“I Wish I Had A Father Figure “ | Mike Vick Reveals That Dogfighting Was Addictive But Some Strong Male Guidance Might Have Saved Him

The Michael Vick story is one of the greatest “what if” scenarios in the history of sports. In fact, one could easily put it at the top of the list next to Grant Hill not being able to stay healthy or Michael Jordan not retiring in the middle of the Bulls’ two three-peats or Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal being able to stay together longer. Vick was arguably one of the best players in the NFL before he pleaded guilty to a federal charge in connection with a dogfighting operation in August 2007.

Michael Vick running from defenders while he was a member of the Atlanta Falcons. (Photo: Getty Images)

The former No. 1 overall pick in the 2001 NFL draft revealed on the latest episode of Tyreek Hill’s podcast “It Needed to be Said” that he was warned against the dangers of dogfighting but chose not to listen.

Hard Head

Vick took the NFL world by storm in but it all came crashing down. He was suspended by the NFL and was sentenced to 23 months in a federal prison in 2007. He only did 18 months in prison and served the rest of his time on house arrest. Vick was destined to go down as one of the all-time greats at the quarterback position but now is left with just memories and time to reflect at the age of 43.

No better person to share his personal issues with than Hill whose also had his fair share of off-the-field issues dating back to college. Hill is currently under investigation by Miami police for an alleged Father’s Day fight during a fishing trip.

“I wish I had a father figure or somebody in my life — and I did, too, for the most part — but not to the point where somebody was like, ‘Yo, man, you can really screw all this up,’” Vick said on “It Needed to be Said” podcast. “Ain’t nobody came and said, ‘Bro, you can screw all this up.’ One person [did], I won’t say his name.”

After he was released from prison, then Eagles head coach Andy Reid was the only to give him a chance to play again in the NFL. In 2009, Vick was signed by the Eagles as the backup quarterback to Donovan McNabb at the age of 29. He had spent two years away from football.

Wishful Thinking

If the federal prison and going bankrupt wasn’t enough for Vick to hit rock bottom, then the Falcons drafting Matt Ryan in 2008 with the third overall pick surely was enough. Vick also revealed on the podcast that he thought the Falcons would reserve the starting quarterback position for him until he was released from prison.

“The whole time like I was gone I thought they was gonna wait on me, but that was wishful thinking,” Vick said. “Like, I really thought like they was gonna wait for me to get back and all this would be over and then I step back in, be the starter, and we just move on like nothing ever happened. But that’s not reality. And I was hoping for something that just couldn’t happen.”

Vick lead the Falcons to the NFC Championship Game during the 2004 season and finished second in MVP voting. He also was the first quarterback to rush for a 1,000 yards in a season in the history of the NFL back in 2006. He did this all while being a member of the Falcons.

He was never owed any debt of gratitude from the Falcons after the team signed him to 10-year deal worth $130 million and he repaid them with federal dogfighting charges. Things worked out for the best for both sides. Despite his career being derailed by his own doing, Vick was able to get a second chance, won 2010 NFL Comeback Player of the Year, and finish his career on the field instead of in a prison cell. The Falcons also did pretty good at quarterback with that Ryan guy, who won 2016 NFL MVP and was quarter away from capturing the city’s first Super Bowl ring until Tom Brady happened.

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