|Photo illustration by ZooWithRoy for zoowithroy.com|
WHEN MICHAEL VICK PLAYS, I see bioluminescent forestball. I don't just mean that sort of football where you have to count to four-Pandoras before you can rush the quarterback, nearly everything breaks down and it's all great fun in an exotic and lush landscape while using heightened natural instincts. I also mean forest basketball with a bright blue CGI creature who has giant elf-like ears and braids that he can plug into wild creatures in order to tame and ride them. Vick's style reminds me of Allen Iverson--if he were also a ridiculously tall, bioluminescently blue elf with braids, striped skin, and rustic weaponry-- the speed, the court sense, the sharp cuts, the dekes, the swag.
In those breathtaking moments when the Eagles QB abandons the pocket and takes off, it feels as if he's thumbing his nose at the whole regimented, militaristic ethos of those trying to mine his home planet Pandora for a stupidly named fictional element called unobtanium.
All of that is why, to me, Vick seems to have a deeply Na'vi-American approach to the game. I'm not saying that a blue QB who stands in the pocket ain't playing blue. I'm saying Vick's style is so badass, so artistic, so at harmony with nature -- so representative of Na'vi athletic style -- that if there were a stat for science fiction street cred, Vick would be the No. 1 quarterback in the league by far.