Not even the most optimistic Michael Vick(notes) fan on the planet could've seen this coming at the beginning of the year: Vick currently leads all NFL players in Pro Bowl voting.
He's earned the votes with his sparkling play on the field, but consider where Vick was just a few months ago: a clear back-up to Kevin Kolb(notes), coming off a season where he played sparingly and ineffectively, and still -- or so I thought -- widely reviled for his role in a dogfighting operation.
Even the judge who put him away in 2007 is showing love for Vick. From Rosalind S. Helderman at the Washington Post (via PFT):
"He's an example of how the system can work," said U.S. District Court Judge Henry E. Hudson, an aggressive former prosecutor who surprised no one who knew him when he sentenced Vick to a 23-month term in 2007.
"He's having a terrific season," Hudson said in an interview. "I'm very happy for him. I wish him the best of success."
I know that not everyone is ready to forgive Vick -- in fact, many of them are about to call me terrible names via email -- but clearly, a lot of people are. Judge Hudson was pretty stern with Vick three years ago, and if he can find the compassion to forgive Vick, then most other people probably can, too.
Whether you're among the forgivers or not, the magnitude of Vick's comeback is undeniable. For him to come back even better than he was before, and to be wildly popular on top of that? They make Disney movies about that kind of thing. For the sake of Goofy and Pluto, I hope they don't, but they could.