Sunday, November 21, 2010
Tuesday, November 2, 2010
Sunday, October 17, 2010
Wednesday, September 29, 2010
"There's a lion in my pocket, and baby he is ready to roar."Prince, 1999
It was 10 years ago when I did a shoot with Michael Vick on the Virginia Tech campus. He was a phenom as a redshirt frosh, but he just seemed polite, friendly, and very unassuming.
When he introduced himself as "Mike," I didn't know who he was right away. There wasn't an entourage, there wasn't bravado, it was just Mike.
But there was plenty of bravado in my script and he didn't carry it like that. He was shy. The piece was average and didn't air because Vick got beat up by the Clemson "D" - though the other man on the shoot, Corey Moore, was the dominant defensive star in a Hokie home win.
I'm not trying to extol the virtues of Mike Vick, the seemingly mature 19-year old. This sick subculture was obviously ingrained in him from a very early age. And somewhere deep inside him was a Ron Mexico with middle fingers extended to his home crowd.
But we had truly never seen anyone like him. A black, left-handed whirlwind who probably could have been the best player on the field at a half-dozen positions. He did it with such confidence and class. His play screamed "look at me" so he never had to do anything arrogant to call attention to himself.
In Mike's freshman year, he led Virginia Tech to an undefeated regular season in spectacular fashion. And he left his guts on the Superdome field erasing a 3-TD deficit to Florida State before falling in the 4th quarter. Head Coach Frank Beamer is still his biggest advocate.
Two years later, Mike was drafted #1 overall. Three years after that and one broken leg later, he finished 2nd in the MVP voting, and led the Falcons to the NFC Championship game.
Then came the contract. The sense of entitlement. The rules didn't apply to him. He could spread herpes around, or bankroll dogfighting, or smoke pot on his MySpace page. He thought the authorities and the media, much like your average NFL defender, couldn't catch Michael Vick.
"Tryin' to run from my destruction, you know I didn't even care."
He was wrong and paid the heavy price. This isn't some run-of-the-mill NFL suspension he has to come back from. He was incarcerated. Every day is a blessing for this man.
This time around, I think we're going to see a lot less Michael and a lot more Mike. And maybe one team's fans will party like it's 1999.
Sunday, September 19, 2010
The highlight of the Minnesota trip (certainly wasn't the game) was the two meals at Hell's Kitchen.
Wednesday, September 8, 2010
Monday, September 6, 2010
Monday, August 30, 2010
Thursday, August 19, 2010
Whether Gaudin intended to hit Cabrera or not, the scenario plus the warning made it a no-brainer. Eric Cooper had to eject Chad Gaudin and his manager, Joe Girardi. But he did nothing.
Sunday, August 15, 2010
Wednesday, August 4, 2010
Monday, August 2, 2010
Monday, July 26, 2010
Maybe next Thanksgiving, Don won't have to hire a prostitute to smack him around (not pictured).
Friday, July 23, 2010
Thursday, July 22, 2010
Even Gramps got into the act, riding on Oscar's Whirly Worms.
And after several hours running around in near-100 degree heat, with never enough to drink and no nap, there was a great kiddie cool-off. Fortunately Daddy was on top of it with sunscreen, bathing suits, and towels (the ones that didn't cost $20 in the gift shop).
And speaking of the heat, how do you think you'd like to be dressed as a muppet as your summer job?
I wasn't going to pay for that picture when they still let you take off-center snapshots against the green. But there was one picture that I bought, framed even, since there's no recreating the moment.
The kids took their first ever roller coaster ride on Grover's Alpine Express. I tagged along, expecting a kiddie ride. It wasn't. It was a real roller coaster, though a very short ride. I'd call it a junior coaster. The kids had a blast and rode it over and over again.