Wednesday, September 26, 2007

He's got Jesus in his Heart... and the Chronic in his Lungs.

As you are probably aware by now, Michael Vick failed a drug test by testing positive for marijuana earlier this month. On top of the state dog fighting charges he now faces, he gets to deal with this. The downward spiral continues. Read Sports Illustrated article here.
We had some thoughts last month on Vick's somewhat dubious spiritual awakening here.

While watching the Tennessee Titans wallop the New Orleans Saints this past Monday, we noted the commentators praising Titan QB, Vince Young for his poise and maturity in leading not only the offense but the entire team in that victory.

Indeed, Young’s play was to be commended. He directed the offense efficiently using his amazing athleticism only in spots as for the most part he managed the game plan putting his team in favorable down and distance situations throughout the night.

(And one person who does not seem to get enough credit for Young’s development is the offensive coordinator, Norm Chow. Chow essentially reintroduced the forward pass to the college game while at BYU back in the late 70s and 80s and it was our thought that Chow would not be a good fit for a team and organization that since Jeff Fisher took over as coach was primarily run-oriented. So the guy deserves a lot of credit for swallowing some pride, scaling back the play book a bit and bringing Young along slowly to allow him to grow into this role as an on and off the field leader.)

But back to the commentating. What struck us about the deserved compliments was that they were all eerily similar to what we were hearing about Michael Vick some 5-6 years ago when he first broke into the league and was the Atlanta Falcon starting QB.

We recall a story about Michael Vick’s first year as starting QB and which took place immediately after an exciting last-minute victory by the Falcons that put them in the playoffs. Someone in the Falcon marketing department got the idea to have Vick tape a message right there on the field and have that message sent to the home phones of all the Falcon season ticket holders.

Gee… would something like this work? Would Vick, charged with emotion while being physically drained, be up for this stunt? One of the staffers nervously approached Vick and before he could get half-way through the explanation, Vick snatched the tape recorder from the guy’s hand and started speaking into the recorder something to the effect of: “Hey, this is Michael Vick. What a great game today, huh? I just wanted to call and thank you for your support and thank you for being a season ticket holder. I’ll try to give you a call during the playoffs. Bye.”

THAT’s what Falcon fans had waiting for them when they got home. THAT’s who was calling just to say “Hi”. It was no wonder then why the Falcons were so high on Vick (oh, yes I did) and why he was viewed not only as the face of the Falcon franchise but also as an ambassador for the city of Atlanta.

Now, are we in any way suggesting that Vince Young is like Michael Vick the person? Certainly not. We bring all this up only because we were struck by the similarities in the two situations: two young, athletic, black quarterbacks in the NFL who are on the verge of super-stardom who because of their relative early success are showered with praise and adulation by the fans and the media. That…. AND the expectations, both on and off the field, that Michael Vick failed to live up to which are now Vince Young’s expectations.

We’re pulling for Vince Young. He got into a little dutch in the preseason by violating some team rules. We hope it was an isolated incident. His teammates appear to think so as they voted him to one of the team captain positions. And we hope the Norm Chow “slow and steady” model of progression for his development as an NFL QB is the model for his human development as well.
Photo above is courtesy the cut-throats over at Kissing Suzy Kolber.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

For more fun at Micheal Vick's expense, check out the video on you tube.