A few days after committing the blunder of his life last year, Plaxico Burress sat in a Giants office with a look on his face that General Manager Jerry Reese had never seen before.
Reese had seen plenty — mostly disinterested looks through all the fines and suspensions levied during the course of Burress’s four years with the Giants. The lectures all seemed to go over, under and around Burress, but never seemed to penetrate.
Then on Nov. 29, Burress crossed the line. He accidentally shot himself in the thigh in a Manhattan nightclub with an unlicensed gun he had tucked into his waistband. Burress was charged with two counts of criminal weapons possession. Worse, his recklessness incurred the wrath of Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, who has made the prosecution of illegal weapons possession one of his pet projects.
As Burress sat in Reese’s office that day, there was no slouching, no looking out the window. He leaned forward, looking in Reese’s eyes, paying attention to every word he spoke. When Reese told Burress that he was finished for the season, suspended without pay and fined, Burress was visibly shaken. He told Reese how much the Giants meant to him, said they were effectively his family.
Today, Burress has no football family.
On Friday, the Giants released him, ending a productive but often trying tenure that crested when he caught the winning touchdown pass in the 2008 Super Bowl. Back in December, Reese left the door open for Burress to return, saying that if he survived a blizzard of legal issues, he could be a Giant in 2009. “Provided he plays by Giants rules,” Reese said.
(Article Source: New York Times)
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