It seems like every single time I turn on the TV some analyst somewhere is making a point about how the “Vick controversy” is directly correlated to an issue of race dividing the African-American community (which makes up roughly 70% of metropolitan Atlanta) against the white community, who many of puclicly expressed not only disapproval but hatred Michael Vick for his crime of animal cruelty.
Fortunately for all of you, I will spare you the black and white debate. I’m not going to sit here and spew ignorant suggestions of why a myriad of people will cheer for a quarter back from the opposing team based solely on his skin color. Such suggestions are juvenile assumptions and frankly— more overplayed than Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep”.
On Sunday, you can bet your bottom dollar that the number of Michael Vick red and black jerseys in the stands will rival if not outnumber the green and black. I don’t care what anybody says… if you are a Falcon fan, you are a Michael Vick fan.
Michael Vick is STILL the face of the Atlanta Falcons franchise. Close your eyes and picture the Georgia Dome on Monday Night Football and tell me you don’t see #7 bouncing in the pocket for one second, two seconds and then tucking the ball and taking off into the endzone leaving a trail of defenders in his wake. It always seemed to happen in slow motion, too didn’t it?
Skip Bayless hit the nail on the head earlier this week when he said–”In Atlanta, going to watch Michael Vick play was more like watching Michael Jackson in concert.” He is the most electrifying athlete to ever step foot into that city and although the majority of America (those dwelling in the state of Georgia included) don’t condone his extracurricular activities, underneath it all, they still get butterflies watching him play. In other words, we’re human. I’ll admit it if no one else will.
In a recent interview, Vick made a comment regarding his excitement to go back to where it all began. He expressed his everlasting love for the franchise—the fans and the city and I’d go as to say anyone who was part of the Vick era in Atlanta will always have a soft spot for him. He changed the city and the franchise and although he made a mistake, he paid the price for it. He did his time (whether or not it fit the crime) and has written one of the most inspirational comeback stories of our generation.
With last season, he proved that he gets it. He understands the delicacy of second chances.
In two days, Michael Vick will go back to the Georgia Dome for the first time as an opposing starting quarter back. Although his return has overshadowed the game itself, the Falcons (and Matt Ryan) cannot afford to be distracted. They have to take a page out of Vick’s book and seek redemption for their inability to generate anything offensively last week. Michael Turner MUST have more than ten carries and the line needs to do a step up and find a way to protect their quarter back and give him more time in the pocket.
More than anything for Atlanta, the theme of the week needs to be: Back To Basics and make a conscious effort eliminate costly mistakes and turnovers.
*Extra Point- I’m going against the grain on this one… Cam Newton won’t have nearly as good of a game as he did last week, but I think he is going to surprise everyone on Sunday against the Super Bowl champs. Don’t underestimate the “Warrior Factor”
About the Author
Written by Nicole Flanary
I am a 23-year old female from Dayton, Ohio. I am without a shadow of a doubt one of the biggest football fans you will ever meet...no, seriously...I have a tattoo of a football and a flower on my shoulder. THAT big of a football fan. I ran track and cross country in college and sports have always been a huge part of my life. That being said, it was incredibly easy to decide what I wanted to "do with my life" when I got older. I combined the two things I am most passionate about in the world--sports and journalism-- and proceeded to pursue a career in sports entertainment. I have a pretty cold sense of humor, which I find translates well about 85% of the time. I apologize in advance for anything I say that may be taken as too blunt and/or brash. I am simply not big on sugar coating. Get. Your. Popcorn. Ready.