Michael Vick started his first football game since 2006 when he suited up Sunday for the Philadelphia Eagles when they played against the Detroit Lions, according to ABC News. A remorseful Vick stated “It would be gratifying. This team took a chance on me when not many others would.”
Ironically, Vick’s last game before his trouble with dogfighting was against the Eagles. Vick saw limited action for the Eagles last year as a back-up with two rushing touchdowns and a throwing score. Last week against Green Bay, Vick came in for injured starter Kevin Kolb and brought the Eagles back from a 20-3 deficit before losing.
Other Shots at Redemption
Other athletes have had careers beaten back by scandal. When they were given second chances, some people overcame their demise while others just couldn’t shake their demons. Here are some of the most prominent examples of disgraced athletes coming back to their respective sports.
New York Mets outfielder Darryl Strawberry was at the forefront of a sex and drug scandal in the early 1990s before trying to come back from several legal issues and season suspensions handed to him for violating the substance abuse policy of Major League Baseball.
In addition to substance abuse charges, Strawberry also faced federal tax evasion charges, and was in and out of drug rehabilitation many times. The first half of his career, Strawberry put up some Hall of Fame-like numbers, but then his problems ensued and Strawberry never recovered on the baseball field.
Tiger Woods didn’t disgrace himself from golf necessarily. He was just a huge distraction for every other pro on the course. However, I’m sure the PGA is glad Tiger Woods is back, because ratings and prize money go up when he is present.
His sex scandal came to light in November, and his wife Elin Nordegren officially divorced him in August. Tiger Woods hasn’t won a tournament yet this year, despite finishing as high as third. Woods will surely be back on track eventually. He had knee surgery two years ago and his personal life altered forever, but his forte has always been focusing on golf.
Rivalries sometimes get heated and none was more apparent than ladies figure skating in 1994. When Nancy Kerrigan was injured in an assault on Jan. 6, 1994, rival Harding skated to victory in the U.S. Figure Skating Championships.
Harding’s ex-husband was arrested for the attack and suddenly the blame was placed upon Harding as having orchestrated the crime. Later that year in the Olympics, Nancy Kerrigan skated to silver medal while Harding finished eighth. Harding’s skating career never recovered.
Vick Against the Lions
Today against the Detroit Lions, we get to see if Michael Vick has his competitive spirit back. It’s only two games into the season, but surely we get to see if he has put his legal troubles behind him. Vick was regarded as one of the best young quarterbacks in the league when he was drafted by the Atlanta Falcons.
His game started off very well for his first start in almost four years. Vick’s second passing play from scrimmage netted a 45-yard touchdown pass in the opening quarter. In the end, Vick had two touchdowns and 284 yards of passing with no interceptions. Hopefully it is nowhere else but up and a healthy career for Michael Vick if he decides to keep it going. Philadelphia held on for a three point win.
ABC News, CNN, ESPN, Oprah.com, and the NFL website all contributed information for this article.