I’ve long said that social media was the great equalizer. Allowing people, who may not otherwise have the opportunity, to have their voices heard. This is a story about how Mike Vick used Twitter to eloquently use his own voice to reach out to his fans and connect with them.
After all Vick has been through it would have been just as easy for him to stay as far away from a service like Twitter as possible, but he chose not to do that. He also chose not to have some phony PR person post idiotic tweets about what he’s doing and how “changed” he is. After all Mike Vick has been through and with all of the negative feedback he’s opening himself up to, I’m sure it took quite a bit of courage to open himself up in such a public way.
Regardless of what you think about Vick and the choices he has made in the past you have to give him a tremendous amount of credit for the way he has handled himself since being given the opportunity to play again. Not many people go through something like that and don’t come out of it a little more bitter, cynical or just pissed off at the world. Vick truly seems to have taken full responsibility for the mistakes he’s made and, outwardly at least, seems to blame only himself.
What strikes me about Vick on his Twitter feed is just how appreciative and eager he is to connect with the fans that are supporting him. He manages to come off as genuinely humbled and grateful for everyone who has supported him through this ordeal.
After (as far as I can tell) each game, Vick makes it a point to go onto Twitter and interact with his fans. Not in a cheesy, self-congratulatory way, but sincerely trying to connect with the people who have taken the time to reach out and make a connection with him. He never seems to brag or be boastful, he honestly seems interested in letting his fans know how much he appreciates them. If you look at his timeline, virtually every tweet is some sort of reply to a fan.
Short of actually knowing and talking to the guy, this seems like his attempt to make things right. He seems, on some level, to realize just how much he disappointed, not only the people that were close to him, but his fans as well. He seems to be doing all he can to make amends with those people by utilizing Twitter as a platform to let people know who the real Mike Vick is…now.
Many people that know Vick say that the biggest change in his life, since all of that other stuff happened, is that he doesn’t want to take things for granted. It seems clear, that one thing he doesn’t want to take for granted are the people, the fans, the ones who are able to see past the terrible things a man has done in his past and are willing to forgive him for them. Vick seems intent on making sure that those people know that their support does not go unappreciated.
If there’s one thing the internet has fine tuned in us it’s our bullshit detector, we know if people are just yanking our chains or stroking their own egos. Vick seems to be doing neither of these things. After following him on Twitter for a few weeks I can honestly say that I appreciate the courage it must have taken to put himself in the position for some serious Twitter backlash. He seems eager to, not just move on from his past, but to pull every single one of his supporters along with him. And, in my humble opinion, that is a man who deserves a second chance. All the interviews and press releases in the world probably wouldn’t have convinced me but being able to watch him interact and just be himself after only a couple of hundred Tweets, has managed to wrangle me back in and wish him the best.
This is a fucked up world and happiness isn’t exactly the easiest emotion to achieve, hardships can define our lives, they can also deliver us from unhappiness as well. Mike Vick seems truly happy, and in his words “blessed”, and to me, that’s something that is deserving of respect.