Eagles quarterback Michael Vick vividly recalls Nov. 19, 2007, the day he had to leave his family and begin serving his prison sentence for dogfighting.
He writes in an autobiography out next month that his 3-year-old daughter was "crying like a monster was trying to get her" as he climbed the steps of the courthouse in Richmond, Va.
"I told everybody that I loved them and I walked up to the two officers who were waiting for me," Vick writes. "When I walked myself in, they started handcuffing me right there on the spot. They put the cuffs on my hands and put the cuffs on my legs.
"At that moment, my freedom was gone."
Vick, with co-authors Charles Chandler and Brett Honeycutt, has written "Michael Vick: Finally Free," which is due out July 27. The publisher made two excerpts and the foreward written by Tony Dungy available yesterday.
Vick agreed to do the book about 10 months ago when he expected to be the Eagles' backup quarterback behind Kevin Kolb. It traces his life and faith from his youth in Virginia to Virginia Tech, the Atlanta Falcons, prison and then the Eagles.
"He knew some parts of his book would show his life at rock bottom, but he wanted to share his story to help others, both youths and adults," said a spokesman for Core Media Group, the book's publisher. "Michael also wanted to take the chance to apologize, once again, for getting involved in fighting dogs and explain how his relationship with God was renewed during his time behind bars."
In one of the excerpts released, Vick points to his dubious relationship with the truth.
"Looking back, I can see that my propensity for trying to lie my way out of trouble only made my consequences more severe," he writes.
He writes of lying about how much time he spent at the house where the dogfighting operation was happening, and about the compartment in a water bottle he said was for jewelry but was really for marijuana.
He writes of lies he told to NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, Falcons owner Arthur Blank and his lawyer, Billy Martin, about his involvement in dogfighting.
"When the dogfighting allegation surfaced, my lawyer told me, 'If you were involved, you need to tell me you were involved.' That's when it was on the state rather than the federal level. I kept telling him, 'No, no, I wasn't involved, no, no.' The whole time they were building the case, my lawyer was saying 'no' but he was seeing all this evidence saying 'yes.' If I had just told the truth, maybe I would've received a smack on the wrist instead of a lengthy sentence.
"So now that I think about it, I believe it was the Lord. It was God saying, 'Kid, I gave you a chance to get this thing right.' It was like, 'Carry yourself to jail.' I know He didn't say it like that, but it was like, 'Go on. You need to do some time. You need to learn a lesson.'