Michael Vick learned chess, and learned to love chess, while he was in a federal prison--- "When I was away," as he called it... He taught himself chess, first as a way just to kill the boredom. But then he discovered it helped him think, taught him to make better decisions, and brought out his competitive juices. "I liked going head to head, mano a mano, with my chess opponents in prison", he said. He still plays three or four games a week at home in Virginia.
Vick spent a good part of his Tuesday playing against some children at the Eagles Youth Partnership’s annual chess tournament, then said he thought the game helps with his decision-making.
Michael Vitez of the Philadelphia Inquirer volunteered his coverage of this feel-good piece with some play-by-play commentary on Vick's performance against the smart kids...
When the Eagles Youth Partnership scheduled its annual chess tournament for hundreds of city children on Tuesday at Lincoln Financial Field, Vick asked whether he could play. The organizers picked two of their stars, hoping to give Vick all he could handle, but they were finishing games when Vick arrived.
Jowel Ammons, 18, a senior at Philadelphia Military Academy at Leeds, a public school in North Philadelphia, has played chess since middle school. It has taught him patience, how to analyze and strategize, and given him great confidence. That confidence was tested when he sat across the chessboard from Vick. Television cameras and microphones were inches from their faces. The crush of the crowd smothered them.
Vick was cool, calm. No big deal. That's life as he knows it.
But as soon as young Jowel moved his first pawn, the noise and cameras faded away. He was home, in front of a chessboard, where he is in control, and the intimidation factor started to turn. Vick moved aggressively, overconfident, leaving himself vulnerable. Jowel knew he owned the quarterback on the sixth move.
"When he didn't want to trade his queen, I said, 'He's intimidated by me now,' " Jowel commented. "That's when I gave him my moves."
Vick has the Superman emblem tattooed on his right hand, but it didn't help. At one point, showing mercy, Jowel said, "I don't think you want to make that move, Mr. Vick."
Jowel piled up pieces. "Apparently, you're in a mess right now," Jowel told him.
"You get a ticket for every win," Vick said. This brought a giant smile to Jowel's face. "One ticket for every win?"
And he turned to the crowd. "Who wants to go to an Eagles game?" Jowel asked.
In seven minutes, just 17 moves for Jowel, it was over. Checkmate. Jowel went off to face stardom and television cameras. Tomyra Wilson, a sixth grader at Rudolph Blankenburg School in West Philadelphia, took his place. She was first in her division in the Pennsylvania State Scholastic Chess Championships, beating more than 100 other fifth and sixth graders.
Vick started this game more conservatively. Their pieces were traded evenly, but steadily Tomyra began to control the middle of the board. "She's good," Vick told the crowd. "She's good."
More than 3,000 city children play chess in programs run by the After School Activities Partnerships, funded in part by the Eagles Youth Partnership. Through the program, many children have earned significant college scholarships, gained confidence and skill, and avoided the streets after school. There were 4,000 children in the program until last year, when the Philadelphia School District had to cut funding for some of the after-school organizers, and some locations had to be closed.
Against Tomyra, Vick seemed to be losing control of the game. A reporter shouted, "Wearing you down?"... "No, no," Vick insisted.
He moved his own piece into check, but didn't see it. Tomyra politely but immediately moved it back. She knew right away. Soon the game was over. His king was toppled. Vick had fallen to a sixth-grade girl.
"They set me up right here, man!" he protested, in jest.
Vick actually wanted to play another 10 games. He was loving it. He wanted a rematch with both Jowel and Tomyra, and he wanted to face all comers. This was no act. He wanted revenge. He wanted to win. But his handlers had other ideas.
Jowel was impressed with Vick's play. Vick was skilled, patient, and thoughtful. But you could tell these young people were serious chess players thinking, as Jowel said, at least five moves ahead. Vick loves the game, but Tuesday he was the amateur, and Jowel and Tomyra showed just how good their after-school instruction can be.
In a postgame interview, Vick said he learned that chess is a game of patience, of avoiding mistakes, of making carefully measured decisions. He grew to love it, and played it more and more.
"I found it might have been a calling for me to play chess," he said. "Sometimes things happen in an ironic fashion."
My personal reaction: For the trolls who continue to hate Vick, this human interest story will not change things... They will condemn this outing by Vick as an absurd public relations stunt. But I beg to differ...
This was Mike Vick connecting with his sad miserable childhood and getting a do-over... and putting chess in the equation cannot possibly hurt his decision-making abilities as a quarterback.
And for me, that bodes well for Michael Vick not only as our QB#1 but as a person...
A new NFL Collective Bargaining Agreement with a simplified rookie wage scale is making the process of signing draft picks so much less complicated these days. That's why the Philadelphia Eagles expect to have all of them signed long before training camp begins.
Tuesday, for example, they announced they had reached agreements with defensive end Vinny Curry, tackle Dennis Kelly and wide receiver Marvin McNutt on four-year deals. This comes a day after they came to terms with second-round pick Mychal Kendricks, a linebacker from California.
"It's an easy formula right now," Eagles general manager Howie Roseman said. "I don't think it's going to be a long process with most of the players. They want it to get done, they know there's not any incentive to waiting … so I think it will be a fairly [easy] process here so that when they come in here for minicamps they're signing contracts."
These deals leave just five picks to go, including first-rounder Fletcher Cox, a defensive tackle from Mississippi State. Because the new CBA calls for the contracts of this year's picks to fall within very narrow margins of last year's corresponding picks, there is almost no room for negotiations. Previously, it was more of a free market that would set itself as teams would begin signing picks, usually from the bottom up.
Pretty sure that as soon as I turn it in, bang!! Lupes will toss one down the middle of the plate. Ah well, I salute whoever hits it out of here
Yeww beauty again!!! Can't believe the 6ers got up!!!! That fkn Bulls center better buy a bulletproof vest....BWAH HA H AH HAR
Welp as bad as Sixers are shooting in da payoffs dey gonna need all the luck they can get like tonite.
Where is that creepy guy Briz.. Hey remember when we was crapping on about about Mendenhal n Peterson?
How sweet is that we got a model of each sort to test drive Via the draft!
Keekly signs for 4 years and 12.5 mils... Prorate back to Cox and methinks 4 years and 11 mils sounds easy nuff.... Get er done Howie!
Mike Vick seems like a pretty classy guy. Unfortunatly I can't see him having a beer with me.... I think after 3 sips he would have fuck all chance of understanding me accents n slangs, and his minders would turf me outta the joint... Not before I gave him some tip top aussie footy advice on how to hold the ball wif two hands I hope
So eye wuz playing wiff my tallywacker and thinking of Bro's theorem on having to snatch a QB in the top of the draft at all costs to get a great one and win a SB... then I stopped and thought about this compelling antithesis (some are old school, but plenty are new school-ish):
1. Joe Montana - 3rd round
2. Tom Brady - 6th round
3. Brett Favre - 2nd round
4. Kurt Warner - Undrafted/Genuardis
5. Dan Marino (27th overall)
6. Aaron Rodgers (24th overall)
7. Johnny Unitas - 9th round
8. Warren Moon - from the eff'n CFL
9. Randall Cunningham - 2nd round (if he only had an offensive coach)
10. Kevin Eff'n Kolb - 2nd round
11. Roger Staubach - 10th round
12. Fran Tarkenton - 3rd round
maybe Top 2 QB's EVER were not first round picks... throughout all time... past and present... that's a lot of SBs on dat list... modern day ones too... so... I says... smart money won't reach for a QB... I changed my mind... I disagrees with Brozer now... QB's are co-dependent and highly unpredictable as prospects.
@l30p1221n1 SB winning QB's not in da 1st round? A threesome who mostly suked but still did the deed....Mark Rypien...Brad Johnson...Jeff Hostetler....
Genuardis is a quarterback factory
@l30p1221n1 It goes both ways as Randal's case clearly shows. Apart from the QB, you need skill players as well as a good coaching staff
These Sixers aren't looking for offensive rebounds.......and they have the wrong guys taking tough shots
ATV))) the funny thing is that Kendricks had two of his four years fully guaranteed while Curry had his second year partially guaranteed
If I were a rookie, I would prefer to sign my contract prior to any 'damn' mini camps. These guys aren't in football shape, the latest they did was work out for the combine. There's a chance for a muscle tweak here and there. Signing later wouldn't give you more money
@Jerky That's my boy!
Anyways, let's see if the Sixers can do the expected. Meanwhile, it's always interesting to hear play by play guys who do several sports. Usually, they are at home with only one. Ian Eagle is got the Sixers tonight
@Kenemeka Speaking of radio play-by-play, I just heard an announcer (Fred Manfra) on WBAL-AM calling a 3-batter-consecutive-home run inning which ended like this: "....and there's a drive to deep right...oh he has done it! Oh look at what he has done! Nick Markakis has made it a threesome!..." I was laughing just imagining what Mrs. Markakis would be thinking if she walked in on the broadcast near the end of that call...
Phils Update: M. Schwimmer tweeted today that Phils made 3 call ups form Lehigh Valley Raul Valdez, Josh Diekman, (L pitchers) Hector Luna (inf). Phils did not confirm.
Nix to DL for calf injury, Valdez replace Qualls(?) Deikman replace Schwimmer(?)
Rube probably got a case of jaws at Schwimmer for releasing info I'd guess.
And now a moment for'Chachito Sayz'! Bong's are good,and hairy French girls wit ronnie brown jerseys,naked i say! Cookies please... Sunturd ? I really dont know what to say to u anymore,cept go fukyurself as per normal ,and wash yur f,n hands!
Oooooo,..der Auto Refresh is verking again,...now if only dey can can get an Auto Air Freshener to verk in Sonbutt's Infiniti,...just saying...dambru.