Open Mic: The Sporting World's Biggest Disappointment

Ryan Senior Writer IJune 12, 2008

In life, there are ups and downs. 

Sports are no different. Fans experience disappointments everyday, from an incomplete pass to a strikeout to a soft goal.

But today, I'm going to take a look at the biggest disappointment in all of sports—Michael Vick.

Before I drudge into that, there were a few topics swirling in my mind. The dramatic fall of Mike Tyson, arguably the most feared and dominant boxer of his time.

The squandering of a potential dynasty in Buffalo, with the Bills ending up as bridesmaids for straight years.

I also thought about Ryan Leaf, whose colossal bust and disappearance from the game makes us laugh when we consider that he was nearly taken over Peyton Manning.

But when it all boils down, nothing is more disappointing than the Michael Vick experience. Atlanta fans were ecstatic when Vick came into the league in 2001, electrifying crowds everywhere with his running ability and arm strength.

After a few slightly above-average years and a nine-figure contract, Vick began bickering with fans in his own town, going as far as flipping off the crowd during a home game.

He never became more than a decent quarterback who was a dangerous running threat. Yet, few blamed him. His receivers drop too many balls. Yeah, that's it.  His offensive line wasn't very good. Yeah, that's got to be why.

And through all that blind faith, through all that denial that maybe Vick wasn't the savior many made him out to be, Vick was still battling the fans that supported him.

Until June of last year. Everyone knows the story by now. Vick and his buddies were running a dog-fighting ring called "Bad Newz Kennel", basing their operations out of a house Vick owned, yet claimed he let family and friends use more than he did.

The reports were horrible. Dogs were being starved and forced to fight to the death. Losing dogs were being drowned and electrocuted. Nothing deserves that kind of treatment.

Vick maintained his innocence, repeatedly stating that he knew nothing about the operation. That is, until two of his friends who had been charged ratted him out for more lenient sentences.

While awaiting his sentence, there Vick was—the former super-duper-star with the world in the palm of his hands and more money than god—standing somberly, silently apologetic, though more to those who wrote him checks for his services.

While it's a horrible, cruel injustice, what happened to the dogs isn't the saddest part. 

What's sad is that young men like Vick are given gifts to bring them out of poverty and give them lives many of us dream about. Yet these young men turn out to be products of their rough upbringing, taking themselves out of the projects, but not taking the projects out of themselves.

It's a shame that men like Vick, Maurice Clarett, Mike Williams, Antonio Pittman, etc...ruin these tremendous chances, and put themselves in situations that not only can put them in jail, but also ruin the only chance they have to really make it in life.

A wasted opportunity is a terribly disappointing thing.