Michael Vick: The most divisive Atlanta Falcons player of all time


Michael Vick is the most divisive player in the history of the Atlanta Falcons organization and his story will be told in a two-part ESPN 30 for 30 special over the next two weeks.

Anytime Michael Vick‘s name is brought up, a monsoon of mixed opinions will poor in. Some people will state their support and forgiveness for the once-beloved quarterback, while other opinions are not as forgiving, citing the animal abuse and time spent in prison for it. It’s not just Atlanta Falcons fans debating this either. His off the field issues and attempts to atone for his crimes have been a league-wide debate for 13 years now.

What Vick did to those dogs was down-right despicable. How anyone could have done what he did is beyond comprehension. He served prison time for it and since then has made steps to atone for what he did.

No matter the differing opinions on the man as a human being, it is hard to deny how exciting and elusive he was as a football player. Rushing for over 1,000 yards in a season as a quarterback, beating the Packers in Green Bay in the playoffs, the numerous highlight-reel runs and having a cannon for an arm made him one of, if not the most exciting player in the league to watch.

Unfortunately, Vick’s drive to be great was lacking. It became apparent over the years that he was not progressing as a passer. Speed and agility can only get you so far. Had Vick taken his role as quarterback and leader of the team more seriously, he could’ve become one of the all-time greats. Vick himself even admitted that he would have a ring if he had studied more.

Looking back at Vick’s NFL career, it is easy to be both excited and frustrated about his abilities. Sure, he was explosive, elusive, had plenty of highlight-reel plays and moments, but it’s hard not to think what could’ve been if he had kept his nose clean and studied hard to become a better quarterback and leader.

This is what made it difficult for so many fans around the league at the time of the allegations. He was a loved and adored public figure who many looked up to as a hero, as well as the present and future of the Atlanta Falcons, but in the blink of an eye, he was now a villain.

Now, when most people think of Vick, the dog-fighting and abuse is the first topic that is brought up, with his NFL career being an afterthought. The disgust and hatred people feel for Vick is still very much present a decade later with a petition to kick him off the Pro Bowl staff reaching an incredible amount of signatures.

The petition showed that many people still do not forgive him for his past sins. To this day, no one can bring up his name without causing a stir and that is now his legacy. Over time, people may forget about his highlight-reel plays and incredible speed, but people will never forget the day the news broke of his awful acts.

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The good, the bad and the ugly will all be on display in the two-part Michael Vick 30 for 30 special.