Michael Vick is back, and here's why you should lower your expectations

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All the talk about Michael Vick (Chicago? Buffalo? No, Philly) reminded me of an incredibly prescient e-mail sent to Bill Simmons, that I will forever remember because I made the mistake of fantasy drafting Jamal Lewis after his prison stint:

"Let me give you some inside skinny on him. Do not [ignore] the four months he spent in jail. I work in a jail and while he may not have been doing hard time, the experience will affect him. The food sucks in jail. We try to fill them with fatty/carbo laden food. He either ate badly or not at all. This is not like 'The Wire' where the CO brings in good food for the well-connected inmates. Also, most jails/prisons that have short-timer inmates do not provide weights. The liability is too high as is the risk of injury. Jamal may have done some cardio work in prison but due to a poor diet and lack of weights, he most certainly lost muscle. These top athletes are used to the best food, equipment, and staff to keep them in shape year round and Jamal missed all of this for a large portion of his offseason."

If you think about it, it makes total sense - football players are enormous and remarkably athletic for their size, so they have to consume enormous quantities of food just to maintain weight and muscle mass - for the 215 lb. Vick, likely over 3,500 calories a day. A quick scan of on the subject of prison caloric intake makes it seem highly unlikely Vick would be given that much food.

That e-mail was published just prior to the 2005-2006 season. Lewis played 15 games, and had the only sub-1000 yard season of his career.

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