Just a Waiting Game for Vick

By Jason Klein

Originally Written For The Official Steiner Sports Blog – 7/23/09

Every dog has his day.  Michael Vick will get his shortly.  After serving 23 months on a dog-fighting conviction, Vick became a free man on Monday, opening the door for reinstatement into the NFL.  Next up for the ostracized quarterback: a meeting with NFL Commissioner, Roger Goodell.

In that meeting, Vick will have to demonstrate genuine remorse over his actions and make Goodell believe his intentions are good.  Ultimately, whether Vick ever takes another snap in the NFL rests in the commissioner’s hands.

Assuming all goes well, it will be a long, and difficult road back for the one-time face of the Atlanta Falcons, but it’s an opportunity he deserves.  No one is debating that Vick’s involvement with dog-fighting was a disgusting and heinous crime.  However, just like any convicted criminal returning to society after serving their time, Vick deserves the right to earn a living.  It just so happens that in his line of work, the entire world gets to watch along.

So far, Vick has attempted to use his fame, or infamy, to his advantage along the comeback trail.  In a positive PR play, he has joined forces with the Humane Society, the nation’s largest animal welfare organization.  According to Humane Society President and CEO, Wayne Pacelle, Vick will appear in some PSA’s and help educate America’s youth by rolling up his sleeves and appearing at urban centers to denounce dog-fighting.

Pacelle believes that it’s important for everyone to keep their focus on the real task at hand, “I don’t think anyone was tougher on [Vick] than we were,” he said.  “But the goal was never the continued punitive treatment of Michael Vick. The goal has always been to eradicate dog-fighting in America and around the world.”

With Vick’s debt to society paid, and his willingness to help others learn from his mistakes, the stage is set for his gridiron return.  He hasn’t played an NFL game since December 31, 2006, but at age 29, Vick is young enough where he could recover from a long layoff and once again have an impact in the league.

Assuming he is physically capable, and baring any further legal issues, a team in legitimate need of a quarterback will give him a shot.  If he can still help a team win games, some owner out there will take the PR hit and bark up that tree.  Every dog has his day, Michael Vick will get his, which team will give it to him?

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