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In His Own Words - a conversation with Michael Vick

Posted on October 23, 2012 by John van der Veen There have been 4 comment(s)

With his new autobiography Finally Free Michael Vick opens up about his past, controversy and a brighter future ahead. We caught up recently to meet a little bit of the man behind the cleats.

Family Christian: Michael, can you start by giving us a synopsis of your childhood?

Michael Vick: My childhood consisted of pretty much a little bit of everything. Almost like any other kid. A lot of ups and downs. Situations that occurred – where you have to think through. Some you do, some you don’t. [I got] a lot of spankings, a lot of learning, and a lot of football games that I played at a young age. A lot of trophies and relationships that I was able to build.

As a kid, I always set my sights on doing the right thing. [My goal was to] make my mom proud. Before I did anything, I always thought about her.

FC: As you look back at your childhood, would you it was a good one?

Michael: Yeah. Looking back at my childhood, I would say that I had great childhood. You know a lot of things that I went through shaped and molded me into the person that I was. Growing up into a young man there were times that it was tough. My mom and dad faced difficulties that reflected on us as kids. We managed to keep the faith and pull it through. My mom was the rock of our family. Her faith is through the roof… like out of this world. Even when we were going through trying times, she was always somewhere praying. Even talking to her now, she is always telling me that God has answered so many of her prayers… prayers that He answered while I was in prison.

FC: Fast forward from your childhood, you obviously at some point started getting an interest in football. Was that something that was born instinctively within you or was that as a result of family members or people in your neighborhood? How did you start experiencing the desire for football, then recognizing your own talent?

Michael: When I was six years old, my grandmother was a Washington Redskins fan. She always watched the Redskins on Sundays. So I used to sit and watch the games with her. Then I would go outside and play the same type of football with my friends. Even though we didn’t have pads on, we still played aggressive-style football. I tried to emulate everything that I had seen on TV. Which, I think, [plays] into the player that I have become. That and [eventually] a lot of coaching and great people [who came] into my life. When I was younger, I thought it was one of the best games ever created.

FC: You obviously played it in high school, as well as college. Did you have a good time playing football in college? Was it that a good experience for you?

Michael: Yes. College football was a great experience, because I knew I was one step away from a accomplishing my lifetime goal; making in to the NFL. When I played, I had so much confidence, belief in myself and a higher power, I was able to just enjoy it. I wasn’t out worrying about having great stats. So putting up tremendous numbers just kind of happened. And I think because I enjoyed it so much was the reason why I was able to go number 1. Because I had a great time playing football.

FC: You then signed with the Atlanta Falcons and had a great career with them – about 5 years. What were some of the highlights that you had with being with them?

Michael: Some of my greatest highlights were from the playoff game against Green Bay. Beating them for the first time, when they had never lost a playoff game. Obviously playing in an NFC Championship game in which I took them to 2004, which was a great milestone for me at such a young age in my career.

All of the relationships that I was able to make – Roddy White, Michael Jenkins, Jim Mora, who was a great coach. Dan Reeves. The people that I was able to meet while I was there. Anybody that I left out – they know who they are. Just a lot of great people. More than anything, I still have those relationships.

FC: And then it all came crashing down in 2007.

Michael: Yeah.

FC: Are you okay talking a bit about that time?

Michael and Tony Dungy

Michael: It’s okay. In 2007, I was convicted of a crime that I was involved in. And everything kind of came crashing down. I lost everything. I was put into prison. I didn’t have any money. My family didn’t have any money.

All I could do was depend on God, my Higher Power – and to keep

the faith. My faith was through the roof. I just felt like something was going to happen. Especially while I was praying. That’s when I grew closer to God, and the things that I needed the most. [To move] away from disobedience.

FC: So is that when you met Tony Dungy?

Michael: I met Coach Dungy one time in 2005. But [it was] really when he came out to visit me during my prison sentence [that we got to know each other]. We just sat and talked for a long time. Shared a lot of life experiences together. He just told me that he believed in me. He told me that my future was bright. I may not be able to see it, but that he had faith in me. That’s where we made that connection. I do appreciate Coach Dungy so much to this day.

FC: Michael, where was God in all of your life up to that point? In your childhood, you talked about…

Michael: He was always there.

FC: He was always there.

Michael: I always knew that I had to have a form of obedience, a form of belief in God and the Holy Spirit. When I was in high school, I slept with the Bible under my pillow, I talked about that in my book – because I believed that the only way that I could get there with all the adversity and controversy that I was facing then as a black quarterback… that I needed to do something different. I felt like I just had to have a great deal of faith. A great deal of understanding and to comprehend by doing the right things.

During all that – the only answer I could come up with was “put my faith in God.” Still to this day, I find myself doing it. I did it this morning. I am doing it right now. I’ll be doing it Sunday before the game. So on and so forth for the rest of my life.

Michael ministers to people in prison.

FC: Is there a particular Scripture that you have in mind that continually comes back to you? That you find a lot of encouragement from?

Michael: Psalms 23. You know Scripture.. Everyone pretty much knows there is so much merit to it. It gives you confidence, plus it gives you strength. It gives you faith in yourself. Belief in yourself. And whatever you are about to endure, you can always walk through it with confidence if you read that Scripture before it. Off the top of your head, you can just rehearse it in your mind. It puts you in a different mindset.

FC: As you look over your life, your past and your present, and obviously on into the future, without stating the obvious Michael, you are a famous person. There are thousands, if not millions of kids and adults that certainly look to you, some with a critical eye and some with fondness. What do you hope that people would know about Michael Vick above everything else?

Michael: I want people to know that I was true to my faith and that I was true to myself. When things weren’t going so well, I acknowledged it, and I accepted it. I believe that change can come and that it happened. I couldn’t have done it without God... and I’ve got to give all the glory and thanks to Him.

So I just hope that everybody sees that I am changed person. That it’s my faith that really got me through it. It was me believing that something was really going to happen. For that next day. Or the next day. Or the next day. Whether it was just me changing my mindset, or life was changing, or my financial situation changing. My living situation. Or the situation with my family. It all came to fruition – and it was all because of my faith.

FC: What do you think of the upcoming season?

Michael: I’m excited about the upcoming season. I think it will be one that we will all remember. I have been doing a lot of work and preparation. I believe in myself. I believe in my team. And I know that we can kick this off.


This post was posted in Books, Interviews and was tagged with Featured, Psalm, Michael Vick, Tony Dungy, Football, Prison

4 Responses to In His Own Words - a conversation with Michael Vick

  • That was an awesome blog and interview with Michael Vick. He made it through his trials and adversity through Christ. God turned around his situation for the better, leaving his family, athletes, coaches, and fans to see what God can do for anyones life. I am excited for his future cause we know its secure in Christ! Congrats Mr. Vicks, I will share this story via twitter and facebook too. God bless you and your family man of God!

    Posted on October 23, 2012 at 12:32 pm

  • Glory to God somebody finally came forward on this story and it was the man himself Mr Vick. I bought this book for my father's birthday yesterday and i pray that the Lord will use the testimony to soften my dad's heart and save him.

    Posted on October 23, 2012 at 2:43 pm

  • bobbie says:

    i'm praying for your dad's salvation. It will come through the NAME of JESUS CHRIST ~ which i didn't see mentioned at all in the brief blog above. The idea that we have faith and just believe everything's going to work out is not biblical, but widely accepted. JESUS is THE WAY, THE TRUTH, and THE LIFE and it's impossible to tell our testimony without mention of HIS POWERFUL NAME. That's what is the mystery of the Gospel: i needed to be saved, HE knew it ~ i didn't, HE died and conquered death to pay my debt sin, and then saved me by my admitting that i'm unable to pay that debt and deserving of death, believing that only HE died for my sins, and then confessing with my mouth that HE is LORD and SAVIOR of my life as i submit my life to HIM and HE owns me. It's no longer me, but HIM ~ it's HIS ways, HIS words, HIS plans and my flesh, my plans, my everything dies in the process of living for HIM!!! Anything softer than this is not the Gospel, just a version of THE TRUTH!!!
    For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. 2Timothy4:3

    Posted on October 24, 2012 at 1:57 pm

  • Caitlyn says:

    I think it is so terrible that Michael Vick did so many horrible and evil things to helpless and innocent animals, barely did any jail time for it, and now makes money off of his atrocious actions by selling a book about his life. I know we are suppose to forgive people, but that doesn't mean we should help them profit off of their wrong doings and heartless deeds. Not only did he torture dogs into fighting for their lives, he himself also executed dogs that he felt weren't "good enough" by hanging, electrocuting, and repeatedly slamming them on the ground until their internal organs ruptured. This man is a monster. Pure and simply. I am very disturbed that a Christian store supports him.

    Posted on September 22, 2013 at 1:41 pm

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