Both that piece and his Q&A with SI.com showed a Michael Vick in a mood for reflection, regret and reconciliation, about a career self-sabotaged like few others in history.
A huge portion of the two stories were devoted to the day he started to fully come to terms with the future he had envisioned back with the Falcons once he got out of federal prison … how that future disintegrated before his eyes when the team drafted Matt Ryan in 2008, how he heard about it from another inmate and how the definitive signal that the Falcons were leaving him behind and moving on sunk in.
Just as riveting, though, was Vick’s description of what he and those Falcons had created in Atlanta at their collective heights — which, of course, made the crash even more destructive and the subsequent rebirth more joyous.
Which brought him to his triumphant return in the farewell to the Georgia Dome at the end of the regular season, the prodigal-son story to top all sports-related prodigal-son stories.
Worse than the Falcons squads of 1980 and 2012 that squandered double-digit leads in the second half of playoff failures.
And for Falcons head coach Dan Quinn, worse than when he was Seattle’s defensive coordinator in a last-minute Super Bowl 49 loss to New England in what was the largest Super Bowl comeback (10 points) before Sunday’s contest. That’s because Quinn was in charge of making sure his entire team didn’t fall apart, and he failed.