armchairquarterblog

SPORTS LANDSCAPE Bill Sullivan

In THE SPORTS LANDSCAPE Bill Sullivan on June 14, 2011 at 8:47 pm

It’s another “He found God” story. But in these cases, they’re social causes, not religion that’s “changed the man.”

Plaxico Burress – recently released from prison after being charged with two counts of criminal possession of a weapon in the second degree and a single count of  reckless endangerment in the second degree — both felonies – is now counseling at-risk youths about gun safety. How charming.

Just like Michael Vick became passionate about animal welfare after being convicted and having served time on dog fighting charges.

I don’t buy either’s cause. Look no further than the player’s agent for these Houdini acts, complete with a media entourage and under the watchful eye of Roger Goodell. Think Burress is passionate about gun safety? Think Vick gives a hoot about animal welfare? How much time did either invest in these causes before their convictions? Zero, that’s how much.

These “for everyone to see” charades insult those who earnestly volunteer their time on weekends for causes without a media sideshow

Burress carried a loaded weapon into a nightclub and proceeded to party. One freak move and someone is dead. Why couldn’t he connect those dots? In Vick’s case, he watched animals torture each other, suffer and die for the fun of it, not to mention profit.

The very minute Burress was released from prison, the public was hammered with headlines like “Free Plaxico Gunning for NFL Return”…”Burress Rocks Retro Phillies Cap at Prison Gates”….and this gem from New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning: “Plaxico Has Served His Time Plus Some.” This last one makes no sense. “Some what” Eli? Maybe he’s miffed he lost his target on offense. Talk about shallow-mindedness.

I tried to sympathize with Burress but then I read his criminal biography.

-Two restraining orders regarding domestic disputes in New Jersey

-Defendant in a civil lawsuit filed by a Pennsylvania car dealer who claims Burress reneged on a contract regarding public appearances

-Faces civil lawsuit in Florida from woman who claims Burress drove his car into hers’, causing her permanent injuries

-Ticketed for four separate moving violations in Florida

-Then the accidental shooting in New York City two years ago

Somehow, I don’t think this guy gets it, despite serving time and missing two years of his football career. This guy is a train wreck waiting for yet another criminal charge to manifest.

Yet, all sportswriters care about is silly redemption. They don’t recall that January night when a stray bullet from Burress’s gun could have easily killed someone. No, they just want to see him in back in uniform like Vick, where the fantasy world of sports shields one from acts of contrition.

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