The last time the majority of us saw Plaxico Burress; he was walking out of the Giants team facility at the Meadowlands, accepting his team-issued four-game suspension that would end his season, and ultimately, his Giants career.
Some may say that Plaxico’s reluctance to emerge into the public eye in the last few months may be a good thing, as he is avoiding more public scrutiny on a record that contains too much as it is.
However, in addition to avoiding the paparazzi, Plaxico has also been ignoring his employers’ calls for much of the last few months, according to John Mara, who recently chatted with Chris Russo on Sirius’s “Mad Dog Unleashed.”
“Jerry Reese attempted to contact him on a number of occasions and was not able to get a hold of him. And that, to be honest with you, irritated me quite a bit.”
We all know Plaxico is not the most diligent of athletes, but deliberately not acknowledging the man who is working vigorously to give you a second chance crosses into a category of ignorance very few can attain.
Mara also conceded that he was not too optimistic that Burress would be playing for the Giants in 2009, but was still willing to give Burress a chance to work things out, which is why he waited several months before finally releasing him.
Mara would not say that Plax’s conflict off the field directly cost the Giants a chance to repeat as World Champions, but did reiterate that things could have been different if remained active.
“I think we certainly were hurt without having him in there because he's such a talented player and he'd always seem to have a good game against the Eagles, for example, and obviously we did not play well against them in the playoffs.”
As is the Giants custom, Mara did not have a parting shot for Plaxico Burress. Instead, he marveled at all the talent Plaxico possesses and wonders what could have been if he stayed out of trouble.
“And he's a tremendous talent and that's the crime of it all. He really has a lot of talent. He can be one of the great players in this league. I mean, if he was able to stay here and continue his career here and stay out of trouble, there would have been billboards in Times Square with his picture on them. I think he's that good and had that much charisma and everything.”
Unfortunately for the Giants family, Plaxico will never have that chance to reach that potential.
However, Giants fans should always be inclined to look back at Burress’s time with the Giants fondly. He was a key component in a generally successful Giants offense in his time in New York, and helped bring home a championship no one will ever forget.