The resurgence of Michael Vick


Back in 2006, Michael Vick was the poster child for the NFL. His endorsement contracts included Nike, EA Sports, Coca-Cola, Powerade, Kraft, Rawlings, Hasbro and AirTran. At the end of 2006, Sports Illustrated magazine estimated Vick’s annual income between his NFL salary and endorsements at $25.4 million, ranking him just below NASCAR’s Dale Earnhardt, Jr. in a listing of highest earning athletes. He had reached the height of his popularity and then his world came crashing down.

Even before the animal cruelty case surfaced in 2007, Vick’s corporate status had started to deteriorate. Among the negative incidents was his middle finger gesture to Atlanta football fans in 2006. In August of 2007, Vick plead guilty to animal cruelty charges and was subsequently suspended indefinitely from the NFL.

Vick had now reached rock bottom. Facing 12-18 month is prison, on the brink of bankruptcy, and quickly becoming public enemy number one. While in prison, Vick’s income was reduced to wages of less than a dollar a day.

Fast forward to the 2009 NFL season. Vick had been reinstated by the NFL after his release from prison, and he signed a one year contract with the Philadelphia Eagles. Vick played 12 games, starting 1 of them in 2009. In December 2009, Vick became the Ed Block Courage Award recipient for the Eagles, an award voted by teammates. The award honors players who “exemplify commitment to the principles of sportsmanship and courage.”

Coming out of training camp in 2010, the starting job in Philadelphia had been awarded to Kevin Kolb after the trade of Donovan McNabb. Kolb suffered an injury, which allowed Vick to take over the starting job. In his second game as a starter versus the Jacksonville Jaguars, Vick led the Eagles to a 28–3 win, throwing for 291 yards and three touchdowns as well as rushing for a touchdown. He was named the NFC Offensive Player of the Month for the month of September. On November 15, in a week 10 Monday Night Football matchup against the Washington Redskins, Vick passed for 333 yards and four touchdowns, while he rushed for 80 yards and another two touchdowns. Vick threw an 88-yard touchdown pass to DeSean Jackson on the first play from scrimmage in the game, and went on to lead the Eagles to a 59–28 victory. Vick was named the NFC Offensive Player of the Week following his performance, and the Pro Football Hall of Fame asked for his game jersey to display after Vick became the first player to pass for three touchdowns and rush for two touchdowns in the first half of a game.

His huge performance on Monday Night Football has vaulted Vick back into the limelight of 2006. I am not sure his image is ready for corporate sponsors just yet, but he certainly is back to performing to his old-ways. As a person who believes everyone should be given a second-chance, I am glad to see Vick making the most out of his.

Take a look at some of Vick’s recent card sales (some of these could have been had for less than $25 in 2008) on eBay:

[phpbay]2001 Vick Auto*, 10[/phpbay]