By Jeffery Armstrong
After watching Michael Vick run and pass all over the Carolina Panthers on Sunday night, I realized that once again, I'm living in a city that features the greatest athlete in his sport.
Not that I didn't see this coming, mind you. After all, I was the one who told those insane people who felt Doug Johnson was the better quarterback that they were indeed insane. Vick only needed game time to become the savior of the Atlanta Falcons franchise. How many times must I say I told you so? So far, this is the second time I've said it and when he breaks Brett Favre's record of three straight NFL MVP awards, I'll say it again.
In the late 80's and early 90's, I have to admit that I was envious of Chicago residents. I was jealous of the fact that they were in the same city as Michael Jordan and had a chance to see him play in person if they could get tickets to Chicago Bulls games. During that time, Jordan was the best player in the NBA and I used to wonder what it felt like to watch the best player in the league play.
Then, a funny thing happened. Jordan retired for the first time and that opened the door for Hakeem Olajuwon of the Houston Rockets to be the NBA's greatest player. I was living in Houston when the "torch" was passed from Jordan to Olajuwon from 1993 to 1996, when Jordan returned to the game. I used to be able to go to Rockets games all the time, even when they won the consecutive NBA titles (Rockets fans are like Hawks fans n they're very fickle). Seeing Hakeem dominate the other players in the league was unreal. I saw him score 45 points on David Robinson of the San Antonio Spurs in person and saw him score 40 against the Utah Jazz in a critical playoff game in 1995.
When I watched Olajuwon against Robinson that night, I felt really good. I finally knew how Chicagoans felt n it's nice to watch the league's best player in action. Hakeem ran circles around Big Dave for his 45 points, and despite the fact that Robinson was kind of soft, he was actually a darn good defensive player. Hakeem torched him that night and that's when I knew he was the best player in the NBA.
Now I'm here in the Atlanta metro area and I can witness Vick in all his greatness. I have yet to see him play in person and hopefully I will get that opportunity one day. Yeah, I know Steve McNair or Peyton Manning may win the NFL MVP award this season, but if Vick can stay healthy he will own plenty of those awards. In fact, Vick's hold on the NFL will be like the NBA with Jordan around n everyone knew Jordan was the league MVP every year, but the league decided to give others the award to keep things interesting.
With Vick, he will deserve the NFL's MVP award every year unless the league decides to crown someone else.
It's just a fact. This man rushed for 141 yards and a touchdown just three months after BREAKING HIS LEG. Once again, I told you so.
Jeffery Armstrong is a sports writer for the Daily and his column appears on Thursdays. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.