter. Let me repeat. He killed a man, under the influence of alcohol (why these stupid celebrities and athletes drink and drive is beyond me...if I had their money, I would have my own limo service take me wherever, whenever so I wouldn't have to worry about such things, but that's another subject altogether). After pleading to second degree manslaughter, he did 24 days in jail, was suspended for the 2009 football season, and paid a nice chunk of change to the poor man's family.
Now I'm not going to hold a man liable his entire life. People make mistakes. Let me repeat. People make mistakes. But Mike Vick was caught for dog-fighting and did two years in jail and lost almost his entire fortune.
There's a lot to be said for players and the amounts of money they make. Vick wasn't right in what he did. Neither was Stallworth, or the several other athletes and celebrities convicted of heinous crimes. But I'm not talking about them. I'm talking about Vick. All of a sudden you throw animals into the mix and your entire life is gone, left only to hopefully rebuild if you can restore faith in the public that originally put you on a pedestal.
Fast forward to 2011...right now! Mike Vick has rebuilt himself. He worked hard to work his way back into the league. He trained, gave community service time, spoke at several different gatherings to discuss the importance of animals and properly caring for them and treating them, and has given mounds of himself to many different animal organizations, most notably, PETA.
The Philadelphia Eagles were nice enough to give him a chance to redeem himself and last season, he performed outstanding after replacing the benched Kevin Kolb. He was a winner in many ways. He had a comeback against the NY Giants that will forever be embedded in Giants' fans' heads for years to come. He was a nightmare for opposing defenses. He was a dream for fantasy owners that drafted him. He made his comeback heard - and heard quickly!
Recently he was given a very nice contract that should set him up for life. However, after all is said and done, he is still being frowned upon, heavily criticized, and scrutinized for this season's performance.
"Mike Vick leaves game with concussion...was he worth the contract."
"Mike Vick breaks hand, slams refs...he's too soft."
"Mike Vick's hand is only bruised...maybe he should focus less on whining."
Give the freakin' guy a break. He's paid his dues. He's earned his way back. Let up and let off. He's frustrated that his O-Line isn't protecting him against the rush. He's frustrated that his team has struggled after making many what-seemed-to-be incredible offseason pickups. Oh, by the way, he's human folks! He has feelings. He has a heart. His had may not be on right all the time, but his heart is in it. Back off him and let him play. Nobody likes to see greatness succeed (i.e. Tom Brady and the Patriots). But this man has gone through the ringer and everyone needs to lay off. Give him time to make his way back. Let him be the man he should've been. Then he will become the quarterback he should be.
By the way, anybody heard anything about Donte Stallworth lately?