In his new autobiography, “Finally Free,” Philadelphia Eagles superstar quarterback Michael Vick admitted that he was more committed to his hobby of fighting dogs than learning his Atlanta Falcons playbook, according to excepts from the book released to USA Today.
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“…I became better at reading dogs than reading defenses. That’s just so sad to say right now, because I put more time and effort into trying to master that pursuit than my own profession … which was my livelihood … which put food on the table for my family.”
The passage was referring to the time he was playing for the Falcons from 2001-06. His passion for dog fighting eventually got him locked up for for nearing two years, cost him millions in endorsements and his job in the National Football League.
Michael Vick Talks About His Book “Finally Free”
Vick says he started writing the book in prison because he was bored. On the first day he began writing the book in his jail cell, he wrote 70 pages. Thirty more pages came the following day. “I got something here,” he said to himself as he reviewed his two-day writing flurry.
Some of the highlights from his book reflect back on the day he realized he was no longer number “7” of the Atlanta Falcons.
“I was inmate No. 33765-183, and I couldn’t change that, regardless of the fact that this number definitely didn’t fit me. I had that number on every day. I had to write it on each piece of mail that I sent out. It will forever be embedded in my brain.”
Vick was released in July of 2009 and was picked up by the Eagles that year. He was the third string QB on the roster that featured Donovan McNabb. But Vick soon earned the starting spot in 2010 after a few trades, injuries and the teams’ confidence that he was the top man to lead the Eagles offense.
They were right!
Vick had his best season ever in 2010, statistically, and, at one point, lead all NFL players in Pro Bowl voting that year. (Peyton Manning eventually overtook him) Vick also delivered one of the best performances in league history against the Washington Washington Football Team on “Monday Night Football” in 2011.
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When he is not on the field tossing TDs, he is speaking on behalf of the Human Society of The United States. And, during interviews with the press, he never backs down from his role in the dog fighting ring he financed and organized. Listen to him discuss his time in prison and dog fighting in a “60 Minutes” interview below.
He has also launched a new clothing line, “V7,” in partnership with designer Ruby Azrak.
Indeed, Vick has proven that anyone can change if they are truly ready to take responsibility for their actions. This is why Vick can say and write that he is “Finally Free.”