As we build up to Sunday night’s game between the Eagles and Falcons, we look ahead to possibly one of the most anticipated returns for a player to face against his former team.
As a 10 year old kid, my first sighting of Michael Vick was while he was playing college football for Virginia Tech, I was enamoured with his speed and his arm strength, he was like nothing i had ever seen before playing at the quarterback position.
Up to that point in my life i had never really chosen a team to support and when Vick was selected by the Falcons, i decided to be a Falcons fan. From then on, my love for Vick spawned into a love for the whole team and organisation, but I could never overlook the fact that the only reason I became a Falcons Fan in the first place was Michael Vick.
Throughout my teenage years Vick dazzled onlookers as he danced around defenders, making the game look easy. Although he never won a championship, he gave the Falcons organisation and fans alike a gigantic lift in confidence and expectation to a level never seen before.
Then 2007 hit all Falcons fans like a brick wall. The whole dogfighting issue has been discussed enough, what disappointed me the most was that he lied and deceived the organisation and Mr Blank in particular, a man i admire a lot (Both as a football owner and as a businessman). When Vick was given an indefinite suspension and sent to jail, it felt like the heart and soul of the team had been ripped out, the only fans i can think of that have had an experience like this, are fans of Cleveland Cavaliers when Lebron James left for Miami. For me the disappointment was on that level.
At that time i had no idea that the Falcons would rise again so quickly under the leadership of Mike Smith and Thomas Dimitroff. As the QB torch was passed from Vick to newly selected rookie QB Matt Ryan, optimism was spawned again. The magical ride that has been the last three years, where the Falcons have broken records and arrive at arguably their most successful point in franchise history.
As Mike Vick came out of prison and made the incredible rise back to a starting QB in Philly, it became only a matter of time until he came back to the Georgia Dome to play the Falcons. As the former idol in Vick and the new shining star in Ryan prepare to face off, this game has become a lot more important than just the win, the City of Atlanta needs a win for closure, to show that they are better than Vick and that they have moved on to a new exciting era.
Mike Vick for me will always be like a first wife, who has cheated and lied to you and broken your heart, but you will always love her. Even now you have got a second wife in Matty Ice you still want to make sure that your better than her. I know for the long term we are with the right girl now, all i can hope for now, is that we have the right marriage for success on Sunday night.