OK, everyone cue up Bob Marley's Redemption Song on your shuffle or MP3 players, or God forbid, your turntable.
Because if anyone seems to have resurrected himself in a princely fashion, Philadelphia's Michael Vick turned the trick in front of a national audience in our Nation's capital on Monday Night Football.
From the first play, an 88-yard perfect pass that DeSean Jackson nabbed and ran in for a score, there was no question who was in charge, as Vick put up arguably the greatest single day of any NFL player in history, throwing for 333 yards, four touchdowns, rushing for another 80 including taking the ball to the house twice, and essentially pushing his team to an incredible 592 yards of offense, while embarrassing Washington with a lopsided 59-28 Eagles victory.
I have to admit that when Vick was a Falcon, oh so many eons ago, he was among my favorite players, and I always nabbed him for my fantasy teams as a #1 pick when I could. If that was not enough, I watched him every chance I could because, well, he was just so damn exciting.
Vick is one of those guys who could turn a completely blown play and potential 20-yard loss into something jaw dropping and spectacular. And well, every time he touched the ball, there was a chance something spectacular could happen.
Then came his Aristotelian fall, and it was huge. The dog fighting. The stupid lying and denial of the obvious. His friends defending the sick behavior as "a lifestyle choice."
Now, I have to say that between my partner Diane and I, we have three dogs, all of them rescues. Diane is on the Board of Directors of the largest dog rescue in the state of Illinois. And, well, either of us would torture John Boehner before we would lift a finger against any non-homo sapien creature on the planet.
Diane spent a month in New Orleans, post Katrina, rescuing animals, and came home with an abandoned iguana that was named Disaster Dan, and whose likeness can be seen in a number of books documenting the animal rescue process after the hurricane.
Three years ago, Diane finished 26 years at ATT and retired from her director's job to go to college, something she did not do when she completed high school, and now she has an AA, having graduated from her local community college with honors, and is now looking to get into UC Davis so she can finish a degree in Animal Biology, and then go on to Veterinary School.
So, we are clearly the wrong people to think about Vick and what he did. In fact, I was sorely tempted to want to strip him, drop the QB in some water, and randomly hit him with electric prods, just so he could see how much fun, and humane his "lifestyle choice" was.
I was happy when Vick was sentenced to his jail term, although I did not think he got enough time relative to his cruel behavior, but well, he lost face, he lost his fortune, and that was a start. And, well, I figured by the time Vick got out of jail, no one would touch him, and that was if Vick could retain any kind of skills in the big house.
So, time passed and Vick was released and got another chance last year. Even then, and I want to believe and know everyone deserves a second chance, I was not happy about the Eagles signing Vick.
Even now I am conflicted, because there is no denying just how spectacular Vick has been--he still has not fumbled or tossed a pick this season--and that was before Monday Night when all the single game record books for quarterbacks were rewritten him. Because he was indeed stunning. He was everywhere, running with skill, and throwing with authority (and the passing game was always the weakest part of his game).
Maybe part of my reticence to forgive is even rooted in my fantasy football play, for going into Monday Night, in my Utter Genius League, coordinated by my mate Michael Duca, I had a 52 point lead over Kevin Cote's Transparent Oatmeal team going into the game, and all Kevin had left was Vick.
I was cruising to my seventh win in the league I won last year until Vick put up a 56.1-point-night and the Oatmeal handed my El Cerrito Mugwumps a completely unexpected loss out of nowhere. I mean, who ever heard of anyone other than maybe LT in his prime getting 50 points, and even then?
I lost, 130-125.5.
However, credit where credit is due. Vick was sensational. And Michael, I am working on my forgiveness. Keep it up and I will get there.