News of Plaxico Buress’ gunshot wound has spread more quickly than a California wildfire. Burress was the victim of a shooting by a man named Plaxico Burress. The receiver who caught the winning touchdown against the Patriots in the ’08 Super Bowl shot himself in the leg.
It’s not that odd considering attacks like this are typically carried out by people who love a player fanatically. In a bizarre homage to Narcissus, Burress inflicted an injury that had him listed as questionable for the Giant’s week 13 game against the Redskins.
While the bullet hit no bones or arteries and passed through his thigh clean, the reputation of the star receiver in anything but. Facing criminal charges it is very possible that within a few weeks Burress will be catching passes on the prison yard from cellmate Michael Vick.
With the nation in economic peril the entrepreneurial spirit of American peaked when it was decided that the “All-Penitentiary” expansion team would give the NFL its 33rd team. Burress and Vick were not available for interview due to hospital treatment and assignment to solitary, but it is rumored the two football players will be the cornerstones of the NFL’s new expansion team.
So where will the prison system get its players?
With the repeat offenses of such players as the Cowboy’s Pacman Jones and former Bengals Wide Receiver Chris Henry, America’s penitentiary system is thinking of absorbing such misanthropes into a work release program. Players work off their crimes by earning money for America on the football field.
The creative offer has caused a stir among players, agents, and fans. Previously charged with murder and in a contract year, even Ravens’ middle linebacker Ray Lewis is tempted by such appealing offers as a four-year sentence with good behavior. The plea bargain contracts also allow for use of all performance-enhancing drugs, enticing more top-end talent to take a second look at the expansion team in a quest for Barry Bonds like dominance of the sport and a tainted, but guaranteed spot in Canton Hall of Fame.
The team is also being advertised as a good alternative for college players who fail to meet academic eligibility.
The debate continues as to whether the team will only allow actual felons, or whether those who are anointed as thugs will also be eligible for the 53-man active roster. This feeds into the ongoing thugs vs. posers debate. For fear of being designated posers, and hence only eligible for the practice squad, a large number of gun-related incidents with football players are being eagerly anticipated.
The innovative decisions of the league on this matter are rivaled only by the AFL-NFL merger under Pete Rozelle. As NBA players take their brawls into the crowd and NHL players bloody the ice with fights that drive fans crazy, the NFL will not sully its reputation. These players will be corralled so that fans may view them with grotesque fervor like the circus freaks they are and that we long to be.