Nobody -- maybe not even Michael Vick -- thought the former Falcons first-overall selection would be an NFL starting quarterback again after a stint in prison. Partly because Vick would be 30 and three years removed from his last game, but also due to the fact that guys who rely on speed and agility often see their careers fizzle out as their physical skills start to diminish. And that usually happens in their late 20s or early 30s.
Plus, the Eagles shipped long-time Donovan McNabb to division rival Washington this offseason because they were confident that Kevin Kolb could handle the gig. That lasted less than two games into the 2010 season. Now the Eagles are 2-1, Vick is the starter, and people are finally talking about him for what he's accomplished on the field.
And as CNBC's Darren Rovell wrote on Monday, it means that Vick, not long ago considered a pariah, is now popular to the point that his No. 7 Eagles jersey is in demand.
Sources tell CNBC that retailers in the Philadelphia area have placed big orders for Vick's jersey since he was named the starter by Eagles coach Andy Reid this week.Rovell pointed out that after the Eagles signed Vick in August 2009, Dick's Sporting Goods didn't stock stores with Vick's jersey. "It was merely due to the fact that it was believed that Vick's jersey wouldn't sell well."
"Certainly after coach Reid declared him the starter and offered his vote of confidence, demand and sales escalated and we did bring in more (jerseys) to meet customer needs," said Jed Berger, senior vice president of marketing for Modell's Sporting Goods, which brought Eagles No. 7 jerseys into its stores in Pennsylvania, Delaware and New Jersey.
Whatever your thoughts about Vick the man, there's no denying that people love redemption and second chances. And if this story can play out in Philly, it can happen anywhere. Of course, there's no telling what will happen when Vick plays poorly. But for now it's as heartwarming a tale as you're going to hear about a guy sent to federal prison for dogfighting.