It seems the Michael Vick saga will never end. Once again, he is the focus of controversy. This time for receiving the Ed Block Courage Award as voted on by his teammates. PETA has objected, some posters have ridiculed the award and many have legitimate reasons for their displeasure with the news.
I can't ever say I have been in the pro-Vick camp in this entire saga. Some of the statements made by the Vick fans are pretty stupid. Nobody on this earth is "owed" a scend chance. And instead of criticizing Roger Goddell for restrictions on Vick's return, they should have been thanking him for allowing Vick to return at all.
However, Michael Vick has risen above his supporters and taken responsibility for what he did and has tried to make amends. Vick right now is possibly thanking the sports gods for Tiger Woods as he is no longer the focus of all the media stalkers.
But when he was, he gave a seminar on media relations and how to return from disgrace in a humble and grateful manner. Maybe he was coached up. Maybe it was all public relations. Who knows how sincere it really is?
But, let me draw a comparison to something I saw over 10 years ago.
ESPN did an interview with Lawrence Phillips in 1998. At one point, the question was asked: "Is there anything in your upbringing that has predisposed you to violence towards women?" Phillips replied, "awww man" and then stood, removed his microphone and walked out of the interview.
Today, Phillips is serving a prison sentence after a Supreme Court jury back in August found him guilty of seven counts, including assault with great bodily injury; false imprisonment; making a criminal threat; and auto theft. He had beaten up yet another girlfriend.
Just maybe because he never had the guts to face what he was and ran and hid from the tough questions about his personal life.
Now, watch a 2009 interview with Michael Vick. Never has he ever stood up and walked out. And never has he (unlike some of his fans) tried to portray himself as Michael Vick-tim.
It can't be easy living underneath that glare, especially when that glare is ready to gobble you up. Vick has faced it without blinking and has shown more courage than many others whom the media has found a reason to seek blood from.
We can argue til the cows come home whether he deserved a second chance but the fact is he got one. And so far, has made Goddell look smart for giving it to him.