Why Michael Vick is Different than Chris Brown

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The other day I joked around in a post about Michael Vick attending an event at a location that was also housing a Pet Expo. Some things you just can’t make up. The truth of the matter is, it appears that Michael Vick is working hard to redeem himself in the eyes of the NFL, his fans and the general public.

After serving time for running a dogfighting ring, Vick has been on the straight and narrow, working hard to restore his respected football superstar image. Unlike fellow convict Chris Brown, who just yesterday showed up on GMA looking like a thug and who reportedly later acted like a lunatic by screaming and throwing a chair through a window, Vick has stayed out of trouble and surrounded himself with what he does best, and what is probably best for him – football.

It has recently been reported that Michael Vick’s former high school, Warwick High in Newport News, VA will not re-hang his jersey that was originally taken down following the dogfighting scandal, even after hundreds of students petitioned for its return after Vick’s amazing come-back season last year. School officials claim it will cause a distraction to students and could also potentially be vandalized.

Well, if vandalism is the issue, there are certain and fairly simple security measures that can be implemented. As far as a distraction, I completely disagree with this statement. Obviously there are a number of students in that school that look up to Vick enough to petition for the return of his jersey. Many of them, as we all do, have things in their past that they are not proud of, that they would like to put behind them, overcome and become a better person and member of their community. Instead of a distraction, Vick’s jersey could act as motivation for these students who need that reminder that they do not have to remain in a bad place just because they are there now – that like Vick, they can deal with consequences, do the time, reflect on their actions and move on to bigger and better things in life.

There has been a lot of talk lately on whether Vick should be considered for the cover of Madden 12. That of course would come along with a monetary gain for Vick which would clearly offend PETA and many others. Hanging a jersey in his former high school is something different. Vick does not gain anything, the students gain through their association with a successful professional athlete who is doing his best to better himself in their eyes.

Four years ago, many of you out there would have probably loved to have seen Michael Vick’s jersey hung somewhere, and with him in it… maybe with a pit-bull or two nibbling at his toes. Today, however, many of you probably think differently and recognize that although all is not forgiven and certainly not forgotten, Vick is on the path to redemption and the “dog” has yet to stray.

Mike Cardano is the founder of Around the Horn Baseball and Xtra Point Football. You may email Mike @ [email protected] or follow him on Twitter @ MC3 SportsMedia