Skip to content
Link copied to clipboard

Vick on cover of Sports Illustrated

Could all the good things that Michael Vick has done on the field in some way trace back to the aftermath of the shooting in Virginia Beach at Vick's 30th birthday party?

Could all the good things that Michael Vick has done on the field in some way trace back to the aftermath of the shooting in Virginia Beach at Vick's 30th birthday party?

On the day after Vick's birthday in June, his probation officer ordered him to leave Virginia and return to Philadelphia and stay here, according to this week's edition of Sports Illustrated.

"That was the best thing," Vick tells SI for the cover story. "I came here for myself time. I was able to get into the playbook and start studying. It was time I needed, time I wouldn't normally have spent doing that. So everything happens for a reason. It's crazy, man. It's so unreal how God works."

The cover headline reads: "The Enigma: What Michael Vick Tells Us About Ourselves." It is his fourth appearance on the cover and it is the 17th time an Eagles player was on the hallowed front of the magazine.

Inside, the headline reads "Is it OK to cheer?"

Vick told SI's S.L. Price that his mother warned him repeatedly last offseason that he needed to be careful, that he needed to make sure elements of his past did not creep into his present.

"I let her down so many times," Vick tells the magazine in the edition available today. "Everything that ever happened, the reasons I ended up on ESPN in a negative light? She always told me, 'Stop doing it.' I never listened.

"She told us to stop having parties in February of this year. Kept doin' it. Kept doin' it. Kept doin' it, kept getting by, kept getting by, doin' them quietly. Then: boom."

The boom was lowered at his 30th birthday party in Virginia Beach. In the aftermath of the party, one of Vick's dogfighting co-defendants, Quanis Phillips, was shot in the leg outside the restaurant. Under the terms of their probation, Vick and Phillips were prohibited from being in the same place.

Vick acknowledged the long-rumored report that Phillips had smashed cake into his face. Vick said the confrontation was not physical, but included "strong words." According to the story, the plan called for Vick and his fiance to arrive, have a few drinks, sing "Happy Birthday" and leave. Kijafa decided to smear cake into Vick's face, thinking it would be cute. That is when Phillips got involved.

"It was just cake," Vick says. "But still, it was embarrassing for me. And my pride just got in the way. But I kept thinking, I just got to go. I need to go. In my younger days we would've been fighting, but I let it go. It took a lot to let it go, but I did it."

Vick said he received a phone call 15 minutes after he left, telling him Phillips had been shot 2 minutes after Vick's departure. Multiple investigations did not implicate Vick and no charges were filed in the case.

Vick also revealed what coach Andy Reid said to him when he called to let him know about the incident.

"You shouldn't have been in that environment," Vick said Reid chastised him. "You shouldn't have been out after 12 . . . I don't know where this is going to go."

Vick said he called mentor Tony Dungy but hung up in tears 5 seconds later. At that point, Vick acknowledged that he should have called comissioner Rogell Goodell next, but he didn't.

Where it got even worse was telling his mother.

"I'm sitting on the chair crying, looking all crazy in the face . . . She's like, 'You went to prison for 19 months, and you come out and you still ain't listening . . . ' Right then and there, I told myself, I am changing my life. I'm going to do everything they ask me to do. I'm getting myself away from this madness." *