Everything an NFL rookie needs to know about Commissioner Roger Goodell, he can learn from Michael Vick.
The Philadelphia Eagles quarterback spent 23 months in prison on federal dogfighting charges and was given a second chance in the NFL despite lying to Goodell about his involvement in the operation run out of his Virginia home.
Vick, who turns 32 on Tuesday, addressed his troubled past at the NFL’s Rookie Symposium on Monday. In a seminar titled, “Are You Bigger Than the Game?” Vick told rookies to manage their own money, cherish their opportunity, and not to count on second chances.
“I got that chance to do it again, thanks to Roger Goodell,” Vick said. “Fellas, don’t get it twisted. This man is the real deal. He don’t play. If he asks you a question, answer with honesty. Tell him the truth. If you get into some trouble, be honest, truthful, forthright. Don’t play with this man. He’ll love you to death, but the minute you cross him, he’ll be all the way turned up.”
Vick told the rookies he regretted flying home from Atlanta on Tuesday’s off of practice instead of staying at team headquarters and preparing for the next opponent.
“Once this is over, it’s over,” Vick said. “I’ve seen a lot of dudes come and go. I’m blessed God gave me the talent to still be here. But don’t take this for granted. I could be gone tomorrow. You’ve got one hell of an opportunity.
“Enjoy the ride. Congratulations.”