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August 6, 2009 - John Mehno
When Plaxico Burress was with the Steelers, he had a habit of doing knuckleheaded things. He wasn't a bad guy; teammates liked him, and the coaching staff did, too, once they worked past the disruptions he caused. He just seemed prone to doing mindless things.
He obviously took that to an extreme with the nightclub incident in which the handgun he was carrying accidentally discharged.
What did that night on the town cost him? A slight bullet wound to his leg. His job with the New York Giants. Untold future earnings. That's a pretty high price to pay for carrying a gun to act like a tough guy. It isn't like he planned to rob a bank; he was carrying the gun for protection.
Burress was indicted the other day, and it looks like he will serve time in prison. His attorney put him on the stand to testify before the grand jury, a move that legal experts said was highly unusual. The strategy was obvious: Let the grand jury see that he isn't a bad guy, just someone who does knuckleheaded things. The ploy didn't work. Now he's probably headed to prison, which could end his football career.
Is Burress a dangerous criminal? Not at all. He's just someone who did a really foolish thing, a pattern that started when he was with the Steelers.