Michael Vick has a bad reputation. He went to jail for abusing animals, specifically dogs, and some people will never forgive him for it. He works constantly at rehabbing his reputation–and a lot of people believe he does a lot of good promoting awareness and education about animal abuse issues. Others just think he’s paying lip service to the cause so he can get paid. Vick seems to know he’ll never please everybody. Neither on the football field, where his talent is so great that his accomplishments always seem to fall short of it, nor in society. But one thing seems true about Vick that’s perhaps less true of athletes whose reputations haven’t been through the wringer: he tells it the way he sees it.
Last week Vick came off the bench during an embarrassing 31-0 Jets walloping (he’s the backup in New York) and he wasn’t ready. How do we know? He said so. “I felt like I, for some reason, being a quarterback in his 12th year, sometimes you to take things for granted,” Vick said. “I think I took the scout team for granted.” You don’t hear professionals admit stuff like that. You might hear them say they made a mistake, but they never say they weren’t ready. That’s a cardinal sin in pro sports, where preparedness is a religion. But Michael Vick was telling the truth. He said: “Maybe I didn’t prepare or I wasn’t prepared, but let me tell you it won’t happen again.”