In what could likely be his final season as a Philadelphia Eagle, Mike Vick will have a chance to define his legacy as an NFL QB.
Well, Mike Vick, you got your wish.
You are once again the alpha, as if there was any doubt when Coach Kelly decided to bring you back.
But it's most likely your last chance.
It's your last chance because you've had plenty of them before this. Be it in Atlanta or Philly, with poor decision making on and off the field, or simply the ability to stay on it. Because an injury resume shouldn't read longer than a career one, especially for a former No. 1 overall pick, and especially one with some of the most astounding athletic abilities ever seen on the gridiron.
Because when you wish upon a star to be a star—and extract all the rest of the junk—this is what a star looks like:
It's your last chance because, frankly, you're approaching geriatric status as an NFL player, especially for a undersized quarterback who relies on his speed and a fearless one at that—one who avoids nothing but perhaps the bail-out slide.
It's your last chance because teams typically don't annually invest high draft picks and millions of dollars at your position for sport.
It's your last chance because your new coach will want and need to establish a new identity, and fans will accept a rebuilding year, but hell if they accept a rebuilding era.
It's your last chance because excessive turnovers get really old after a while.
It's your last chance and your leaking defense and streaking offense will give you plenty of opportunities.
Another great opportunity to get better tomorrow. Do y'all feel me #EagleNation?— Mike Vick (@MikeVick) August 12, 2013
It's your last chance because this chapter of this saga desperately needs to have a happy ending to satiate the decades of gut-wrenching heartache this championship-starved city has had to endure: From long chunks of futility to shady owners to Jerome's untimely and tragic death to Reggie's exodus to Randall being Randall to 14 years of "I gotta do a better job," including four straight seasons of almost, and one more coulda/shoulda/woulda after that.
How will this season turn out for Mike Vick?
It's your last chance to lead by example, realizing that your milk-and-cookies (and soup that eats like a meal) predecessor likely never got so much as a traffic ticket yet still endured the constant criticism of his home town fans. Because, stats aside, there really is nothing more frustrating than potential unfulfilled.
(Or maybe that will work to your favor in this hard-nose, blue-collar town. Maybe you'll ultimately become the Rose to his Schmidt, the AI to his Dr. J.)
Regardless, you know how chances work. You also know that, eventually, just like talent, they eventually run out.
Here's your last chance, Mike. How you make it last will be up to you.