September 15, 2011
by Raynard Jackson
Last December, I wrote a column titled, “Michael Vick--From Vick-tim to Vick-tory.” The premise of that piece was that Vick made poor decisions which ultimately caused him to serve time in a federal prison. After leaving prison, his lifestyle suggested that he had truly turned his life around. This again involved Vick making decisions that impacted his life. So, almost a year later, I wanted to write a piece to update my readers on this wonderful story.
Last year’s piece focused on what Vick did to cause his troubles and how his decisions (post prison) could lead to him moving beyond his troubles.
Vick had a phenomenal season for the Philadelphia Eagles last year. In fact, he was named to the Pro Bowl (and picked as the starting quarterback for the NFC), named by Associated Press & Sporting News as the comeback player of the year, and was runner up for the Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the league.
Yet, there are still those who want to continue to deny Vick his right to make a living and move on with his life. If you have that much of a problem with Vick, then just don’t watch him play football; but please let those of us who believe in redemption continue to enjoy and be a witness to this inspiring story taking place right before our very eyes.
Vick has continued to work with the Humane Society to educate people about animal cruelty. He has continued to speak to students about making good life choices. He seems to have truly turned his life around and is a testament to those who have made mistakes.
We all make mistakes, but through our actions, we can show that lessons have been learned through those mistakes. That’s what maturity and wisdom are all about.
I do hope someone will do a movie about Vick’s journey. His journey can be an inspiration to us all, no matter how big or small the mistake. Just like one makes a decision to do something bad; that same process can make one reform one’s life to gain the victory over one’s circumstances.
Vick’s victory has been so complete that in July of this year Nike signed him to another endorsement deal. This is unprecedented! This is the first time a major sponsor has ever resigned an athlete they had previously dropped.
Just last month, Vick signed a 6-year, $ 100 million contract with the Eagles, with $ 40 million guaranteed.
Vick’s turnaround is nothing short of miraculous. Though he is in bankruptcy financially, this new contract, along with the steady stream of endorsements, should allow Vick to regain his financial footing.
But, more important than the money, Vick has developed into a “MAN.” His conversation is different, his game is different, and his life is different. He is now the unquestioned leader of his team, his family, and his life.
He is almost like a person who has cheated death. People like this tend to have a new take on life and those things that are most important.
Football has helped him make a living, but his past has helped him make a life. These are truly the things that turn boys to men.
So, Mike, you are no longer a “Vick-tim,” you are a “Vick-tor.” Because you have learned from your past, defeat has been swallowed up in VICTORY!
Raynard Jackson is president & CEO of Raynard Jackson & Associates, LLC., a D.C.-public relations/government affairs firm. He is also a contributing editor for ExcellStyle Magazine (www.excellstyle.com), Freedom’s Journal Magazine (www.freedomsjournal.net), and U.S. Africa Magazine (www.usafricaonline.com).