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Thread: Ben & Vick - A tale of two troubled QBs

      
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    Default Ben & Vick - A tale of two troubled QBs

    Originally Published: December 14, 2010

    A tale of two troubled quarterbacks -
    Ben Roethlisberger and Michael Vick are leading parallel NFL lives this year


    By Gene Wojciechowski
    ESPN.com


    They are so different, their personal histories so starkly in contrast. One is black, born and raised in the crime-ridden, East End projects of Newport News, Va. The other is white, raised in the quiet, midwest town of Findlay, Ohio.

    And yet, Michael Vick and Ben Roethlisberger find themselves Velcro'd together by a series of coincidences, by personal and professional redemption and maybe -- just maybe -- by forgiveness.

    Both play quarterback for NFL teams in Pennsylvania. Both wear No. 7. Both have made nine starts this season and both have seven wins to show for them. Both have their teams atop their respective divisions.

    But it isn't just the present that binds Vick and Roethlisberger. It's their pasts and the transgressions they committed in those pasts.

    Vick served 18 months in federal prison for his prominent role in a dogfighting ring. It was a crime against innocents, and the public backlash was as strong as a garlic Altoid. For some (hello, Nils Lofgren), it remains that way.



    Michael Vick is a better quarterback than he was before his prison term. Is he a better man?

    Roethlisberger didn't serve jail time, but allegations of sexual assault led to a humiliating investigation by Georgia prosecutors. Criminal charges weren't filed, but that didn't stop NFL commissioner Roger Goodell from suspending the two-time Super Bowl champion for at least four games without pay, ordering a "comprehensive behavioral evaluation" and, in essence, subjecting him to a public intervention for his misconduct. He still faces a civil lawsuit over an earlier incident.

    And now here they are, their personal lives glued back together and their professional lives enjoying a football renaissance. Vick's Philadelphia Eagles are 9-4 and tied for the NFC East lead with the New York Giants. Roethlisberger's Pittsburgh Steelers are 10-3 and lead the AFC North.

    When the season began, Vick was nothing more than a backup to Kevin Kolb. He was destined for another year of Wildcat gimmickry and cooling his cleats on the sideline. He was a safety net, an afterthought.

    Meanwhile, Roethlisberger technically didn't exist to the Steelers. He couldn't practice with the team during his Goodell-imposed exile. It wasn't until Sept. 3, just nine days before the team's season opener, that he learned he'd make his 2010 regular season debut in the Oct. 17 home game against Cleveland.

    Vick and Roethlisberger are changed men. Vick lost his freedom, his fortune and his job with the Atlanta Falcons. Roethlisberger lost a reputation, his captaincy and a quarter of a season, as well as nearly $2 million.

    But are they changed for the better? Just because they're winning games doesn't automatically make them better people. And what if the Eagles and Steelers were in the dumper? Would the Dallas Cowboys' Tashard Choice still ask Vick to autograph a glove? Would Steelers fans feel the same way about Roethlisberger?

    Vick is definitely a better quarterback after nearly a four-year gap between NFL starts. He is more disciplined, more patient, more willing to work on his football flaws. And while it might sound simplistic, those are the same reasons I think Vick has become a better person.

    He had it all. And then he had nothing. Had he not changed -- and it's still an evolving process -- Vick would still have nothing. He wouldn't be earning rave reviews from his coaches, his teammates and even the federal judge who sentenced him to prison. He wouldn't be in the MVP discussion.



    Ben Roethlisberger appears to be smarter about his off-field behavior. Has he changed for good?

    Roethlisberger had those two Super Bowl rings, but there was also a contrail of troubling allegations and unflattering cell phone photos. He had lost touch with who he was and how he was raised.

    The Steelers kicked the tires on a trade but decided to stick with Roethlisberger. So did teammates such as Hines Ward, who, on the first day of practice at training camp, told Roethlisberger, "Let's walk out together." The gesture meant everything to the shamed quarterback.

    Roethlisberger has always been tough (he's playing with an injured foot and a surgically repaired nose behind a suspect offensive line), but he hasn't always been smart. He's smarter now, say those who know him, and wiser too.

    But this isn't about learning lessons. It's about learning respect. For animals. For women. For yourself.

    You can't do what Vick and Roethlisberger are doing without undergoing some sort of fundamental, inner self reckoning. You can't fake this sort of seismic change.

    They aren't perfect, but they're different from what they were. They're better people, better teammates and better role models. Not "Be Like Me" role models, but "Learn From My Mistakes" role models.

    We saw the rise of Vick and Roethlisberger. We saw the freefall. The crater marks they made when they landed were as wide as Heinz Field.

    If you believe in second chances, then it's OK to believe that Vick and Roethlisberger have taken advantage of their mulligans. It's OK to believe that football, friends, jail, suspensions and mentors can make a true difference.

    Most of us have forgiven them. But it's up to Vick and Roethlisberger, not us, to remember why there was a fall in the first place.

    http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/colum...4&sportCat=nfl

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    Default Re: Ben & Vick - A tale of two troubled QBs

    You can't compare these two guys. Vick is an ignorant ****ing animal killer and Ben tried to get in some girls pants if, that happened at all. People act like Ben invented trying to get in some drunk girls pants. Yes, low as that is and I have no espect for guys that need to get a chick drunk but, I do believe Ben when he said he is innocent.

    They could have locked up Vick and tossed away the key and that was still too good for him. Anyone that thinks just because dogs are animals and they do not count are just as criminal in their thoughts as Vick was in his deeds.

    Place yourself in those dogs places.
    Stupid animals that count and rely on the kindness of their owners.
    Some of the dogs were strays, non fighting dogs, dogs just used for training or being brutalized, tortured for Vick and his friends enjoyment.

    Let us see one of your dogs getting that treatment. Let's see one of us ending up on the wrong side of town and running into some gang, criminal or what ever that you stand no chance against and to be viewed, cheered against while the other street tuffs torture and kill you.
    That is what those 80 some dogs went through.

    **** Vick and all that feels he served his punishment and give this piece of **** any credit or what have you.

    He's a ****ing thug piece of crap and I wouldn't walk across the street to **** on him if he was on fire.

    Believe me, I sugar coated this as best a s possible.

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    Default Re: Ben & Vick - A tale of two troubled QBs

    Fezziwig I agree with you 100%. I spent a number of years volunteering at a wildlife rehabilitator and I can tell you first hand how difficult it is to restore a sick or injured animal back to health. For someone to deliberately injure any animal for fun is beyond being human. Vick didn't begin to atone for this. Karma, when it comes, will indeed be a *****.

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    Default Re: Ben & Vick - A tale of two troubled QBs

    I'm kinda hoping for a Philly vs Steelers Superbowl. It just would be perfect in Goodells league.

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    Default Re: Ben & Vick - A tale of two troubled QBs

    Quote Originally Posted by Blackandgold View Post
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    Fezziwig I agree with you 100%. I spent a number of years volunteering at a wildlife rehabilitator and I can tell you first hand how difficult it is to restore a sick or injured animal back to health. For someone to deliberately injure any animal for fun is beyond being human. Vick didn't begin to atone for this. Karma, when it comes, will indeed be a *****.


    Thank You. Some people obviously can't put winning above doing the right thing. No patricheat fan can also believe that, if one of our coaches cheated to gain their success I, as a fan would find the victories hollow and not earned.

    I used to like and respect Phillies coach but with Vick on their team, I really have to wonder. Maybe he had no control over it but if he felt strong about it he, should have taken a stand. If I was a Philly player I would have to ask to be released from the team. This is how strong I feel against Vick the piece of shiit.

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    Default Re: Ben & Vick - A tale of two troubled QBs

    I totally agree with you Fezz!! I just saw a headline where Vick can own a dog after his Parole is over. Since every "dog" gets his day, maybe "his" dog will rip his face off!!

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    Default Re: Ben & Vick - A tale of two troubled QBs

    I was taught to forgive people their transgressions and I try to do that.
    That being said I think anyone who is convicted of a Felony,kills another person,is involved in another persons death(outside of self defense),is convicted of drug trafficing in any form should loose the priveledge of playing in the NFL.I cringe every time ray lewis is touted as a hall of fame player(how the hell can OBSTRUCTION OF JUSTICE in a MURDER trial be a MISDEMEANOR?).If I had brokered a coke deal with a cell phone I would still be in jail,ditto with death resulting from dwi.With the salaries,even for later round draft picks and FA's,if your are caught DWI you should be suspended at least a yr.Our children are being shown that if you have enough money there are ways out of taking responsility for your actions.
    Mods,move or delete as you see fit

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    Default Re: Ben & Vick - A tale of two troubled QBs

    Quote Originally Posted by foslrock View Post
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    I'm kinda hoping for a Philly vs Steelers Superbowl. It just would be perfect in Goodells league.
    I can see it now! People will dub it, "The Rapist vs. The Dog Killer"! Ben wasn't charged with anything, but that hasn't stopped people from calling him a rapist anyway. I bet Goodell would just love to have to hand the trophy over to one of those guys, especially if it's Ben! I would actually love to see Ben and James Harrison both up on the podium with Goodell ready to take the trophy from him!

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    Default Re: Ben & Vick - A tale of two troubled QBs

    Quote Originally Posted by BlackNGoldRules View Post
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    I would actually love to see Ben and James Harrison both up on the podium with Goodell ready to take the trophy from him!
    That's priceless! I never considered that. Up yours Goodell!

    I also am forgiving of people for making mistakes. However, I think that people like Vick should indeed lose the privilege of playing in the NFL.

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    Default Re: Ben & Vick - A tale of two troubled QBs

    Quote Originally Posted by BlackNGoldRules View Post
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    I can see it now! People will dub it, "The Rapist vs. The Dog Killer"! Ben wasn't charged with anything, but that hasn't stopped people from calling him a rapist anyway. I bet Goodell would just love to have to hand the trophy over to one of those guys, especially if it's Ben! I would actually love to see Ben and James Harrison both up on the podium with Goodell ready to take the trophy from him!


    I would Love to see Big Ben and Harrison receiveing the trophy from goodell well wearing shirts that read, " We did it " or Guilty as Hell "


    Reminds me of my buddies friend that went to court for his second DUI and was wearing a shirt that read, " DAMM drunks against mad mothers. Before the judge sentenced him to jail the judge did ask him what the hell was he thinking wearing that shirt ? His response was, " it was the only clean thing I had to wear. "

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    Default Re: Ben & Vick - A tale of two troubled QBs

    Quote Originally Posted by BlackNGoldRules View Post
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    I would actually love to see Ben and James Harrison both up on the podium with Goodell ready to take the trophy from him!
    Harrison wouldn't go to the White House. Can you imagine him being given a blowjob by Goodell if they won again and what Harrison would say (or do) to the ********? OMG, I'm LMAO already.

    POLITICIANS AND DIAPERS SHOULD BE CHANGED OFTEN AND FOR THE SAME REASON!

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    Default Re: Ben & Vick - A tale of two troubled QBs

    Updated: December 16, 2010

    Michael Vick wants to own a dog

    ESPN.com news services

    Michael Vick, who was banned by the judge who sentenced him on dogfighting charges from owning another dog while on probation, says he misses being a dog owner and would like to have one as a pet someday.



    “My daughters miss having one, and that's the hardest thing: Telling them that we can't have one because of my actions.”

    -- Michael Vick

    The Philadelphia Eagles quarterback, interviewed by NBC News and the website TheGrio.com, said he and his family miss having a dog. He said he wants to show people that he can be a responsible pet owner and that he would not take the opportunity for granted.

    "I would love to get another dog in the future. I think it would be a big step for me in the rehabilitation process," Vick said, according to NBC News and TheGrio.com. The full interview was scheduled to be shown on TheGrio.com on Wednesday.

    "I have been around him a lot, and feel confident that he would do a good job as a pet owner," Wayne Pacelle, president of the Humane Society of the United States, told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Wednesday.

    As part of Vick's probation, he can't buy, sell or own a dog. And some of his critics believe that arrangment should be permanent.

    "Just as convicted pedophiles aren't allowed free access to children, anyone who is responsible for hanging, electrocuting, or shooting dogs and who causes them to suffer in other unimaginable ways should never again be allowed access to dogs," said Lisa Lange, vice president of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "All things considered, it is a very small price to pay, especially compared to the suffering endured by the dogs who were abused and killed in the Bad Newz Kennels."

    On Tuesday at a Philadelphia-area charter school, where Vick was speaking out against dogfighting, he was asked if he would return to the Eagles next season.

    "I would hope so," Vick said, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer. "A lot of things have to happen. A lot of things have to take place. ... But hopefully I'm a Philadelphia Eagle next season."

    Vick has led the Eagles to a share of the NFC East division lead and resurrected a career many thought was all but over after he went to federal prison for funding a dogfighting ring. The operation trained pit bulls to fight and killed dogs that did not perform well in training sessions.

    Vick told NBC News and TheGrio.com. that he wants to show that that part of his past is behind him.

    "I think just to have a pet in my household and to show people that I genuinely care, and my love and my passion for animals; I think it would be outstanding," Vick said in the interview. "If I ever have the opportunity again I will never take it for granted.

    "I miss having a dog right now. I wish I could. My daughters miss having one, and that's the hardest thing: Telling them that we can't have one because of my actions," Vick said in the interview.

    http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/news/story?id=5922161

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    Default Re: Ben & Vick - A tale of two troubled QBs

    I'm sorry, but the priveledge to own a dog should be removed from Vick.... If his kids want one, then he needs to explain just why he cannot... I'm sorry, but it's just freakin' wrong...

    ... I appreciate what he has done, and is doing, on the football field... But some things need to remain intact and somewhat penalized.... He should NEVER be allowed to own a dog/pet.... If his kids are wanting, then he needs to explain just how much of an idiot he was, along with the horrible things he did to dogs....

    It's not his kids' fault.... But then again.... Maybe he should'a thought about that beforehand, and explain to them why his actions are affecting their desires.... No excuses in my book.... I never get a "redo", and nor should he just because he's a high profile athlete....
    "You only have one life, and you will not get out alive. Make the most of your time and have no regrets." - Me.

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    Default Re: Ben & Vick - A tale of two troubled QBs

    I think comparing Ben's incident with Vick's actual incarceration is wrong. One was arrested, tried, convicted and served time; the other wasn't even officially charged and they're both "troubled"? Okay...

    Papillon

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