PHILADELPHIA — Michael Vick’s arrival in Philadelphia sparked angry fans with their dogs to camp outside the Eagles’ practice facility, holding signs and banners to display their outrage.

He faced a lengthy and rocky road to redemption before he ever threw a pass.

Fast forward three years to Wednesday’s scene at a Philadelphia sporting goods store. Happy Eagles fans snaked their way around the sidewalk, lining up more than 2½ hours before Vick was set to sign autographs and promote the launch of his sports clothing line called V7. Inside, a smiling Vick was flanked by members of a local Boys and Girls Club, giddy children standing side by side with their hero quarterback. Vick has already agreed to donate part of the proceeds to the Boys and Girls Club of Philadelphia. His autobiography, “Finally Free,” will be released later this year.

His NFL comeback was already a smashing success.

He’s mostly won over a skeptical public as well.

While there will always be staunch animal lovers who will never forgive Vick’s role in running a dogfighting ring, his life off the football field has never been better. He recently married longtime fiancée Kijafa Frink and he played with his daughter at Wednesday’s event. He’s among the highest-paid players in the NFL, is back pitching products, and he continues filming public service announcements to warn of the dangers of animal cruelty.

“It’s all about proving to the kids, it’s not how you start, it’s how you finish,” Vick said. “It’s still not over. I’ve still got to walk the straight line each and every day. I’m trying to do things that’s going to be appealing, and make sense, and allow kids to dreams and have ambition. To have goals. That’s what it’s all about.”




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