The crowd of media gathered around Michael Vick's locker grows larger each week as interest in his story swells. The questions are a mix of his on-field performance and his off-field life and then the reporters peel away to describe another Day In The Life Of The Biggest Sports Story In The Universe. You, the fans, you guys and gals who come here all the time and really know the story, are the ones who have experienced a journey and a tale still to be completed unlike any other this franchise has had.
I read with fascination the story by S.L. Price in Sports Illustrated on Vick. I admit that seeing an Eagle on the cover of the esteemed sports magazine is exciting -- I used to have a collection of decades of covers until they just took up too much room, similar to my collection of beer cans when I was a kid -- and so this latest cover, with a tight shot of Vick's face, straight on, helmet high on the head, chinstrap across the forehead, works for me. It captures me.
And the story from Price was brilliant. I told him so we phoned him for an In The Studio interview. It is an excellent read, and I recommend you buy the issue and absorb the story. There wasn't much I learned from the story, having been vested in Vick's life since the day he signed on with the Eagles. But it offered the national perspective and, in the end, asked the fans the ultimate question: Is it OK to like Vick, and, in fact, accept him as a signature player, perhaps the signature player, of the NFL this season?
All of you who have been emotionally and intellectually connected to Vick since August, 2009 are in a completely different category. Vick's is not a what-has-happened-lately story for you. You were emotional when you heard the news, on that shocking summer night when word emerged that the Eagles were on the verge of signing Vick. And then Vick's every move from the season was chronicled and it became more than an off-the-field story. Instead it became: Why are the Eagles keeping Michael Vick if he isn't going to help the team a lot?
Then, of course, the Eagles ended 2009 the way they did -- the pain seems so, so long ago -- and the organization moved into an off-season that will go down in history. The Eagles traded their franchise quarterback of the past 11 years, Donovan McNabb. The move thrust Vick into a new light as a No. 2 quarterback behind Kevin Kolb.
The story has morphed into what it is now, perhaps the most extraordinary Eagles story we have enjoyed. Ever. At least in the years I have been in love with this team. There have been a thousand isolated incidents and extraordinary moments and superstar players and huge wins and crushing losses and the whole Terrell Owens drama, but there has been nothing like this.
What I love most, honestly, is the excited approach everyone has about it. Everyone. I encounter so little anti-Vick sentiment that I truly believe he has convinced all but the most ardent critics of his sincerity, his commitment, his amazing resurrection. Of his genuine intention to do the right things in his life.
And from a pure football standpoint, it has been incredible. Players, coaches, fans ... you Eagles fans ... have so much energy and life and hope for Vick to succeed. To reach the top.
So on this Thanksgiving Day, as I give thanks for my many blessings, I want to take a moment to thank you for enjoying this team and everything that goes with it. The fun is back, isn't it? Don't you think this is one of the most enjoyable Eagles teams ever?
I do. I'm loving it. Vick is the headline on a team of great stories. I feel it from you, too, and for that I am grateful. Thank you, then. Keep up the good work.