Vick's book motivated by desire to tell truth
Honesty. That’s the one word Michael Vick keeps coming back to. That’s the one word that best explains why he wanted to write a book.
“I wanted to touch upon being honest,” Vick told CSN’s Derrick Gunn in an interview on Tuesday. “I think that's the most important thing that I wanted to get out of this book.”
Vick spent 18 months at Leavenworth Prison in Kansas and another month under house arrest after pleading guilty to felony charges in connection with the dog-fighting ring he ran for years at his Smithfield, Va., home.
Vick, who missed the entire 2007 and 2008 seasons, is now entering his fourth year with the Eagles.
“I told so many lies that I forgot what I was saying at times,” Vick said. “Having to remember the lie and saying it all in unison over and over again was tough. It was hard for me and I kind of started to feel like the walls were closing in on me.
“The moment I lied to [NFL Commissioner] Roger Goodell, I wish I would’ve known that that was the moment that I really ruined myself, other than the other things that were taking place. What I’ve learned, me having to go to prison, made me realize that being honest is the best thing that you can do.”
It was in April 2007 that Vick lied to Goodell about his rumored involvement in a dog-fighting ring. Vick swore to Goodell he wasn’t involved, but within weeks his lies were exposed, he was suspended from the league, released by the Falcons and headed for prison.
“Because I wasn't forthright, a lot of things took a turn for the worse,” he said. “A lot of people go through life thinking they can get away with telling lies and telling stories, but the more lies you tell, the more lies that you forget, and the more that you have to say, and the more lies you got to make up, and that's just not the way to live life.
“I think people would be in a better state if they just learned that honesty and dealing with consequences is the best policy.”
Vick has been a model citizen since joining the Eagles, and his transformation from a convicted felon serving hard prison time into a starting quarterback with a new contract has served as an inspiration to a lot of people, although many others have not forgiven Vick’s crimes.
Vick’s autobiography, Finally Free
, is due out on Sept. 4, a week before the Eagles open the season against the Browns in Cleveland.
“I had written the entire book while I was in prison,” Vick said. “I'd just been holding it. Every time I'm in a local Walmart, Target, or I'm out with my kids, I have so many people coming up to me saying what they thought should've happened, how the system should've treated me, how they felt like certain things didn't matter, but I wanted them to know that it did.
“I put so much time and effort into trying to make a success out of something that was meaningless and not understanding the values that I had in life, the great opportunities that I had ahead of me, and I think that's why God snatched it away from me, because at that time I didn't deserve it. ...
“I wrote this book just finally closing the chapter, hoping that a lot of young kids read this book and understand what it takes to be successful in life and what it takes to maintain that type of success and the commitment that comes along with it,” Vick said. “Hopefully, they'll take a lot away from it.”E-mail Reuben Frank at firstname.lastname@example.org