Can Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick ever win a Super Bowl after being convicted of committing a crime such as his? I’m not talking about whether he is talented enough or if the team is talented enough, I’m talking about the ideas of “karma”, ethics and morality.
This has been a nagging thought that has been stuck in the back of my head since we signed Vick in 2009. I’ve mostly ignored it because it sounds ridiculous to think that some “mystical force” won’t allow him to win a Super Bowl based on his past.
However, maybe I’ve seen to many movies or I’ve been brain-washed by American culture that embraces the philosophy that the “bad guy” never wins…or at least shouldn’t win.
So, in a sense, I view the aspect of Vick winning a Super Bowl as like when you’re watching a movie and you just know the bad guy won’t win in the end. And in that, is the root of the question:
Is Michael Vick a “bad guy?”
Vick is perhaps the most polarizing player in the NFL. Some people will never forgive him for what he did while others feel he has paid his debt to society and deserves a second chance.
The hate that lingers for Vick is still running strong, as evidenced by the reaction of commenters on a Toyota dealership’s Facebook page the other day when they advertised an appearance by the star quarterback.
The comments got so bad, which included a threat of bodily harm to Vick, that they had to shut the page down.
If Vick has served his punishment and has since been involved in several charities and outreach programs, along with having received public support from numerous people in the NFL, has he redeemed himself?
Can someone who has done morally bad things ever attain greatness? Or will the karmic universe never allow that to happen? Can a “bad guy” eventually come out on top in real life?
Right now, some of you are probably wondering what the hell am I getting at and how does this relate to football. If you flat-out don’t believe in karma or just don’t think that your past actions have any bearing on your future, then this won’t make sense to you.
In other avenues of life, I’m sure there have been many “bad” people who have attained greatness, especially in politics. However, for the most part, those people get there by having much more individual control over their future.
In football, a single player cannot determine whether or not a team ultimately wins the Super Bowl. They have to rely on several things such as the team, the coaches, the teams they play, the weather, injuries and luck.
In other words, everything has to come together just right, like some sort of “aligning of the stars” for a team to reach the pinnacle of the NFL.
Do stars ever align for “bad guys”? Do the bad guys in most movies walk off into the sunset as victors?
I’m sure there have been NFL players who have done bad things that ended up winning a championship. But how about a quarterback?
A quarterback is the leader of the team and the most visible player in not only football, but the entire sports world. An NFL QB is typically the face of a franchise and the most popular sports figure on earth, give or take someone like Tiger Woods or Michael Jordan.
Therefore, I decided to do a little research to see if there has ever been a Super Bowl-winning QB who had been arrested or was morally questionable. I didn’t think I’d find one, but then I remembered something from not all too long ago.
The answer to “why a dog killer can win a Super Bowl” is two words: Ben Roethlisberger.
In 2009, Roethlisberger had a civil suit filed against him for what I consider to be a top-3 crime against humanity…rape (behind murder and pedophilia). The crime was alleged to have happened in 2008.
Well, wouldn’t you know that the Steelers won the Super Bowl at the end of the 2008 season and Roethlisberger won the game in grand fashion by tossing the winning touchdown pass?
To be clear about the Roethlisberger rape accusations, there were never any criminal charges pressed. However, he had at least two, maybe three accusations of rape against him between 2008 and 2010.
He ended up settling out of court with his initial 2008 accuser in January of this year. The question of whether or not he was guilty of forcing these women to have sex against their will does not have a confirmed answer.
Though, Roethlisberger admitted to having problems with drinking and partying and putting himself in bad situations, etc. However, where there’s smoke there’s usually fire. If you think Big Ben didn’t rape at least one of these women, then you probably think O.J. Simpson is innocent too.
Anyway, case in point. Roethlisberger was largely viewed as being an out-of-control “frat boy” who liked to get drunk and apparently have his way with women.
And, he won one Super Bowl and played in another (2010) after allegedly committing such crimes.
His appearance in the 2010 Super Bowl is probably more important to note because it happened after the accusations were made public.
So, is Ben Roethlisberger a “bad guy?” Is what he (allegedly) did worse than what Vick did?
I certainly would think that rape would rank higher on the “bad meter” than dog fighting. However, maybe it’s because Roethlisberger was never tried and convicted in a court of law as to why people don’t continue to view him with disdain.
Nonetheless, the one thing Roethlisberger has shown is that someone who has done bad things can indeed redeem himself and lead his team to the grandest stage in sports.
If the karmic universe can apparently forgive Roethlisberger, there is no reason to think it can’t do the same for Vick.
So, if you’re like me and have had this nagging thought in the back of your head that wondered if a person such as Vick could ever be rewarded with one of football’s greatest accomplishments, look no further than Ben Roethlisberger.
For me it’s somewhat of a relief. Whether or not Vick gets to, and/or wins a Super Bowl, will purely be based on everything not related to his past.