With U.S. District Court Judge Henry Hudson handing down a 23 month sentence Monday, Michael Vick now begins his road to redemption

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To some, Michael Vick has lost it all.

He's lost his millions, he's lost his friends, he's lost his career and he's lost his freedom.

But the one hope he can hang onto is that he hasn't necessarily lost his shot at a second chance.

That choice still is his to make.

During his sentencing Monday in U.S. District Court, Vick said "I made some bad judgments along the way."

That was an understatement, considering he was making those statements while clad in the black and white striped prison suit he'll wear for the next 23 months, give or take a few for good behavior. While he might have enjoyed seeing dogs fight to the death in cages, he'll now face his own imprisonment, confined to prison walls and ordered around by those who now watch over him.

Unlike those animals he condemned to death, Vick faces no such death sentence. His life can yet make a difference for good; his legacy can yet be more than a prison number and a jail cell.

Twenty-three months is a long time, but it's not a lifetime.

The problem, however, is that Vick hasn't gotten off on a good foot on that road to redemption.

Consider his actions.

Vick failed to accept full responsibility for his role in what the judge called the largest dogfighting conspiracy ever before a U.S. federal court. And while out awaiting sentencing, he apparently used marijuana.

Some tried to explain Vick's problems away as cultural, others as racial. His lawyers claimed his marijuana use was an attempt at self-medication. It was really just stupid.

For years, the name Vick was revered around these parts. Even after Marcus Vick had his problems, folks could still at least point to Michael's tenure at Virginia Tech and all of his success. Michael Vick put Virginia Tech on the national map.

Fortunate for Tech is that it has continued to move forward, post Vick. Now the former Hokie quarterback must find his own way to move ahead, after being sacked on third and long.

How will that occur?

It won't be with his legs that in the past have left so many defensive players flailing at air. It won't even be his arm, which allowed him to be more than just a running threat and kept defenses confused.

Vick must now take an honest look at who he is, what he's done and what he wants to do in the future.

No longer will he be handed life on a silver platter.

No longer will there be teams of people around him to make excuses.

No longer will he get a pass for simple indiscretions.

"I hope that one day when this is all over that I can show everybody that Michael Vick is not the person you see or hear about in the media," the former Va. Tech star said in court Monday.

What he forgets, however, is that the media he now condemns is the same media while helped him make millions. It's not the media he needs to be concerned with, it's his own actions.

His former college coach, Frank Beamer, had this to say about Monday's sentencing: "What I think is good about today is we have a time frame for him to pay for his mistakes. Now, it's time for him to continue working to get his life back in order. I've got every hope and belief that's what is going to take place, and that we will have a successful end to this story."

As for the school, it won't remove Vick's retired jersey from its place of honor at the stadium and will not rename Michael Vick Hall, which was so named after a donation Vick made to the school.

There was a time when touchdowns and money could buy Michael Vick a lot of good will. Those days are gone.

Now the decision is up to him. He may play football again ? he'll certainly be young enough to do so when he gets out of jail. But then again, he may not.

More importantly it's time for Vick to grow up. It's not just about bad choices ? it's about understanding the difference of good and evil, and then choosing good.

If he's to find redemption, that's where he'll have to start.