We all remember the rise and fall of one Michael Vick.
Drafted number one overall in the 2001 NFL Draft, Vick quickly became the city's most recognizable athlete thanks to his thrilling play on the field and his undeniable marketability off it.
But before Vick had the opportunity to win back a fan base that he once held in the palm of his hand, authorities in Virginia discovered Vick's illegal operation and funding of Bad Newz Kennels—perhaps the most infamous dog fighting ring in American history.
On December 11, 2007, Vick was sentenced to 23 months in federal prison and subsequently exiled from the Falcons organization.
Nearly three years later, Vick has resurfaced in Philadelphia and following an impressive performance this past Sunday—his first NFL start since December 31, 2006—was named as the Eagles starting quarterback.
Vick, now 30 years old, is trying to resurrect a football career, and personal life, that just about every person with the ability to voice their own opinion agreed was undeniably irreparable.
The question is: Will you root for Vick to prove us all wrong?
Apparently AJC columnist Mark Bradley is; however, I'm still not quite sure if I'll be hopping aboard the "Michael Vick Forgiveness Express" anytime soon.
The graphic nature in which Vick and his accomplices brutally murdered these dogs was wrong on so many levels other than the basic inhumanity of the act itself.
Up until his indictment and ultimate admission of guilt, Vick seemed indifferent to all of the rumors and allegations that were swirling around his involvement in an illegal dog fighting ring.
Just as he had gotten past his previous run-ins with the law, Vick felt that no matter how big his problems got that his fame, stature and financial depth would always bail him out.
But perhaps the most damaging side effect of Vick's involvement in dog fighting the racial tension that was thrust upon the city of Atlanta in the wake of his arrest—which spawned a contentious divide amongst the city's sports fans.
The bottom line is that Vick never carried himself like the super-talented, uber-sensitive role model that he was to thousands of people in this area. Instead, we saw the overpaid, selfish punk from Newport News, Virginia, who never seemed willing to grow up.
Let's hear it: Are you rooting for or against Michael Vick as he attempts to make a comeback into the NFL? What do you remember about his time here in Atlanta? Tweet your thoughts @SportsLoaf or at Facebook.com/CLSports.
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