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News » burRess' misfire could mean his next uniform is prison issued

burRess' misfire could mean his next uniform is prison issued

burRess' misfire could mean his next uniform is prison issued
WE'LL DIVERT FROM the usual Wednesday Power Rankings frivolity to discuss a screaming irony of Plaxico Burress' current troubles: two felony counts of criminal possession of a weapon, a conviction for which carries a minimum of 3? years in prison.

At a youth Football camp in Norfolk last summer, Burress helped his friend, Bonita Harris, public information officer for the city's Sheriff's Office, make a motivational DVD for the jail's inmates.

Burress, 31, spoke of "bad things" he'd seen in his hard youth, how some of his friends never gave themselves a chance and how the prisoners should find a passion to pursue.

It's surreal to note today how Burress, whose behavioral issues had mostly been business related, has lurched perilously close to becoming an inmate himself.

And that's sober business, far greater than whether Burress, the wide receiver from Virginia Beach, is finished as a New York Giants player.

The team ended his season Tuesday by putting him on the reserve non-Football injury list.

When he accidentally shot himself in the leg about 1 a.m. Saturday in a Manhattan nightclub - the criminal complaint says Burress was "fidgeting" near the waistline of his pants before the gunshot - Burress reportedly did so with a pistol he wasn't licensed to carry in New York.

This means at some point that evening, Burress evidently decided it was a good idea to go drinking on a holiday weekend in New York City - reportedly laden with cash and jewelry - with a loaded, unlicensed gun tucked into his pants.

We'll see how this plays out legally. But from how things look so far, which is to say not good at all, Burress at the very least is guilty of staggering stupidity.

I don't know the hourly rate on bodyguards, but I'm pretty sure Burress, who signed a five-year contract extension worth $35 million in September, can afford it. Hire a bodyguard, hire a driver, avoid most every kind of trouble.

Instead, Burress packs heat in a public place, in a city where Mayor Michael Bloomberg is on a well-publicized mission against gun violence. Bloomberg is neither judge nor jury. But it can't help Burress when the mayor - tail feathers fanned - steps before microphones to rail against "criminals" who are gunning down his city's children and police in the streets.

"Because of that," Bloomberg said, "we got the state legislature to pass a law that if you carry a loaded handgun you (get) an automatic 3? years in the slammer."

The slammer.

The mayor continued, piling on Burress as a role-model gone bad:

"It would be an outrage if we didn't prosecute to the fullest extent of the law particularly people who live in the public domain (and) make their living because of their visibility.

"They are the role models for our kids, and if we don't prosecute ... them, I don't know who on earth we would. It makes a sham, a mockery of the law. It's pretty hard to argue the guy didn't have a gun and it wasn't loaded. You've got bullet holes in and out to show that it was there."

Burress just got on the wrong side of a determined man.

Professionally, Burress will pay a huge price. According to the New York Daily News, if and when the Giants eventually release Burress - and being put on the non-Football injury list on Tuesday was a likely first step - he will forfeit $27\\million (non-guaranteed) of his $35 million deal.

Burress, of course, would then be free to sign with another team - and someone doubtless would sign him - but there's the other irony. Suddenly, Burress' freedom is very much to be determined.

Tom Robinson, 757-446-2518, tom.robinson@pilotonline.com

new york Giants (last week No. 1, record 11-1) New York Giants (last week No. 1, record 11-1): Giants are pounding everybody and everything in their path. Their ability to ignore the extracurricular stuff that swirls around them is impressive. This week home vs. Philadelphia

pittsburgh Steelers (last week No. 3, record 9-3)

Steelers return to rightful slot as the AFC's best team after thrashing Patriots on the road. The last five games they've given up just one second-half touchdown. This week home vs. Dallas

Tennessee Titans (last week No. 4, record 11-1)

Chris Johnson (958 yards) continues to duel Chicago's Matt Forte (1,012 yds) for top rookie running back. Meanwhile, Titans can clinch first AFC South title in six years Sunday. This week home vs. Cleveland

Tampa bay buccaneers (last week No. 5, record 9-3)

This is the fastest the Bucs have reached 9 wins since '02. Underrated defense held Saints' league-best offense to 332 yards and 20 points, Saints' second-lowest total this season. This week at Carolina, Monday night

DALLAS COWBOYS (last week No. 8, record 8-4)

'Boys are back to playing like the powerhouse they were predicted to be - 69 points the last two weeks matches their best two-game output this season. This week at Pittsburgh

new york Jets (last week No. 2, record 8-4)

Jets still lead AFC East by a game, but rout by Denver let down those sucked in by their big win at Tennessee. Thomas Jones (138 yds) surpassed 100 yards for third time in four weeks. This week at San Francisco

carolina Panthers

(last week No. 9, record 9-3)

Miraculous, late win at Green Bay should do wonders for Panthers' confidence on the road. 11 TDs allowed in three weeks, though, is troubling. This week home vs. Tampa Bay, Monday night

baltimore Ravens (last week not ranked, record 8-4)

70-10 composite score the last two weeks makes Baltimore a team you don't want to play. Who gets Ravens next? This week home vs. Washington

indianapolis Colts (last week No. 10, record 8-4)

10-6 struggle against the Browns was odd, but keeps with Colts' theme of winning them close. Average victory margin in seven of their eight wins: 3.9 points. This week home vs. Cincinnati

atlanta Falcons (last week not ranked, record 8-4)

Falcons' 6-2 run since end of September is among the season's biggest surprises. Rising defense held San Diego to 201 yards, Atlanta's second-best showing this season. This week at New Orleans.

Dropping out: No. 6 Arizona Cardinals (record 7-5): Second blowout of the season - 48-20 by Eagles - makes you wonder. No. 7 New England Patriots (record 7-5): Five turnovers led to Pittsburgh rout.

Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: December 3, 2008

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