ESPN - 30 on 30

With nothing to do this weekend, I watched the 30 on 30 about Dennis Rodman. It was pretty eye-opening and talks a lot about where he came from. I was never a fan of Dennis - I am now.

Some cousins of mine were beach house neighbors with Rodman. They happen to be very modest/conservative in their behavior, and mormon. My aunt swears that, while he did throw plenty of parties, he was actually a great neighbor. Very friendly, and not difficult to get along with at all despite the fact that their lifestyles could not have been more different.

I enjoyed watching Rodman back in the day when I watched the NBA. He was generally the hardest working guy on the court.

Speaking of 30-for-30, my wife & I watched the (2?) episodes covering Michael Vick.

After the dog fighting issue blew sky high, I sort of tuned out anything to do with Vick - there was just a lot more “uplifting” sports and stories to follow, and it was just a horrendous, awful story.

Having now watched Vick’s story far more in depth than I followed it before, I’m impressed by how he handled the situation. He owed between $10-50M, was advised to take a Chapter 7, but said he wanted to make things right, and paid a lot of that money back. That’s just a small aspect of a much more in depth story.

He took a lot of abuse, much of it deserved. People saying he should have got the electric chair was over the top, obviously - emotions were extremely heated on the topic of Vick.

Still, after some time after getting out of Leavenworth, the number of highly credible people who vouched for Vick’s sincerity in wanting to genuinely change was impressive. Andy Reid, Tony Dungy, Donovan McNabb, etc. The US Humane Society. The Eagles’ & Falcons’ owners didn’t mince words, but ended up backing Vick’s effort to come back. (If anything, Roger Goodell comes off slightly more credible to me, because of the others who were in sync with his statements about Vick.)

Knowing how things are where my wife grew up, and that Vick had a large social circle from back home in Virginia living with him in Atlanta, I’m not at all surprised those guys were doing that stuff.

South Carolina’s mascot is the Game Cocks - fighting chickens - for hell’s sake. Sheer stupidity, let alone something worthy of making a university mascot.

Stephon Marbury was right - from where those guys grew up, that ridiculous dog fighting “hobby” is not entirely dissimilar to what deer hunting is, in a lot of other areas.

(I’m not a deer hunter, apologies if I’ve offended anyone here - the larger point is we really are products of our environments, of where we grew up.)

From being in a situation where he had good reason to think that he might get 6 months, to spending 2 years in Leavenworth from a judge who wanted to make him an example… how Vick responded after his self-induced adversity is truly remarkable.

While we’re in this weird sport-less period, if you get a chance to catch the 30-for-30 episodes on Michael Vick… it’s a stone-cold sober, but uplifting story.

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