It's rare to see Michael Vick outplayed at Lincoln Financial Field, but that's exactly what happened on Tuesday.
Eagles Youth Partnership and After School Activities Partnerships hosted their annual chess tournament featuring over 200 of the best elementary and high school players in Philadelphia. Vick, who was featured on the T-shirt for the event, surprised the students and showed his skills in a couple of pick-up games. Vick is a fan of the game of chess and has played for years, but he simply ran into a buzz saw when he encountered 18-year-old Jowel Ammons.
A senior at the Philadelphia Military Academy at Leeds, Ammons needed only 17 moves to dismantle Vick.
"At the beginning, I thought that Michael Vick was going to come at me with everything he got. That's exactly what he did. I just knew I could not lose that game," Ammons said. "Mike Vick is a huuuuge, huuuuuge role model to me. I love the Philadelphia Eagles."
Ammons began playing chess eight years ago and he said it's a big reason that he will attend Penn State in the fall.
"It changed my life because I grew up in the streets of West Philadelphia. Those streets are pretty hard for me, so coming from the area I was at a lot of people were not expecting me to make it to college as well as do well in high school," the confident young man said. "It helps me see into the future. It helps me avoid problems. It helps me with my math skills. Now, with all of those aspects put together, I'm crushing high school and I'm on my way to Penn State."
Vick said that there needs to be more kids like Ammons.
"It goes to show that he took his destiny into his own hands. He found the conduit to make sure that it was the avenue he wanted to go in and however he got there he did it. That's very important," Vick said. "We need more kids like that, to be more ambitious and use whatever avenue, whatever conduits to make sure they accomplish what they want to accomplish in life."
According to the ASAP website, "an estimated 45,000 kids in Philadelphia spend between 20-25 hours a week alone after school – with the most dangerous hours between 3 and 6 p.m. These unsupervised young people are much more likely to be the victims of crime or become involved in risky behaviors. Additionally, lack of after school activity could be contributing to the rise in overweight children. Recent reports that Philadelphia has both the highest crime and poverty rates of the 10 largest cities in the nation provide strong impetus for improving the lives of the city's kids."
Vick is appreciative to have the opportunity to play for a franchise like the Eagles which provides a plethora of avenues to help children from the Eagles Eye Mobile, Eagles Book Mobile and annual Playground Builds.
"I'm proud to be a Philadelphia Eagle and everything this organization stands for," Vick said. "The morals and the values are great. They create ample opportunity not only for us on the football field, but for kids to accomplish what they want to accomplish."
Ammons will be one of the few people to be able to say that he took down Vick one-on-one. In fact, Vick promised Ammons a ticket to an Eagles game if he won. So …
"I'm going to have to get the ticket for him. I can't let him down," Vick said. "That would be very disappointing."
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