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Why Can't America Accept The New Michael Vick?

Rock Mamola

Producer/Host on WSCR 670AM The Score.


Failure is not something we all aim for, but only through failure we learn our greatest lessons.  Life is full of failures from not getting a job, to failing in a relationship, to failing at your job.  In each failure you learn a lesson about the task you failed attempting to accomplish.  The one result that all of us cherish because of failure is a second chance at either accomplishing the task or you have learned to move away and try something new.   


I do not understand why criminals should not have that same second chance. 


The last two years have brought sports fans the debate about Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick.  After serving 19 months in federal prison for dogfighting charges, he was released and given a second chance at continuing in his profession of being a professional football player.  Yet nearing 20 months after his release from federal prison, the nation continues to debate if Michael Vick should have been given the same right and privilege we all would want in the first place. 


Why is Michael Vick still an enemy of the people?


I raise this question simply because of the amazing outcry over Michael Vick not only receiving the NFL Comeback Player Of The Year Award this week, but also the key to the city of Dallas, Texas as well.  Even if the key to the city was not handed out by the current mayor of Dallas but rather the pro tem Mayor Dwaine Caraway, the internet and talk radio blew up about America's #1 ex-con Michael Vick.   


Appearing at function where Vick was to talk to a group of assembled teens about his past and the failures of it, the Mayor to be of Dallas decided it would be a nice gesture for the host city of Super Bowl XLV to award a man who took advantage of the second chance given to him and made himself a better person.  Why award the key to a hated rival of Cowboys fans? 


"He is telling kids and exchanging with them the rights and wrongs of the things that he did and encouraging kids to further their education and to not deal with the drugs. To obey their parents and pick the people they hang around. 


"That's a message I would challenge anybody to say that not one kid across America shouldn't hear from people in notoriety such as Michael Vick." 


Pro tem Mayor Caraway went on to say to the Dallas Morning News: "In the eyes of many people, he's a hero." 


Not only did the future Mayor of "Big D" make a gigantic mistake by honoring a convicted felon in a state that has had more executions since the bicentennial year of 1976 (464), but he also opened pandora's box to the entire Vick debate over if he deserved a second chance. 



I saw this posting at earlier today and it just sickened me. 


Voice: Tom Harvey, Saginaw 

Michael Vick and his dogs make me want to throw up. I am just sick about it, and all the hype this jerk is getting.,  He should have been banned from everything, including football. There are plenty of other great players that could have had a chance at playing, but instead they gave Vick, a second chance.  

I am glad to hear his dogs got another chance at life, and I hope he foots the bill for getting them rehabilitated., It's true it depends on the training of dogs. They can be vicious or loving family dogs. He chose to fight them and treat them like crap. What sort of person does that? 


I'm just beyond words. Ban him 


If you believe this is just one small example from an opinion page of an online newspapers, you are sadly mistaken.  This is the general feel of a lot of our country right now.  In fact this past Friday on The Rock Report, I attempted to compare Michael Vick and Ben Roethlisberger as far as like-ability in the public eye.  Using two polls from the Hollywood Reporter and, I found the idea that Michael Vick was still more disliked than Ben Roethlisberger shocking.  Here were the results of the polling. 


Hollywood Reporter: conducted by Penn Schoen Berland
Most Disliked Football Players:  Favre, Vick, Brady, Roethlisberger conducted by E-Poll Market Research 

Most Disliked People in Sports: Al Davis, Vick, Jerry Jones, Tiger Woods, Manny Ramirez, Terrell Owens.....Roethlisberger doesn't crack the top 10.

I understand that one poll is strictly geared toward football players and one towards people in sports, but to tell me that Manny Ramirez is more hated than Ben Roethlisberger is asinine.  Ben Roethlisberger was accused of rape not once but twice, and yet while Michael Vick did kill and torture dogs was found guilty (he pled guilty) and served time for it makes him a worse guy than one you could say got away with rape not once, but twice?   


Where are we as a country with thinking like that? 


I do not understand how we cannot forgive a guy who followed the system we put in place and has made the most of his second chance in a positive way not only for himself but to educate others.  I know what Vick and his partners in crime did was horrific and outright disgusting, but a man can change his stars right?  Would not we all want the chance that Vick was given after serving his time for the failures of his past?  However just because he is a professional football player, he should be held to a different standard of life because people like him who had the money and the power should not have abused it like he did? 


Every time we as a country gets into the discussion of Michael Vick and the second chance at life he was given I become more embarrassed as a American.  Changing your stars is a privilege we all would appreciate if indeed we fail in life like Vick did.  Vick has done far more than others in his position.  Vick has gone out and talked repeatedly to children about the failures of his past.  Vick was given a chance by the profession he excelled at with no guarantees and he made the most of it.  Vick was the comeback story of the 2010 NFL season and no doubt deserves the award which he received the other day from the same league that has given second chance to many more than just Michael Vick.  


Thumbnail image for michael-vick99.jpg

I do not agree with pro tem Mayor Caraway's notion that Vick is a hero, but I will say that Michael Vick is making a difference that many of us fail at.  The fact that Vick is using his newly reborn celebrity to go out and continue to push his message of "don't do what I did" even the weekend before the biggest game on the grandest stage is something to be applauded.

The biggest failure in this whole discussion about Michael Vick is we fail to realize he is just like us.  He failed at life, was punished for his actions and now is following through with the same opportunities we all hope to have if we were to fail like he did.  Just because he is an athlete does not give those who are blinded by dollar signs or even race the right to deny him that chance. 


It is time to move on.....for our own good. 




John "Rock" Mamola is the Associate Producer of The Mully And Hanley Morning Show and Host of THE ROCK REPORT on WSCR 670AM and 


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