Goodbye ’04 Mike Vick

Yesterday, probably the biggest cheat code in madden history called it quits after an on again, off again, back on again relationship with the NFL. You guys are probably asking, “hey Mr. Awesome Author, he retired yesterday, why are you so late.” Well, I took a nap. IS THAT OKAY.

Now let me pay some respect to real life Mike Vick before I start drooling about how much of a cheat code this dude was in the virtual world. This dude was a cheat code 0n the turf too, often being compared to Houdini every time the pocket collapses. Being drafted 1st overall in the 2001 NFL draft fresh out of Virginia Tech, he was off to an incredible start. Having unprecedented success for a TRULY mobile QB, he earned 3 Pro Bowl nods with the Falcons in ‘02,04, and ’05. Obviously, we all know in 2007 Vick had that whole dog-fighting sting and was suspended indefinitely. Upon being released from prison in 2009, the Falcons promptly released him making him an unrestricted free agent, and the NFL reinstated him. Then began his Eagles career. It was obvious this man some how stayed in NFL shape while incarcerated. He played some great football in this city, we will never forget the Miracle in the Meadowlands Part 2, and the game against the Redskins where he opened up with a 88-yard touchdown to D-Jack. Injuries began to derail his Philadelphia career and it became obvious Vick was not going to remain with this team long-term. Vick was not resigned after 2013, and was then signed to backup Geno Smith in New York. After being signed as a backup, he was called to action to take over for a struggling Geno Smith because Rex Ryan was the only coach to realize that Smith had no talent. After the year with the Jets, he was signed to a one-year gig with the Steelers. After being announced as a backup, yet again, he did see some playing time when Big Ben went down with injury. After not getting any contracts when the year was up, Vick called it quits at the ripe-old age of 36.

Career Accolades:

  • First Overall Pick 2001
  • 4x Pro Bowl
  • NFL Comeback Player of the Year (2010)
  • Eagles 2009 Ed Block Courage Award Winner
  • Trusting Riley Cooper to catch a jump ball late in a playoff game

Records:

  • Most rushing yards by a QB in a season (1,039)
  • Most rushing yards by a QB in a career (6,109)

I am at the age where I am old enough to know how awesome he was as in Madden 2004, but young enough where I did not start playing the game until my mans was in prison. There are three things every sports fan knows growing up: Michael Jordan is the best NBA player of all time, Wayne Gretzky is the best NHL player of all time, and ’04 Mike Vick is the only person that can come close to Tecmo Bowl Bo Jackson. This is just common sense.

Every one always has a hero growing up, some pick musical artists, others pick politicians for some reason, and some pick athletes. I, on the other hand, looked up to a video game version of an undersized QB who went to jail in the middle of his career. Do I feel bad? No. Does this explain some things about me as a person? Absolutely. Even up until Madden 15, he was dominant every time I controlled him…..just turn injuries off. They always say never meet your heroes, which is easy when your hero is inside of your Xbox.

We may never see another player dominate a video game like this again but I am sure we said the same thing after Tecmo Bowl. It is always sad seeing an awesome player step away from the game, especially in the NFL where it does not matter how checkered your past is. Finally, I will always remember where I was when I saw Miracle in the Meadowlands Part 2, switching back and forth between the game (alright, the game was awful before Vick put the team on his back) and Madden.

Thank you Michael Vick, but more importantly, thank you 2004 Madden Mike Vick. You taught me that a fat kid from Pennsylvania who may suck at real -life sports, can over compensate by running the table with you in Madden.

-Richie Wielgus

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