Down Plaxico Way

By Michael-Louis Ingram
Updated: December 3, 2008

PHILADELPHIA — What the hell were you thinking?

There were a lot of ways to begin this piece, but they all come back to that.

Plaxico Burress, starting All-Pro wide receiver for the defending NFL champion New York Giants, Super Bowl hero and prince of the city, went from big shot to long shot because of a gunshot.

Not from a drive – by or a domestic squabble gone bad or hunting accident where Bullwinkle decided to shoot back; according to reports, a presumably self-inflicted gunshot.

Apparently, Burress felt he had to carry his Glock to feel secure; but how secure can you be if the safety wasn’t on, dumb-dumb?

But wait a minute — since Glocks don’t have manual safeties, the only way it could go off would be the trigger being pulled…right? Makes you wanna go hmmmm…

Well, since I wasn’t there, I’ll take that last crack back; because I’m sincerely glad you’re alive after being shot in the thigh. Had you hit your femoral artery, you would have bled to death — and there would be a far sadder headline to report.

Then you would’ve been “a tragic accident” — a New York City euphemism for a minority killed by gunfire who wasn’t a perp.

But I want you to see just who is grateful for your asinine behavior:

Firstly, the local press. You’ve been in this town long enough to know the bigger the town, the smaller the fishbowl — and you already know this tank is loaded with media piranhas from the get – go!

Then, we have the national press, wire services, the E-SPINNERS who will turn on your ass quicker than a 45 degree cut. They couldn’t wait to carve your Black ass up and start polls on your status even before stepping in front of The Man.

You’ve seen this before; the ongoing Adam Jones nonsense; the special favor Matt Jones’ skin color afforded him in skating on a cocaine possession charge with very little media fanfare;

Hey even in your rookie days with Pittsburgh — the catch you made and spiked into a fumble. An honest mistake — but you know how quickly they jumped on that.

It’s not like you don’t know; you should know your Black ass is on double secret probation every time you step out the door and that door doesn’t lead to the playing field.

Sometimes it’s not fair, but that’s paying the cost to be the boss.

The personnel at the hospital were also thankful; at least they were until the celebrity blowback of your indiscretion came back to haunt them. Did you think you were special?

Or did you think not reporting a gunshot wound to a 6-foot-5 five Black man would slide by the administrators because he caught a stupid ball?

I can’t speak for any other state, but in my home state, all gunshot wounds are reported to the police. Who may end up losing their job at the hospital behind your bullshit?

Then we have Mayor Bloomberg, using the microphone as his personal light saber to gut you a few new wounds. Mind you, Hizzoner wasn’t so fervent on the “role model” aspect of things when Yankees’ pitcher Joba Chamberlin was boozed up in the Dakotas earlier this year, but the issue of illegal guns on the street is legitimate and your actions magnified it a thousand fold.

Last, but not least, we have your present employer, and possible criminal charges of accessories after the fact due to the Giants’ tardiness in informing authorities over the incident. If it is discovered Giants’ officials aided in this cover up, they too should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

This ain’t some Mickey Mantle 1960s cover my ass bullshit because the press and the fans like you — someone could have died. Namely, you!

But when the gun smoke clears, given the economy and $40,000 personal seat licenses, you are out a possible $20 to $25 million because of your ego and stupid decisions; and your career (pending how the Jints make out in the post – season) with the team is likely over…

Since there’s enough folks out there doin’ damage to you, let me just say this and be done; Plaxico Burress isn’t a bad guy, but he did do some dumb shit, point blank.

Winning the game stopped being a priority a long time ago for some in this league; it is all about business, and the fans for the most part have shown they will come regardless of who puts the jersey on.

Your talent won’t save you anymore and while you have the opportunity to earn big dollars, you’d better take advantage of it to the max.

So as you work through this dilemma, keep in mind the faces in that next media scrum and those among them who are silently happy that this misfortune has fallen upon you; because they resented you from the very beginning.

For everyone out there who balls and thinks their shit don’t stink (I can hear Outkast playin’ in the background), you better check yourself when you’re out there in those streets.

Because those same jackals smiling in your face will feast on your carcass once poor decisions take your career south of the Border…

…down Plaxico way.