Michael Vick Announces Retirement
That’s right, your favorite Madden “cheat code” is officially calling it quits. The Virginia native was a star on the field his whole life starting when he left the Newport News projects on a full scholarship to Virginia Tech.
Vick was redshirted his first year at Tech but immediately became a star the next year finishing 3rd in Heisman voting. That year he also led the nation in passing efficiency, as well as won an ESPY Award for being the best college player in the nation and was the first ever recipient of the Archie Griffin award. After just two seasons of playing, Vick declared for the 2001 NFL Draft.
Vick didn’t get that much playing time his rookie year, but his second year was when his legacy began in Atlanta. He threw for almost 3,000 yards with 16 TD’s while running for almost 800 yards with 8 rushing TD’s. He was named to the Pro Bowl that season as well as the 2004 and 2005 season. Vick ran into trouble off the field in July 2007, when he served 18 months in jail on dog fighting charges; but that didn’t stop him. He was reinstated in the NFL in 2009 and signed a contract with the Philadelphia Eagles. In the 2010 season, Vick had another huge season again throwing for 3,000 yards, 21 TD’s, rushing for 700 yards with nine rushing TD’s. He was yet again selected to the Pro Bowl and won the Comeback Player of the Year award. He played a couple more seasons with the Eagles, one with the New York Jets and one with the Steelers before officially retiring last week.
His impact and accomplishments on the field are obvious but what I don’t think people give Vick enough credit for is the way he changed the game. Like fellow Virginia native Allen Iverson did for the NBA, Vick changed the very culture of the sport. He brought a sort of "Hip-Hop" culture into the sport. The number 7 jersey was everywhere when Vick was in his prime, and was the second highest selling jersey in the 2004 NFL season. Not to mention he was the first African-American quarterback to ever be picked 1st overall in the NFL draft. He also paved the way for other scrambling quarterbacks like Cam Newton, Colin Kaepernick, and Russell Wilson.
Vick is undoubtedly an NFL legend and should be a Hall of Famer in the upcoming years. His play on the field and impact on the game can be appreciated by any football fan and I hope to see him rocking that gold jacket in a few years.