Before he gained notoriety for his involvement in a dog fighting ring, and way before his up and down "second career" with the Philadelphia Eagles, Michael Vick was an electrifying quarterback for the Atlanta Falcons, making athletic plays that guys like RG3 and Colin Kaepernick can only dream of. In 2006, Vick threw for 20 touchdowns while setting an NFL record for rushing yards by a quarterback with 1,039. He made grown men look like children trying to tackle him in the open field. His performance against the Minnesota Vikings during a regular season game in 2002 was downright disrespectful, as he racked up 173 yards on the ground and accounted for 346 total yards of offense.
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In 2004, Nike rolled out a Vick-inspired commercial that in my opinion is the best sports commercial ever made. The minute-long spot depicts "The Michael Vick Experience" as a ride at an amusement park. An unsuspecting teenager is strapped into an elevated seat like he's about to take off on a roller coaster ride and fitted with a pair of Vick's signature shoes and a Falcons helmet.
Roller coaster ride? Think again, naive child! A hologram of Vick appears, briefing the kid on the rules and regulations of the ride; but instead of the expected "please keep your hands and feet strapped in at all times," Vick is all like, "Push up in the pocket!" and "Read the zone!" and the kid is all like, "OH MY GOD, I'VE MADE A MISTAKE! PLEASE TAKE ME BACK TO MY MOTHER'S HOUSE!"
Too late, bro. The kid is transported into the middle of a Falcons game—as the quarterback—and jerked around by the ride like one of Vick's patented runs to the end zone, weaving in and out of defenders and narrowly avoiding being broken in half. His high-pitched screams and look of pure terror add to the commercial's comedic greatness, as the ride flips him into the end zone and puts him face-to-face once again with holographic Vick. "That's not in the playbook," Vick says. "But it should be."
We miss you, Atlanta Falcons Michael Vick, and your awesome commercials. Watch the spot below.
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