Michael VickFootball Player
Born: 26 June 1980
Birthplace: Newport News, Virginia
Best known as: The NFL quarterback who was jailed for dogfighting
Michael Vick is the NFL quarterback jailed in 2007 for his role in illegal dog fighting. An outstanding athlete, Vick began attracting scouts while playing high school football in Newport News, Virginia. He spent two seasons as quarterback for Virginia Tech and carried the team to the 2000 Bowl Championship Series national title game. Tech lost to Florida State, 46-29, but the game confirmed Vick's dazzling talents and made him a hot prospect for the pros. The Atlanta Falcons made him the first pick of the NFL draft in 2001; it was the first time an African American quarterback was the first overall pick. Vick played sparingly in 2001, but went to the Pro Bowl in 2002, 2004 and 2005. Vick's strong arm, foot speed, and dashing improvisational skills made him a crowd favorite and one of the NFL's most popular players. In 2005 he led all NFL quarterbacks in rushing yards (597) and scores (6) while leading the Falcons to the NFC championship game, one stop short of the Super Bowl. He agreed to a 10-year contract with the Falcons in 2004, worth $130 million in salary and bonus money. Vick's career took a dive in 2007 after police investigating a dogfighting ring found 30 dogs and evidence of dogfights at a Virginia home owned by Vick. Initially he said he wasn't involved, but after his associates agreed to testify against him, he announced he would plead guilty. In December of 2007 Vick was sentenced to 23 months in jail for financing a dog-fighting operation (Vick called it Bad Newz Kennels) and for helping to kill underachieving pit bulls. After Vick announced his intention to plead guilty, the NFL suspended him without pay indefinitely. He was released from jail on 20 May 2009, released from home confinement on 20 July 2009, and then received a conditional okay to rejoin the NFL. The next month he signed to play with the Philadelphia Eagles during the 2009 season, and by the end of 2009 he had signed on to a cable television series, The Michael Vick Project.
Extra credit: Vick wears uniform number 7... He throws left-handed, but is otherwise right-handed... A 2005 lawsuit was filed against Vick by a woman who alleged he had given her a sexually transmitted disease in 2003. The case was settled out of court a year later. In papers filed with the court, the woman claimed that Vick sometimes used the alias "Ron Mexico." That name subsequently became a popular choice on parody #7 jerseys created by fans... Vick's brother, Marcus, was dropped from the Virginia Tech team in 2005 for unsportsmanlike conduct; he played in one game for the NFL's Miami Dolphins in 2006, but was cut by the team in 2007... In January of 2007, a water bottle with a secret compartment was confiscated from Michael Vick at Miami International Airport; the compartment reportedly contained a substance described by police as "closely associated with marijuana," but police declined to charge Vick with a crime... Vick spent three seasons at Virginia Tech (1998-2000) but was a "redshirt" his first season and did not play.
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