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Mike Vick Article -- Intersteing. Very interesting.

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; By Mike Vick, as told to David Fleming ESPN The Magazine Friday, October 24 Mike Vick's cool style and cooler mastery of his position had him, at 23, on the verge of becoming a transcendent sports icon. He was in ...

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Old 11-07-2003, 07:23 PM   #1
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Mike Vick Article -- Intersteing. Very interesting.

By Mike Vick, as told to David Fleming
ESPN The Magazine
Friday, October 24


Mike Vick's cool style and cooler mastery of his position had him, at 23, on the verge of becoming a transcendent sports icon. He was in demand for commercials and set to grace the cover of The Mag's NFL preview. Then, as you may know, Vick broke his right fibula in an August preseason game against Baltimore. We lost our cover, he lost his season and the NFL lost its biggest star. Although Vick's return this year is still uncertain, we checked in with him recently to see how he's holding up. "Come on," he said during rehab at the Falcons facility. "Let's walk, let's talk." We mostly listened. -D.F.
This story appears in the latest edition of ESPN The Magazine, on newstands this week. To get more from The Magazine, check out ESPNMag.com.


ESPNMag.com

Subscribe to The Mag




The day before the Baltimore game, we had our annual kickoff luncheon for our fans at the Georgia Dome. Toward the end, Dan Reeves gave me the team MVP award. When I went up to accept it, I grabbed the mike and yelled, "Hopefully, I'll see y'all in Texas for the Super Bowl."

The next day I was getting carried off the field.

I was set to blow up this year. All the work I did this off-season made me feel like I'd be 10 times better. I came out in the preseason opener against Green Bay and ran around, had some fun and scored on two possessions. I came to the sidelines thinking, "That's a wrap on preseason."

Then I'm out there playing almost a full quarter against Baltimore and, for the first time in my career, I was playing not to get hurt. And look what happened. Before the injury I was on the field wondering why I was still out there. I was very upset about that. I felt like I should have played two possessions, not a whole quarter. Anybody who asks me, to this day -- including Coach Reeves -- I'll tell them it was crazy for me to be out there risking injury. They lost me. Lost me for who knows how long.

It hurts the team. When Steve Young and Dan Marino went down, their teams weren't the same. Chemistry changes. Everybody feeds off the quarterback. He controls the whole game, the whole team. When you're in the huddle, giving them that play, they see the belief in your eyes. If I tell a lineman not to jump or I'll put my foot in his ass, he won't jump. Or if I say, "We need a f -- ing yard and if we can't get a yard, we need to get off this damn field." Then it's like, boom, we get it.

The hardest part for me has been not feeling like part of the team. I feel like I let my teammates down. I scrambled on a play that I didn't have to. I was trying to make something happen, which I shouldn't have done. So I've realized I have to be more cautious and protect myself.

I won't say I've been depressed. But I've been down, real down. I tried to shower the first night I was home. Couldn't do it. The leg was so swollen and sore I couldn't even touch it. So I tried to stand just on my left leg under the water. But the blood rushed to the right leg, and it throbbed so bad I had to lay down. I was alone in my room, just looking at my leg in a cast, going, "damn."

I spent that first week alone, up in my room. I played PlayStation. I read a ton. I had a lot of time to myself. I learned a lot about myself. I got to see my life and the game from a different perspective. It was so easy my first two years. This made me grow up a lot. Now I know I can deal with anything this league throws at me. Shoot, I'm gonna be even more dangerous. When I come back, goal No.1 will be to get us back to .500. But it's hard to go on a winning streak in this league. So I'm also just looking forward to playing a team that's winning and beating them and knocking them out of the playoffs. That's what I'll do, I'll be the league's silent killer. I'll come back and play with a lot of love and passion and have an impact no matter what. Because I have missed this game so much. You don't even know.

But I won't come back until I'm completely ready. I won't come back until I can cut like I used to, at full speed with no worry, no soreness and no fear. And if that doesn't happen? I'm sorry, I'm not coming back this season. I'll be a Falcon for a long time. I have a lot of time to win that Super Bowl. I was looking forward to this being the year. But I know now, next year or the year after that -- one of those years is gonna be our year.

When I do step back on the field, I'm still going to think I'm the best player out there. I still have a lot of confidence. I was joking the other day that if I ran a 4.2 before the injury, shoot, now I probably run a 4.1. There's still Mike Vick up here and all the other quarterbacks down there. They're all great quarterbacks. But what I do is different. You gotta break one of my bones to stop me, right? When I get back, if you try to stop me from running, boom, I hit the hot receiver singled up outside. Now try to stop me from passing. Cool. You left the middle open. Bam. I'm gone for a big gain. First down. Let's go. Let's go.

Aw, man, football is so much fun.

I know teams are going to try and test me when I come back. I know they're going to come after me, see what the injury has done to me, see if it's changed me at all. So come after me. Test me. Blitz me. I invite the blitz. I welcome it. Please.

You won't catch me. You still won't catch me.
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Old 11-07-2003, 08:03 PM   #2
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Mike Vick Article -- Intersteing. Very interesting.

Then I\'m out there playing almost a full quarter against Baltimore and, for the first time in my career, I was playing not to get hurt. And look what happened. Before the injury I was on the field wondering why I was still out there. I was very upset about that. I felt like I should have played two possessions, not a whole quarter. Anybody who asks me, to this day -- including Coach Reeves -- I\'ll tell them it was crazy for me to be out there risking injury. They lost me. Lost me for who knows how long.
What a stupid remark. You\'d better not come back Vick. You might get hurt here in this contact sport.
Any player that is worried about getting hurt simply because he is made to play 15 minutes of football, preseason or not should stay in bed and hope his pillow is fluffed properly. For him to try to blame this on the coaching staff for keeping him in a preseason game for 15 minutes rather than 2 minutes is assinine.
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Old 11-07-2003, 09:17 PM   #3
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Mike Vick Article -- Intersteing. Very interesting.

for the first time in my career, I was playing not to get hurt. .
Assinine doesn\'t even come close to describing how inane this remark is. If he were truly playing not to get hurt, wouldn\'t it be smarter to throw the ball away rather than scramble for extra yards? He\'s just showing his immaturity here - blaming his injury on the coaches. Heck, it\'s not like he lit the world on fire with his passing skills last season! He needed the work. I\'m just disappointed that he got hurt instead of proving to the world that he\'s a hack of a QB. Oh well, maybe next year!
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Old 11-08-2003, 08:06 AM   #4
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Mike Vick Article -- Intersteing. Very interesting.

There\'s still Mike Vick up here and all the other quarterbacks down there
Here\'s the one I like. I think all the media attention has gone to his head. This guy is making some pretty outragous remarks. He might not have to worry about a linebacker taking him out, his own ego might do it for him.
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Old 11-08-2003, 10:05 AM   #5
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Mike Vick Article -- Intersteing. Very interesting.

what an idiot, i was outraged when vick made the pro bowl last year on subpar QB numbers

if this is how he really thinks then the falcons are screwed, you take away vicks legs and he\'s not even as good as dilfer, if he was scared of getting hurt before how is he going to play after an inury like this?

how long will it take before vick has his own bud commercial talking about those four interceptions wouldn\'t have been a problem if one of those guys had caught the ball

THERE AIN\'T NO WE IN TEAM EITHER!
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Old 11-08-2003, 04:44 PM   #6
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Mike Vick Article -- Intersteing. Very interesting.

I know teams are going to try and test me when I come back. I know they\'re going to come after me, see what the injury has done to me, see if it\'s changed me at all. So come after me. Test me. Blitz me. I invite the blitz. I welcome it. Please.
Now Mike may have come off the wrong way in this interview. When I think about his family background, I just figure he\'s trying to say, \"I\'m going to own them with my eyes.\"

[Edited on 9/11/2003 by BrooksMustGo]
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Old 11-08-2003, 09:42 PM   #7
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Mike Vick Article -- Intersteing. Very interesting.

LMAO!!! Tru Dat BMG. Vick deserved to go to the Super Bowl last season. No single player in the league won more games or made more plays by himself than Vick. If this year\'s Falcon team doesn\'t show you how important Vick is to that team, than I don\'t know what will. He is the definition of a franchise player. This is what it means to be an MVP.
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