I know that as I type this, I'm setting the wheels in motion for another crisis that will prolong this sordid affair a little bit longer. But it finally appears to be winding down, with Vick pleading guilty and apologizing, the NFL suspending him indefinitely, and Blank accepting his apology and not cutting him right now. There's still the matter of his sentence to deal with, and there's also the lingering doubt that Vick will still be on the team by this time next year.
What matters to me is how Vick acts from here on out. You can never really tell if athletes are entirely sincere, and in some cases you can't tell if they even wrote their own apologies. That being said, this was a pretty damn good apology:
"I will redeem myself."
That's the crux of this. We have all spent the last few months burying or defending Vick, but now that he's admitted his guilt there's little to do except wait and see. Maybe he'll finally distance himself from the trouble that seems to follow him everywhere and change his life; I certainly hope he can. I've made no secret of my desire to wash my hands of Vick; he was never the player I expected him to be and he certainly wasn't the person I hoped he was. But there's a chance, however small, that he can be both those things. As long as he's putting in the effort, I'll keep an eye on him, wondering if he can be one of those redemption stories that the media just gobbles up.
For the record, I have my doubts that he'll ever get back on the field again for the Falcons. In many ways, I hope he moves to a different team if he ever comes back. His chance with the Falcons has run its course in my mind, and it would be too hard for him to come back given what he's left ownership, his teammates and the fans with. Yet I can't help but hope against the odds that this saga will end not only this giant headache for pretty much everyone, but also the end of the life Vick has led up until now.
He said he would redeem himself, and I for one am going to hold him to it.