RSJ Update: Today, a contrite M. Vick apologized once again for his “dirty bird” gesture towards fans on Sunday. Watch it: http://broadband.espn.go.com/ivp/splash?id=2677545
My wife punted on Michael Vick ages ago. Tired of waiting for the game’s funky QB to become the player Vick’s fans want him to be, she announced, “I’m through” sometime last season and never looked back. On Sunday, the rest of America may have joined her Ex-Vick Club. Vick was not only woeful in the Atlanta Falcons’s 31-13 thrashing by New Orleans (2-for-24, 84 yards, 0 TDs) but he was even uglier after the game. He flipped the single-finger salute to fans as he disappeared into the tunnel, an action that was caught by CBS’s cameras and by numerous shutterbugs (see below).
He latter issued this apology: “First and foremost, I would like to apologize for my inappropriate actions with fans today,” the quarterback said in a statement released by the Falcons. “I was frustrated and upset at how the game was going for my team, and that frustration came out the wrong way.”
The true beauty of this day was that while Vick was imploding, an image of what his followers always hoped he would be was emerging in Nashville. Vince Young, Tennessee’s rookie QB, staged the most improbably comeback of the season to lead the Titans to a thrilling and shocking 24-21 victory over the stunned New York Giants.
The Titans, a young team thats eems ot be getting its act together, trailed 21-0 going into the fourth quarter. But Young, the first QB taken in the 2006 draft, engineered four successive scoring drives.On the first drive he mixed the run and the pass masterfully, interchanging long runs with short passes before hitting wideout Brandon Jones for a 14-yard TD.
On each drive, Young was in full command (Eli, were you watching from the other sideline?). He waited patiently for his receivers to work their routes, used his legs to elude would-be tacklers, worked the clock like a veteran, and ran with a style that might be respectfully called “shifty,” unhurried, not dynamic (see: Vick) but stunningly effective.
When the Titans got the ball back with :23 on the clock following a INT by Pacman Jones of a pass Eli will have nightmares abut for the remainder of the season, Young completed two short passes for 18 yards, enough to move his team to within field-goal range. The 49-yarder won it. Young completed 24 of 35 passes for 249 yards, 2 TDs and 0 INTs. He also ran for 69 yards.
Yes, this is the infamous salute.
Young, now 4-4 as a starter, is quickly becoming everything Vick should – and could still – be. But like my wife, I’m tired of waiting – especially when there’s a new Young Gun in town.
V. Young: Gamer
M. Vick: Scoundrel