Michael Vick: The Illustrious Titles of An Icon

With accolades to prove one’s worth justified by the capabilities to perform brilliantly, pro athlete, Michael Vick’s NFL career depicts a tale of illustrious titles overshadowed by perspectives and values. Record-breaking, comeback player of the year, and most valuable; are all labels that leverage an athlete as the best and for Michael, his resume is decorated with such honors. However, the notion of the title “black” will forever marginalize an individual when playing the “American Game”. From having it all stripped away to the rebirth of a respectable man, Michael Vick’s journey is a glimpse of hope that the title doesn’t make the man but the man makes the title. And for Michael, progression is learning from the past in order to build a sustainable legacy.

How did you know you were good enough to play in the NFL?

I mean it was easy for me, lol. I always dominated the kids in the neighborhood growing up. It was easy to score, to get a first down, and to pass the ball, but I worked hard at it. I would watch football all weekend; I was a football addict at a young age. I just had a dream, and I don’t know if people dream like I did or wanted the same thing I wanted from football but I can say that I went out and got it. I found ways to set myself apart and I think I was able to do it and stand out.

What was your most pivotal/influential moment in your career history?

I would have to say winning comeback player of the year. That was a title I wanted and yearned for a while away in prison. To be able to come back and play again and to step out on the field with no accolades attached. I didn’t want to come back winning the super bowl in my first year to shut people up, nor have some form of ego or pride; I didn’t want to use any of that as motivation. My motivation was simply to play again and finish accomplishing what I love to do while doing it right and showing the NFL that I am still worthy enough. Winning that title showed everything, and it’s a trophy that I will cherish forever.

As a role model, do you feel any outside pressures from the world to be the best version of you as possible?

When people look at you as a role model, you are being held to a higher standard than most. To look at it as if there are added pressures, the answer would be yes. You have millions of kids, who are patterning themselves after you and if that’s what it takes to stay motivated or take on the likeness of a role model than I think, it’s my obligations to live up to it, especially since people are holding me to such a high standard. I understand that all eyes are on me. I know that everything I do will be scrutinized and telecast, so I try to make the best decisions and use the right judgments. I try to teach these same responsibilities to kids as well.

Explain the difference in feeling from the first time you ever stepped onto the field as a new signee vs. after prison.