Vick Owes Dungy and All of Us
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On the surface, the pairing of Dungy and Vick would seem to be off-kilter. Why would such a religious, upstanding man as Dungy, whose moral compass is never questioned, take a mentorship role with Vick, whose name has been poison in recent months?
But when you look closer at Dungy's life, it makes sense. He was born in Jackson, Michigan, which is a prison town, and he's seen enough people take the wrong path to consider leaving the NFL before he actually did for a life in the prison ministry. This is a man who has heard it all, is shocked by nothing, and sees enough good in Vick (whether the rest of us do or not) to take a Goodell-sanctioned role as Vick's mentor.
And I think it's safe to say that when (not if) an NFL team takes a chance on Vick, he'll owe it entirely to the Dungy name behind him. Vick can show all the remorse he wants, but his word isn't worth anything right now - once upon a time, he lied to everyone about his involvement about the things he did that basically ruined his life. But when you add Dungy's endorsement, the fog clears and people can lean on the integrity Dungy's spent a lifetime building up. It will be Dungy's reputation that guides Vick back to the league.
Hopefully, Vick realizes the value of that endorsement and doesn't waste it on further indiscretions.
August 11, 2009; 11:25 AM ET
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