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North Philly Youth Football Field Gets A Michael Vick Makeover

(Team Vick Field, on the day of its dedication in Hunting Park.  Credit: Mike DeNardo)

(Team Vick Field, on the day of its dedication in Hunting Park. Credit: Mike DeNardo)

Mike DeNardo Mike DeNardo
Mike DeNardo, a veteran of KYW Newsradio for more than 25 years,...
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By Mike DeNardo

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The North Philadelphia Aztecs finally have a place to call home.  Their refurbished gridiron in Hunting Park was rededicated this morning as “Team Vick Field.”

It’s a rebirth for the once-dilapidated, muddy youth football field, thanks in part to Eagles’ quarterback Michael Vick.

Michael Vick cut the ribbon on the field that bears his name.

“Embrace this,” he told the crowd.  “This belongs to you.  Take it and run with it.”

Vick  (below right) says he’s not from Philadelphia but is glad his efforts can provide some lasting inspiration for the kids who live here.

Brightly painted yard lines on fresh artificial turf greet members of the youth football teams now.  It’s a far cry from the muddy mess that Eagles’ legend Ron Jaworski remembers.

“I was with them about five months ago on a cold, blustery day here, doing a photo shoot,” Jaworski recalled, “and I was up to my ankles in mud.  In mud with all of these kids running around throwing the ball, having fun.”

The Jaws Youth Playbook and the Team Vick Foundation were among the funders of the $1.4-million renovation.

City parks and recreation commissioner Mike DeBerardinis says it’s an ongoing effort to bring new life to Hunting Park.

“This is just the end of phase one.  Phase two will be new lighting, (and) we’re going to do a lot with the traffic,” DeBerardinis tells KYW Newsradio.

(Michael Vick addresses the crowd at the "Team Vick Field" dedication.  Credit: Mike DeNardo)

(Michael Vick addresses the crowd at the “Team Vick Field” dedication. Credit: Mike DeNardo)

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