The Ed Block Courage award "honors those National Football League players who exemplify commitments to the principles of sportsmanship and courage." And, apparently, Mike Vick.
Every team selects one player as their annual recipient. This year, the Browns voted for Mike Furrey, for his tireless work with local charities. The Jaguars voted for Richard Collier, for staying strong in the face of his paralysis. The Eagles voted — unanimously — for Michael Vick, for not killing any more dogs this year.
Vick was about as humble as you'd expect:
I've had to overcome a lot, more than probably one single individual can bear," Vick said. "Take a look at what I've been through. You ask certain people to walk in my shoes, they probably couldn't do it — probably 95 percent of the people in this world."
Yeah man, it's tough being Vick. Who else could balance the twin burdens of playing pro sports and not committing any felonies? (Besides the vast majority of pro athletes, of course.)
Supporters point to Vick's charitable appearances, including speaking of the perils of dogfighting on behalf of the Humane Society. I'll just point out that these engagements were in front of cameras, first for his big 60 Minutes comeback special, and later his BET reality show.
According to studies, the recidivism rate in this country is about 60 percent. So, Mike Vick, congratulations on staying out of prison for the last six months. That must have taken real courage.
Vick Wins Ed Block Courage Award [Philadelphia Inquirer]