I've been off for the past couple days, so I planned on taking off from blogging as well. I didn't ask for any guest bloggers, but DMoe hit me up this morning asking if he could get some shine. He had Mike Vick on the brain, so as a Eagles fan who had just witnessed Eagles Monday Night Football history, I figured I'd give him the floor. So I'm posting DMoe's blog from Vickadelphia....and I'll catch y'all tomorrow :-)
I'll admit, I'm a sucker for redemption.
I confess: Yes, I wanted to see Kobe shine his tarnished public image with the “Brass-O” of hard work and dedication to win his fifth championship ring. Yes, I wanted (and am still wanting) to see Tiger Woods rise like a phoenix from his self-inflicted personal ashes to hoist some shiny new trophy. And yes, I wanted to see Michael Vick make a triumphant return to the game he could have revolutionized a few years ago. As we all know every tawdry detail of his well-documented story, Mike experienced a setback along the way.
That’s right people, I’m officially coining the legal trouble that led to “#7” becoming “#33765-183” in the Leavenworth Federal Penitentiary a “setback” after seeing Mike Vick's performance last night. It was poetry in motion, glide in stride, and an outright dominant showing that Hall of Fame quarterbacks and sports pundits have been collectively salivating over in the 15 hours since the game concluded. Aside from all that, it was quite simply fun to watch.
“Setback” is one term in use here. The other more obvious term to be spoken is: redemption.
I have a deep personal belief about redemption. Sure I’m a sucker, but it’s a bit more beyond that - I believe God sets us up, so He can knock us down. At the very moment we need greater understanding of the true nature of our success (and the role He’s played), He knocks us down so we learn to appreciate standing up again. Only then, with our newly-found footing, can He show us the true magnificence within ourselves we never knew even existed.
I think that’s what Michael Vick saw and said each time he pointed up to the heavens every time he threw or ran for a touchdown en route to last night’s record-setting performance. As good as he’s been, as amazing as his past highlights and performances have been, I think he amazed himself anew.
As the game ended last night, I thought back to a night in early November, 2008. I woke up at about 4:30am with an urge to jot down the details of a dream I just had. That night, I fell asleep to ESPN Sportscenter’s detailed accounts of “The future of Michael Vick” in the wake of his legal troubles. As Vick’s career seemed destined for permanent derailment at the hands of his conviction on charges of dog-fighting and subsequent incarceration, in the name of redemption, I had other ideas.
My name's Dee Moe. I'm a marketing executive for the hottest sports and entertainment agency in America.
Late one night, I'm sitting in my imported Italian theater chair watching Rocky 3 on Blu-Ray. The depth and detail of this newest digital remaster is amazing on my 104-inch screen. I'm enthralled, and loving every minute of a film I've seen at least a dozen times.
The dynamics of the film are well-known....Balboa faces his toughest challenge from a brash, street-tough boxer named Clubber Lang. Lang chides Rocky constantly, disrespects his manhood, and paints him as soft. Meanwhile, Balboa poses with newborns, cuts ribbons on business openings and signs autographs.
Across town, at 2am, Clubber Lang is doing his 1000th sit-up in a damp, dark basement dimly lit by a single light bulb. The determination is fierce as each sit-up is a painful step toward the goal, and he is relentless.
And then ---- it comes to me.
I pause the movie, grab my blackberry and start emailing my team of marketing reps. I get everyone out to my house for a meeting, and we hatch our plan:
The Return of Michael Vick
All five of the reps are seeing the vision, as I lay down piece-by-piece how this unprecedented marketing resurrection shakes out. First, we set a meeting with the league office to get clearance. Surprisingly, Commissioner Roger Goodell sees this as a great opportunity, and he gives us the go ahead. Michael will be released from prison in May of 2009, so we have to be ready.
We visit Mike at Leavenworth and he seems unexcited to see us. With his beard grown out, and hair in long cornrows, Mike seems out of touch with himself and there's no gleam in his eye. He is indeed a shadow of his former self. We sit down with him and tell him the news of 3 former Nike execs who vacated their posts to form a new sports company, and they want Michael to be the lead on the launch of the brand that will change sports forever.
The journey begins. We fly in a hand-picked team of specialists in nutrition, strength training, conditioning and sports psychologists. This innovative group of experts are poised to recreate the one we once knew as number seven. Michael is placed on strict diets, he starts each day with training at 5am, and ends with game films at 10pm. We shoot every moment of his grueling physical conditioning and no holds are barred. Between sessions, Michael does yoga and accelerated cycling classes. Within a few weeks, he is strength training on his own when he's not sleeping. The prototype is being rebuilt, and we can see the glimmer in his eyes.
This is Vick 2.0.
The advertising guys come in and document every detail. I’m thinking, “It's happening, it's actually happening.”
We wake up at 3am on a Saturday during December to newly-fallen snow on the ground. We're excited because today is the day we shoot something we've all come to know as “The Conception."
Meanwhile, Michael’s resolve continues to climb, and he has become a relentless, well-chiseled machine that hasn't put a football down in seven weeks, after not picking one up for almost a year.
A team of sports scientists have developed a newly-patented, laser-guided passing drill that shoots a beam of light on assorted targets in an area, and Michael's reflexes have responded in a most amazing way after only a few days. The challenge is to not only hit the target, but hit the target exactly where this razor thin beam of light is shown for only a millisecond. The footage is unbelievable. Between his reps of strength drills and mental acuity tests, the documenting of this campaign will change the face of athletics - forever.
“The Conception” is ready just in time for the NFL playoffs. It's halftime of the Falcons/Packers game, and for millions around the world watching the screen goes black as they cut to the first commercial.
The spot begins with rapid flashes of dirty hands, a bald head with a sweat-soaked headband, and chiseled elbows wistfully finishing the 25th set of some unnamed new type of chin-up.
A light bulb, a damp basement, and a single weight bench all flash on the screen in quick succession.
The screen goes black. The sounds of grunting determination are heard, but not seen.
And then, the eyes....only the eyes of a clean shaven Mike Vick.
Then, the screen goes black yet again.
The word "faster" ---- fades to black.
The word "quicker" --- fades to black.
The word "returns" ---- and then, a final fade to black only showing the logo of our brash new brand.
The sports world is turned on its ear, and the hype has begun. Sales for the new company's gear soars. “Conception” is a smash with buzz-worthy clips to describe football’s bionic man we have raised from the dead. Meanwhile, the marketing gurus keep giving glimpses in ads online and sprinkled throughout NFL coverage.
The campaign is simple. You couldn’t stop him BEFORE, but wait til you see him now. He’s billed as “more than a Quarterback the likes of which you've never seen.” Yet, you will never actually see him in the first series of commercials.
We buy time for our second commercial during Superbowl halftime and anticipation of the spot's release is at a fevered pitch.
This next spot, called "The Creation," features quick flashes of a chiseled, 2% body fat Mike Vick standing on a rain-soaked cement playground with football yard-markers. Mike is shown throwing a football marked #52 into a mop bucket 40 yards away.
Masterful editing depicts quick, repetitive cuts as we see his ability to drop these almost balls in buckets in various locations 40 yards away. His completion percentage in this exercise is a mind-blowing 78.2 percent.
Months of mechanics drills and thousands of footballs with the laser-guidance drills are finally paying dividends.
The screen goes black.
And then, once again - the eyes. Only the eyes are shown, with a slight pan up to a clean shaven bald-headed Mike Vick.
.....and then, the screen goes black yet again.
The word "accuracy" --- fade to black...
The word "elusive" --- fade to black...
The word "vision" ---- fade to back....
The word "returns" ---- and then, a final fade to black only showing the logo of this brash new company.
And then…I woke up.
For a moment late in the 4th quarter last night, I thought I was still dreaming, but then I realized I’m just a sucker for redemption. Apparently, so is God.
Over the years, I've been blessed to have spent time with, befriend, love, learn from and share experiences with people who have helped me grow and inspire me everyday. They have shared words of wisdom, strengthened me with encouragement, gave me joy with a smile, comforted me with a hug, gave clarity to my visions and dreams and renewed my spirit with faith. It is through family and friends that I manage to be happy and hopeful.
These relationships work because we share our philosophies, our personal truths and an outlook that prompts us to seek something greater in all and in ourselves. Sharing a journey heartedly illuminates our lives and enriches our experiences. It keeps us moving....always evolving....ever changing.
I have been transformed by the wisdom, opinions, insights and revelations of those who have shared their journey with me. It's a blessing I long to share with you through my first ever blog. For me, writing is a reflection of my own direct experience and I look forward to all of you sharing your thoughts and experiences with me.
So...with that said....can I just say.....??? :-)