Plaxico Burress…You Can Go Away Now

Plaxico Burress is a jag. I’ve always disliked him. One of the best things about the 2006 Steeler Super Bowl win is that Plaxico Burress did NOT get his ring with the Steelers. Why, you ask? Because he’s lazy. No seriously, he is. Burress is talented, but he’s lazy. In the five years he played for the Pittsburgh Steelers I never saw any real effort. A ball is thrown a little high? He’s not going to jump for it. Little to the left? It can go out of bounds. He was a great receiver…when the ball was thrown DIRECTLY to him. That ain’t going to cut it in the Steel City, where we have Hines Ward, Heath Miller and Santonio Holmes (another benefit of the Burress split) who play their cuts out. It’s just not.  So when he packed it up in 2005 I think everyone said ‘Good Riddance’


In 2005, Plaxico signs a six year contract with the New York Giants that net him a cool $25 million. (One thing about the Steelers, Polamalu/Roethlisberger aside, we’ve never been willing to sign a big time contract…we’d rather let people walk) Good for him. At 28 years old, Burress made immediate contributions to the Giants and caught the go-ahead pass from Eli Manning in Super Bowl XLII. Everything’s perfect. He gains notable, and overdue, recognition as an elite wide receiver in the NFL.

Then he shoots himself in the thigh with his own unregistered hand gun.

Oh no, you didn’t misread that. He shot himself in the thigh with an unregistered hand gun. The police went to his house a week later to find MORE unregistered hand guns and the pants he was wearing that night in the club with blood on them. (Laziness factor again? I know if I have MORE unregistered handguns, I’m going to move them…and WASH MY FREAKING PANTS! or THROW THEM OUT!!) But I digress.

Blah blah blah months of controversy later, Burress goes to jail on September 22,2009 to serve a two year sentence. Yesterday, ESPN catches wind (from Burress’ publicist no doubt) that he plans to play in 2011 when he’s released from jail….and here’s my problem.

September 2009 court date

I’m lumping Burress with Vick on this one and any other knucklehead that can’t stay out of trouble in the NFL/pro sports. Playing football is a privilege, not a right. A lot of people get that confused. In 2007, the minimum salary in the NFL was $285,000. Which means Dennis Dixon, 3rd string QB for the Steelers gets at least that much every year. $285,000. That’s a pretty hefty chunk of change, ESPECIALLY in this economy. Seriously, think about it. Who wouldn’t KILL for a $285,000 job right about now? Plaxico had a WAY better deal than that … and he screwed it up. HE SCREWED IT UP. PLAIN AND SIMPLE. So did Michael Vick. He REALLY REALLY did. For an extra $5,000 dollars, which is about the cost of two cheeseburgers off the dollar menu to us regular-folk, he lost his contract, endorsements, ego and spent some quality time in the slammer. He screwed it up. All you have to do to collect your paycheck in the NFL is STAY OUT OF LEGAL TROUBLE. These two couldn’t do it. They screwed it up.

In my opinion, neither of these players, should be playing in the NFL again. Are they talented? YES. Are they exciting to watch? YES. Can they be reformed? ABSOLUTELY. They just shouldn’t get a chance to be reformed in the NFL. When you’re in the big time, making millions of dollars and living out what is UNDOUBETDLY your childhood dream…the ONLY thing you have to do is NOT SCREW IT UP. These players did that. Vick got a second chance with the Eagles (no surprise there) and Burress will, undoubtedly get a second one too.

Vick, back up QB for the Eagles in 2009

My brothers argue that once a debt is paid to society, they should be free to re-enter the NFL. That’s their job and they are good at it. Ok, let me break it down for you. Do you think those guys from Enron, when they get out of jail, are going to walk right back to a cushy CEO position at new company? Probably not. Do you think, in the hell-frozen-over scenario, if Madoff got out, anyone would trust him with ANY aspect of business again? No. Is Phil Specter going to be welcome with open arms into recording studios? Absolutely not. So it shouldn’t happen in the NFL. IT SHOULDN’T.

Just because you have a talent, doesn’t mean that you’re ENTITLED to use it. Everyone gets their shot at the big time, in their own fields, respectively. If you screw it up for STUPID reasons, then you’re canned. In the PR world, there’s no way I could just get wasted in front of clients, forget my presentation or not adhere to the rules established by my company. I’d get canned. I’d never be able to work in PR again…get where I’m going with this?

With the amount of money these athletes make, it’s absolutely INSANE to suggest that anyone should get a ‘second chance’ at this money. ESPECIALLY when so many people are struggling to make ends meet. All you have to do is NOT SCREW IT UP. Burress and Vick did. They should not be rewarded. There are PLENTY of players who would die to play in the NFL and would not have screwed it up. There are plenty of players with big personalities that don’t legally screw it up now. (Ochocinco, Shockey, Owens)

*Note: I’m not judging either player for what they did or did not do. Who am I to judge? I trust the justice system to handle these sorts of things. I’m just talking about a post jail career*

(Also, lets not forget that Burress just assumes teams will WANT him again)

What I really want is for Burress to stay out of the news until at LEAST 2011 and then we have this debate again, but something tells me it ain’t going to happen *sigh*

So what do you think? I know my opinion is a fairly unpopular one. I’d LOVE to hear your comments!

Talk to me people 🙂



4 Responses to “Plaxico Burress…You Can Go Away Now”

  1. 1 Scary
    February 5, 2010 at 10:04 am

    Whlie I agree with most of your post – I wouldn’t lump Plax in with Michael Vick. Plaxico shot HIMSELF in the leg. Not anyone else or anyone else’s dog. While I think it’s wrong that he carried an unregistered handgun, how many other NFL players probably do the same thing? I don’t want to say I feel bad for him, but he’s definitely being made an example of. 2 years for shooting YOURSELF? That just seems a little excessive to me, and sad really. Just when he was starting to actually USE the talent he had witht he Giants.

    The main question for me in this whole story is – why the hell was he wearing SWEATPANTS at a CLUB? Even at Penn State we classed it up a little even for the Phyrst.

    • February 9, 2010 at 9:01 am

      Seriously, you make millions a year and are rocking sweat pants to da club! and he doesn’t even put together that the elastic sweatpants band wouldn’t properly hold an illegal gun in place. He should have opted for the elastic band jeans like our good friend at howl at the moon. 🙂

  2. 3 Hessyboy
    January 7, 2011 at 12:29 pm

    Vick did horrenous things and he paid dearly for it. I would rather have him in the public eye trying to repent for his sins and showing street kids that you can do good in bad situations. He has done more to bring the underground world dog fighting into the eyes of most ignorant Americans. Most people think that stuff like dog fighting only goes on in other countries and the US has a good handle on these crimes. Fact is, dog fighting was huge and now it is decreasing because it was brough to the public’s attention. Vick has huge monitary debts to pay and better he get money from the public than in some back alley doing God knows what. Kids see him as someone who has a second chance and is making the most of it. I for one applaud the effort.
    Most athletes use savy lawyers and money to get them out of trouble. Why do Ray Lewis and Donte Stallworth get to play when they both took part in murder investigations? Why is Big Ben on his third chance after raping two women? Why are any athletes allow to play after they go to jail for drugs? I don’t blame Plaxico for carrying a piece. I am sure most athletes do, that is the way they are brought up. Just like Rappers and Country singers singing about gun realted crimes and being convicted of them yet they are still allowed to write.
    The bottom line is the NFL is a business, they can take a chance and hire anyone they want too. If I wanted to hire Madeoff or the CEO’s of Enron then I can. This is not a drivers license, working is not a privilege not a right. No one can stop someone from making a paycheck!

    • January 7, 2011 at 12:35 pm

      Thanks for posting! You bring up some good points–and yes you cannot stop someone from earning a paycheck–that’d be crazy! But what I’m saying is that he is NOT entitled to earn a ridiculously large paycheck in the NFL simply because he has talent. He can earn a paycheck anywhere else. I question his sincerity–as we both agree there’s a lot of money on the line and the PR person in me thinks it’s all saving face just to continue to earn the paycheck.

      I think there needs to be a distinction between guilty and accused though. Ben–while a COMPLETE and TOTAL shitbag–was NOT found guilty on either charge, in fact, they couldn’t even bring a case at first. Ray Lewis was not found guilty. I’m not discussing their ethics and morals–your right most athletes dont’ have many. The conviction is the difference for me.

      As you said, the NFL IS a business and it’s good for business to have the best players play–bottom line. I know Vick has been fun to watch this season–whether I agree with him playing or not and at the end of the day that’s all that matters.

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