ATLANTA — Then, the number emblazoned on Michael Vick’s red jersey was 7.
Now, the number stenciled on his blue prison workshirt is 33765-183.
* * *
The last time the Atlanta Falcons and Broncos played, on Oct. 31, 2004, at the Georgia Dome, both teams had 5-2 records. In the matchup of eventual playoff teams, Jake Plummer threw for an incredible 499 yards and four touchdowns (with three interceptions), but he was outplayed by Michael Vick, who finished with 252 yards passing, 115 yards rushing, two passing touchdowns, no interceptions and a 41-28 victory.
Both quarterbacks are out of football, one by choice, the other by incarceration.
* * *
The federal penitentiary at Leavenworth, 25 miles northwest of Kansas City, Kan., became one of the two most famous prisons in this country’s history (Alcatraz was the other) because “The Hot House” housed the most notorious criminals — “Machine Gun” Kelly, “Bugs” Moran, serial killer Carl Panzram, Nazi spy Fritz Joubert Duquesne, Communist Party leader Gus Hall, bank robbers, murderers, drug kingpins and Robert Stroud, the birdman who kept and studied dozens of canaries in his Leavenworth cell — and killed a security guard there.