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What Does Michael Vick Deserve?

Abraham BaldwinContributor IMay 14, 2009

RICHMOND, VA - AUGUST 27:  Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick makes a statement to reporters at the Omni Richmond Hotel after agreeing to a guilty plea on charges stemming from his involvement in a dogfighting ring August 27, 2007, in Richmond, Virginia.  (Photo by Jonathan Ernst/Getty Images)

Author F. Scott Fitzgerald once wrote, “There are no second acts in American lives.” However, time after time, in the aftermath of high-profile scandals, that assertion is disproved and I have a sneaking suspicion that it will be proven wrong once more, pending Michael Vick’s release from prison.

Recently, former Indianapolis Colts head coach Tony Dungy visited Vick at the federal prison in Kansas where Vick is serving a 23-month sentence for funding a dog fighting operation.

"I think Michael is just like so many other guys that I have seen, so many other people who are nameless, faceless in that environment," Dungy said after the visit. "It's a young man that made a mistake and is looking for a chance to recover and move forward. That's where he is and that's where so many of the men who are here today are."

Vick, unlike your ordinary felon, has people openly rooting against him. These are the same people who took great joy in seeing his demise and Vick didn’t do himself any favors either by getting caught up in such a felonious situation.

Also, when Vick is released from prison, there is no guarantee he will be allowed back into the NFL and NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has stated as much. According to Goodell, Vick will not be able to suit up for anyone until he shows adequate remorse.

Vick is learning—or has hopefully learned—that decisions have consequences. And, in the not-so-distant future, I think F. Scott Fitzgerald may once again be eating crow when it comes to Vick.

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The big question, will Vick be granted a second chance in the NFL? Ultimately, that is a decision for Roger Goodell to make, but Vick most assuredly deserves a second chance at life.

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