Michael Vick: Don't Blow This Second Chance

Richard ZowieCorrespondent IAugust 16, 2009

PHILADELPHIA - AUGUST 15:  Michael Vick #7 prepares to throw a pass in a workout at the NovaCare Complex on August 15, 2009 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Len Redkoles/Getty Images)

Since I know you have football practice with the Philadelphia Eagles, I’m going to make this nice and simple, Mike. You’ve been given a second chance, and a rare one at that. It’s really amazing: two years ago, I thought your NFL career was as dead as a doornail. If things work out, maybe you should consider “Lazarus” as a new nickname.

It sounds much better than “Ookie” or “Ron Mexico.” So, Mike, if you want to succeed in the NFL, get your debts paid and earn enough money to have a nice retirement, all you have to do are these two things.

One, produce on the field, whether you are a backup quarterback or a wide receiver or some option in a wildcat offense. Catch passes. Make great throws. Make defensive backs miss you. Score. Make the extra effort to get the first down. When the clock's ticking down, get out of bounds and set David Akers up for a field goal.

You know why Adam “Pacman” Jones’ aborted comeback with the Dallas Cowboys failed? In part, it was because Jones failed to be the reckoning force he used to be as a cornerback and as a kick and punt returner. Eagles’ fans are notoriously brutal, but if you can win them over, you’ll be surprised how quickly forgiveness will be given to you.

(Except for road games in Atlanta, of course).

Second, be a good citizen off the field. I am reminded of a quote from my favorite movie, Heat. Jon Voight’s character tries to convince Robert DeNiro’s character to avoid one last bank heist before retirement, saying Al Pacino’s character is hot on his trail. “This guy can hit or miss,” Voight tells DeNiro. “You can’t miss once.”

Think of it that way, Mike. Don’t do something stupid by getting caught in a strip club, drinking and driving, assaulting someone, and above all, don’t be caught being cruel to an animal. Make the best of your chance, Mike.

Honestly, Mike, considering all the professional athletes who've been welcomed back with open arms after beating up on their wives and girlfriends, considering those who've been welcomed back after having drug problems, I'm honestly rooting for you to succeed.

Except when you play against my Cowboys.

Seriously, best of luck.