Unfortunately, there weren't any national broadcast crews or writers there to show what the man, Michael Vick, had done. For had there been, we wouldn't have been hearing up until the last couple of weekends that the Michael Vick Experiment was a failure.
The Vick experiment is no more about football right now that winning the Tour de France was for Lance Armstrong when he was coming back from cancer.
But that is how quickly we forgot that the most important thing for Vick this NFL season is another sort of rehabilitation, to rehabilitate his character -- which got him 18 months in the joint for running a dogfighting ring. It wasn't to rehabilitate his football playing career. This is something we need to remember as we watch the continued unraveling of Tiger Woods' image, the fastest fall from grace we've ever witnessed of an athlete. (O.J. Simpson owns the record for the most precipitous fall, from national pitchman to a public pariah now imprisoned.)
"We've now done about 10 events with Michael Vick...," Michael Markarian, the chief operating officer for the Humane Society of the United States, told me Monday. "They are going very well, and he is reaching hundreds of kids and steering them away from dogfighting.
"Many of the young men we've spoken with have said they have a whole new appreciation for protecting animals after hearing Michael speak, and we've multiplied the numbers of young men and pit bulls who are attending our training classes in urban communities."
The hardest thing for Vick this year wasn't going to be doing what he's done most of his life, which is be a standout football player. Instead, it was going to be what he'd struggled to be, which was a standup person who wasn't swayed by peer pressure and chose to do the right thing. It was about being a leader and not a follower. That was the experiment.
What we witnessed with Vick on Sunday night at the Meadowlands against the Giants was a once-fabulous athlete starting to get his sea legs again, which is something I never doubted. Playing option quarterback for the Eagles, Vick ran for one touchdown in helping the Eagles win and take command of the NFC East. He nearly passed for another, only to have a defender tip the pass before Vick's intended receiver could catch it in the back of the end zone.
That was the second rushing score for Vick in the last two games. He's also passed for a touchdown in that time frame. He hadn't been anywhere near as successful in the first half of the season as he played for the first time in two seasons, but that shouldn't have been surprising given how long he'd been away.
It was an unfair critique to suggest Vick was a "bust," as we like to call those in sports who come up short of our expectations, simply because he wasn't immediately running through NFL defenders like mere inanimate orange traffic cones as we recalled he did at the height of his stardom. We are far too fast to execute the careers of athletes.
What was more important to note was that Vick wasn't dodging his new responsibility to talk about the heinous crime he committed and tell those who looked up to him not to copy his old behavior.
"I didn't choose to go the right way, which led to 18 months in prison, which was the toughest time of my life...," Vick told the kids in Newport News, his hometown, "and I wish I could take it all back."
A lot of folks among us figured that Vick's promises to help the Humane Society and other animal welfare groups was just talk. After all, he wasn't required to do so as part of his release from prison. It was only hoped that he would, and he has.
He could've shown up for a few events early in the season when he knew a few people would ask what he was doing after the Eagles gave him another shot as a football player. But he is still carrying that message as the regular season begins to wind down and his own play starts to heat up. His coach, Andy Reid, appears to be entrusting more in him, just as are the people at the Humane Society.
You could dismiss what Vick is saying and doing as mere mea culpa. But there is that none-too-little fact that his horrific illegal behavior cost him almost two years of freedom and the designation as the NFL's highest-compensated player. That's how far Vick fell. He's paid dearly for his crime, as well he should have.
Vick isn't likely to win the league's Comeback Player of the Year Award. A handful of TDs and a nice throw here and there won't be enough. That trophy is likely this year to go to Tom Brady for coming back from injury or Cedric Benson from coming back from being doubted, which is more difficult than bouncing back from being hurt.
But if the award took into account coming back from off-the-field, self-inflicted injury, Vick would win hands down. His reintegration to society is working.