Rooting for this Michael Vick

Vick handled it all with grace. He answered every question. He said he was sorry, over and over and over. He was never a problem. He studied film. He was the first player at the Eagles' training facility every day. He bonded with Reid. He learned from McNabb. He was a great teammate, a leader and a friend.

Vick prepared and took care of his body and worked to regain the playing form he had in Atlanta. And he became better as a player.

Of course, Vick had financial reasons to walk the straight line. He was up to his chin strap in debt. But he could have emerged from prison more defiant than he was before he went in. Vick could have blamed others. He didn't have to partner with the Humane Society. He didn't have to give talks at schools and tell kids his story.

But he did.

Vick's is the ultimate American story. He committed a crime, did his time, then made sure he would not make the same mistake twice.

Even after being benched for Nick Foles, Vick has shown maturity. He doesn't necessarily like that Chip Kelly opted for Foles. He yearns to play. He is a competitor at heart. But Vick has been everything Kelly could've asked. He supports Foles, who is nine years his junior. He is an active participant on the sideline during Eagles games, telling Foles things he's seen, congratulating him for his successes, telling him to shake off his mistakes.

The Philadelphia Michael Vick is so vastly different from the Atlanta Michael Vick that he is hardly recognizable. That is amazing. It is good. And it is the reason I would love to see him get a shot at the adulation and recognition playing in a Super Bowl brings. Sadly, it is a shot that is slipping away.

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