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Costenbader Article

Costenbader Article

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Published by: Matt Costenbader on Apr 19, 2012
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Michael Vick:Back from theDead
Vick’s Early Years
The story of MichaelDwayne Vick is arollercoaster. It is full of trials, failures, andtriumph. He was born onJune 26
th
, 1980 in Newport News, Virginia("Michael Vick Biography."). He learnedto play football at anearly age and grew tolove it. His first shiningmoments were at Homer L. Ferguson High School(Wikipedia). When Vick  became a sophomore, hetransferred to Warwick High School where hewowed college scouts(Wikipedia). When itcame time to choosewhich college to attend,Vick had two places inmind: SyracuseUniversity andVirginia TechUniversity. Heended upchoosingVirginia Techand went on tohave a great collegecareer (Wikipedia). Hewas so good in collegethat he was chosen 1
st
overall in the 2001 NFLDraft by the AtlantaFalcons (Wikipedia).
Atlanta Falcons
After being selected 1
st
overall, Vick becameone of the most excitingand fun players to watch play the game. His greatathletic ability gave himgreat speed and agilitythat no one had seen before. A great exampleof his athleticism is agame against theMinnesota Vikings in the playoffs in 2002. Thegame went to overtimeand a vintage MichaelVick play was born. Vick ranfor 46 yards past almost allof the Vikingsdefenders andsplit two of them right before running into theend zone to end the game(Olsen). He went to 3Pro Bowlsduring histime inAtlanta, andin 2003, heeven wonthe best NFL player ESPY award(Wikipedia). Vick andrunning back Warrick Dunn became the firstrunning back andquarterback combinationto rush for 1,000 yards ina season (Wikipedia). Hehad great success inAtlanta, playing sixseasons there until it allturned around.
Vicks’ Low Point
While in Atlanta, Vick was in a group called“Bad Newz Kennels”, adog fighting group thathe helped fund. Vick  became a licensed dog breeder. The grouphoused and trained over 50 pit bulls to fight eachother ("Animal FightingCase Study: MichaelVick."). Vick grew up inthe projects in NewportVirginia. He saw many bad things happen, andgot involved in someof those things. One of those things was dogfighting. The dogsthey bred were tested,and if they did not perform up to par, theywere executed. A lot of illegal gambling went onduring this time in hislife also ("AnimalFighting Case Study:Michael Vick."). WhenVicks’ activities hit thenews, people wereshocked. It opened theeyes of the whole nationto dog fighting. Thefederal government brought charges to thecase, which is veryunusual for them to do because they do notusually get involved indog fighting cases. Vick got 23 months in prison,
 
was fined $5,000, had to pay $928,073 and had totake a drug/alcoholtreatment program("Animal Fighting CaseStudy: Michael Vick.").To say the least, this wasVicks’ low point of hislife. He was going tomiss two seasons of theleague he had dominatedfor six seasons. On topof that, he went bankruptdue to the massiveamount of money he hadto pay ("Animal FightingCase Study: MichaelVick.").
Vicks’ Redemption
Since being indicted,Vick has really tried tomake up for his pastactions. He has workedwith organizations likethe Boys and Girls Clubsof the Virginia Peninsulatalking to children abouthis story and what he hasdone. He tries to getthem to understand thatthe road he went down isnot theone theyshouldgo down(McGlone). Vick realizeswhat he has done in the past is wrong, and he isfocused on making thefuture generations notget involved in the thingshe did. Vick has alsoworked with the HumaneSociety. He goes aroundto different troubledlocations telling his storyand what people can donot to get involved in bad organizations likethe one he was in("Michael Vick and TheHSUS Call on Feds toCrack Down on AnimalFighting Spectators : TheHumane Society of theUnited States.").
Vicks’ Comeback 
As of now, Vick hasmade a completecomeback. His work inthe community and newattitude and behavior have impressed the NFLCommissioner Roger Goodell enough for himtoreinstateVick back into the NFL. Notonly hasVick been reinstated, hehas been signed by an NFL team, thePhiladelphiaEagles. He isn’t justa backupquarterback either,he is now their franchise quarterback,the face of the team, andis building a winningtradition in Philadelphia.He is also working withthe community inPhiladelphia steeringchildren in the rightdirection.
His first year inPhilly
His first year inPhiladelphia in 2009didn’t go that smoothly.Much controversy arosefrom the public. Many people did not want himto play ever again due tohis past actions, andothers thought he hadearned his way back to playing. He sat behindthe starting quarterback,Donovan Mcnabb, andgot limited playing time.He was not as successfulas the old Vick, and itlooked like he had losthis athleticism while being in jail(Munson).
Becoming theFranchiseQuarterback 
In 2010, things changed.The starting quarterback was going to be KevinKolb going into theseason, but after he got aconcussion during thefirst game, Vick got hischance to finally startand he took fulladvantage (Munson). Hewent on to have amagical season, shockingthe whole football worldwith his speed andathleticism. It appeared
 
as if the old Vick was back, but this was a newVick. This Vick was notinvolved in anythingillegal, he wasn’t in thedog fighting organizationanymore, and he wasoverall a better personand player. He is stillworking in thecommunity with noobligation to do so. Vick is no longer the face of dog fighting, he is theface of the Eagles, andthe community of Philadelphia.Sources used in this genre

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