Everyone can remember the good old days when Michael Vick was the real-life cheat code in the NFL. If you didn’t watch football at that time or you’re too young to remember, then please accept my condolences. You missed a magical period.
Vick had a cannon for an arm and the speed of an NFL running back. It was a deadly combination that confounded defenses for many years. And then Father Time had to step in and ruin it all. Vick’s skills steadily declined in football, and it wasn’t too long before the phone calls stopped coming and he was forced into retirement.
Any normal human being would be sprawled out on a beach somewhere under the sun enjoying the fruit of their labor. That seems like a good idea if Vick was in his 50s, but at 36 years old, his brain can’t even comprehend the word retirement, much less actually go through with it. He’d probably still be in the NFL today if a team gave him a shot. Like most retired football players, he’s too young to be riding off into the sunset, and although his elite skill has declined, he is still a superior athlete. So what do you do when you still have gas in the tank to play football, but you’ve been stripped of a platform?
You play flag football.
Jeff Lewis is working on the concept of the American Football League, which could open the doors for retired players to have one more shot at glory. Imagine Peyton Manning returning to play quarterback and matching wits with Ray Lewis on defense. We could all use a few more ‘Omahas’ in our lifetime from Manning.
We could definitely use more Vick. The retired NFL star will be playing in a game on June 27 at Avaya Stadium in San Jose, California. He’ll be joined by former NFL running back Justin Forsett. The plan is to launch eight franchises in 2018, and the games will be setup in a 7-on-7 format for 60 minute games on a full-length football field.
“I just thought to myself, ‘what would this look like if great athletes played this?’” said Lewis, according to ESPN’s Darren Rovell. “There’s certainly a huge pool to take guys from. Every single year, NFL teams cut 800 guys. We need less than 100 players to field eight teams.”
It’s a huge pool of guys to dip into that would seriously make for some compelling entertainment. We also can’t forget about the middle-aged dudes with man boobs and dad-bods. Those individuals are sure to tryout by the thousands as long as there’s enough Bud Light and the chance of beating a former professional athlete at something.
Perhaps we’ll even get a chance to see vintage Vick juke defenders out of their shoes and sprint his way into the end zone.
Oh, the nostalgia is too much to bear.