Michael Vick Launches Comeback On and Off the Field

VIDEO: Once again an NFL star, Vick tries to repent for his dog fighting past.

Michael Vick is making a new name for himself.

Putting up an all-time-best six touchdowns in a record-setting game against the Washington Redskins in week 10 and leading the Philadelphia Eagles to a come-from-behind win over the New York Giants Sunday, Vick's performances on the field have thrust him into the MVP conversation.

If you told him three years ago commentators would be hailing him as the best quarterback on the field, he wouldn't have believed you. After being convicted for his role in the "Bad Newz Kennels" dog fighting operation in 2007 and serving 18 months in federal prison, Vick didn't think he'd suit up in a professional uniform again.

"At the time, it was over," Vick told ABC News' Bob Woodruff. "I think I'm a better player now because God took me to the bottom. I'm a firm believer in karma and I think it happened because of what I did, and what I allowed to happen to those animals."

Now, Vick is the leading player in a comeback story playing out in two arenas -- on the gridiron and on a high school auditorium stage.

When he's not avoiding the pass rush, Vick can be found in places like James Hillhouse High School in New Haven, Conn., where he spoke with students Tuesday about his past, the horrors of dog fighting and the importance of trying to live responsibly.

VIDEO: Eagles quarterback talks to ABCs Bob Woodruff.
Michael Vick on His Comeback

"It's been a great opportunity," Vick said of his partnership with the Humane Society of the United States, "trying to get the message out there and trying to prevent all forms of violence and all forms of animal cruelty."

Wayne Pacelle, the president and CEO of the Humane Society, introduced Vick to the roughly 500 students in attendance.

"Michael Vick and I have been traveling around the country in an unlikely sort of way," Pacelle said. "Michael Vick is very passionate about this issue. He made some terrible mistakes. He got involved with dog fighting, and he threatened his career by getting involved in something cruel."

VIDEO: Michael Vicks signs an NFL contract with the Philadelphia Eagles.

Vick said he talks to students about his dog fighting past because "it's what's right." He told Woodruff after the event Tuesday that his service and programs with the Humane Society have changed his attitude.

"I don't want them to end up in the same position I ended up in," Vick said. "I feel like I'm obligated to share my testimony with them, so they don't go down the wrong track with any form of violence."

Though he was greeted with cheers from students jumping out of their seats in New Haven, Vick hasn't been forgiven by all. Some critics say he's doing public service because he has to, not because he wants to, or that it's just an attempt to save his reputation.


"I can't change that," he told Woodruff. "I know I'm here to help masses of people. If I can prevent masses of people from doing what I was doing, then I can help masses of animals."

The toughest questions Vick has faced haven't been from his critics, but from his family.

"My daughter comes to me every day and asks me if I can get a dog. I can't get a dog for my kids because of my ill-advised actions," said Vick, who is barred from owning animals.

His 5-0 performance as starter this season has sent Vick back into the spotlight. Vick has led the resurgent Eagles to the top of the NFC East and has put the team, now with a 7-3 record, in position to capture a division title.


  • 1
  • |
  • 2
Join the Discussion
blog comments powered by Disqus
You Might Also Like...