Ibegan my first reporting job in Roanoke, Va., in the fall of 1999. About 45 minutes south on Interstate 81, Michael Vick began his career as quarterback at Virginia Tech.
Football isn't an easy sport for an individual to dominate. But when Vick took off with the ball that autumn, it was special.
As Virginia Tech kept winning, I watched the young man's talent unite and electrify a region. The Hokies were outgunned by Florida State in that year's national championship, but as long as Vick stayed on the field, they seemed to have a chance.
Now, he appears headed for prison and that makes me sad, not just for the animals he might have hurt, but for the people who shared that experience of watching him play in 1999.
Bill Ordine returns today on "O, by the Way." Go to baltimoresun.com/ordine.