Last year we marveled at the passing skills of the aging Brett Favre, who at 40 took the Vikings to the brink of the Super Bowl. Unbelievably, Favre had the best overall season of his career. This season it appears we are seeing the beginning of what may be an even more remarkable return to form.
Michael Vick is experiencing one of the great American comebacks. But it may not matter whether he gets redemption. He may just get a pass on the past, provided he keeps putting points on the board. At the end of the day, we really just want to see spectacular play and winners.
Michael Vick has done that in the past and he is doing it again. Four years after he was last a regular starter with the Atlanta Falcons, Michael Vick gets another chance to lead a team. This time its the Philadelphia Eagles.
By naming Vick the starter for this weekend’s game and beyond, Eagles’ head coach Andy Reid did the only thing a man with good common sense should do based on Vick’s jaw-dropping performances the previous two games. Vick’s return began when he took over for injured starter Kevin Kolb, who suffered a concussion in the season opener.
In replacing Kolb on opening day, Vick looked better than good, almost winning the game single-handedly. Last Sunday it was more of the same.
Sometimes we have to believe what our own eyes are telling us, even when it seems too good to be true. We saw Vick at his best the last two weeks, and finally, so did Andy Reid, who, as recently as Monday night, was saying that Kevin Kolb was still the Eagles’ starter.
But Reid eventually came to his senses.
“When someone is playing at the level Michael Vick is playing, you have to give him an opportunity. This isn’t about Kevin Kolb’s play. You’re talking about Michael Vick as one the best quarterbacks in the NFL right now," said Reid.
So just like that it looks like Kolb may be the odd man out, his shot at replacing a legend in Donovan McNabb doomed from the very beginning by another superstar a year out of prison. It’s too bad.
But this is business and sentimentality has no place in the NFL. How good would the New England Patriots have been if Bill Belichick had preserved a spot for the injured Drew Bledsoe nine years ago instead of taking a chance with Tom Brady?
We love the sports comeback story. Boxing has a couple of the most famous and remarkable ones. Muhammad Ali winning the heavyweight championship seven years after being stripped of the title for refusing his draft induction. Or better yet, the man Ali beat, George Foreman, coming back twenty years later and fifty pounds heavier to win the title. Today George Foreman might be just as popular and much more wealthy than Muhammad Ali.
Some of you believe Michael Vick doesn’t deserve another chance. That’s understandable. Once a dog fighter, always a dog fighter. But I’d bet everything I own (which isn’t much) that if Vick continues winning and playing spectacularly, most folks will watch him anyway and eventually find a way to cheer for him. Maybe as soon as this Sunday.