At the end of a year, it’s human nature for us to take pause and look back. Among other things, I use the time as one year ends and another begins to look back at some of the big sports stories of the past year. Unfortunately, many of them tend to be a little on the negative side. Between ill-advised personal decisions made by Ben Roethlisberger and Brett Favre to Cam Newton to the concussion-related injuries in the NFL, a lot of things happened in 2010 that brought negative attention to sports. However, I am choosing today to focus on something positive, and that is the comeback story on Michael Vick.
Earlier in the decade, Vick was roaming around on the turf of the Georgia Dome. We all know what happened next, and there’s absolutely no use in rehashing that whole incident.
What truly makes it a great story is the fact that little to nothing was expected of Vick this season. After receiving very little playing time last year in his first year with the Eagles, the team surprisingly picked up his option for the 2010 season, due in part to the fact that the organization decided to trade Donavan McNabb (what a smart move that turned out to be). That left Kevin Kolb in position to be the number one guy in Philly.
Both Vick and Kolb traded injuries during the early part of the season. Who Andy Reid was going to start became a major issue, so much so that we actually did a debate on the quarterback dilemma back in September. Once Vick became healthy, though, he took the job and literally ran with it. He has run with it into contention for an MVP award. Last week it was announced that he was named the starting quarterback for the NFC in the 2011 Pro Bowl.
Why wouldn’t he be? Have you seen what this guy has done? Did you see his mid-season performance against the Redskins? Did you see him direct a miraculous 21 point comeback against the Giants less than two weeks ago? There’s a reason NBC flexed a game involving a matchup against the 5-9 Minnesota Vikings, and that reason is not Joe Webb. That reason is Michael Vick. Even on a Tuesday night, Vick draws viewers.
He’s become the story of the year in the NFL. He’s become a part of one of the most fascinating comeback stories ever in sports. He is my choice as being the top sports story of the year.