My Thoughts on Plaxico Burress and Antonio Pierce

JerseySenior Analyst IDecember 2, 2008

I think we need to take a step back for a minute.

Did Plaxico Burress do something wrong? Absolutely.

Was it potentially dangerous? Certainly.

Was it boneheaded and stupid? For sure.

Could his short-term career be in jeopardy? Definitely, especially as a member of the Giants.

But is it the worst thing in the world? No. Not even close.

Burress didn't shoot anybody, and probably didn't intend to, either. He didn't threaten anybody. He isn't known for getting into fights. Running his mouth, sure, but he doesn't have a history of physical violence.

Guns are fun. Actually, I'm not a huge fan of firearms myself, but I understand the appeal. I don't like High School Musical either, but other people do, and I get that.

Burress was, in all likelihood, carrying the gun because it's cool. He was readily willing to unload the piece, and he clearly isn't all that handy with it. He has a gun license, so it's not like he's completely trying to duck the law. It's just that the license was expired, and from Florida.

Yeah, he committed a serious crime and could face significant jail time. But that doesn't make him the worst person in the NFL, and I think he's getting too much heat.

He gets into trouble with his mouth and his laziness, already giving him a bad-boy image, despite no legal trouble. Then comes this situation, and it all blows up suddenly. We should have seen this coming, he's a bad influence, blah blah blah.

I'm not saying Burress should duck the jail time. He committed a crime, and needs to pay for it. The end. But he's not comparable to Michael Vick or Pacman Jones, despite what some sportswriters would have you believe.

And that's where the line has to be drawn. Plax is in the spotlight because he's in New York, his team is the reigning Super Bowl champion, and he's a star wide receiver. Some schmuck gets caught with the same thing, and it's just another dumb gun possession case. Plax gets caught, and he's THE reason why the NFL has a bad name.

He didn't threaten anyone with the gun. It was a mistake. He tried to cover it up in the hospital, another dumb idea, but that's it. Dumb.

You're not going to suddenly learn of the Burress family mafia or Plaxico's drug and sex smuggling business. The story's going to remain the same: He did something dumb because he thought it was cool, and now he's in deep trouble. But he's not a villain, just a moron.

And while we're at it, I'd like to clear the air about Antonio Pierce. There have been reports that he allegedly tried to hide the gun.

However, all these reports lead back to a single source: the New York Daily News. I'm not trying to bash their integrity, but it does seem odd that no one else has broken a similar story.

Meanwhile, there is no proof that Pierce did anything of the sort, and he's said he doesn't feel he has anything to worry about. He's under investigation, but that's normal: He was present at the time of the crime.

Oh, and the gun was recovered at Burress' house in New Jersey. Seriously, if Pierce was trying to hide it, couldn't he have thought of a better place?

The reliable Jay Glazer said before Sunday's game that Pierce has been cooperating with police in every way. I doubt he'd be so calm if he had any real involvement.

Pierce can serve as a great witness, but claims that he's also guilty seem to be blown out of proportion. And you know what? That's exactly what Pierce had to say about it. Details have been distorted. And until there's evidence to the contrary, why shouldn't we believe him?

But of course, people cried for his suspension as well. He was present at the time of a boneheaded act that is incidentally illegal, one guy thinks he tried to hide the gun, and people say he should have missed time.

Pierce didn't miss a game because there's no reason to assume he did anything. He has no record of such activity, and he's been cooperating with the cops during this whole ordeal. So...why should he be suspended?

The point is, nothing happened. Plaxico didn't hurt anybody but himself, and he wasn't trying to hurt anybody. What he did was illegal, but then again, so is downloading music from LimeWire, and I'm sure most of my readers do that anyway. (For the record, I do not; I'm fearful of viruses.)

Obviously, the two are not comparable, but my point is that Plaxico isn't evil because of this, and we need to slow down with the comparisons to other NFL villains.

And we really need to stop talking about Pierce. We have nothing on this guy, and even so, it's not like he tried to hurt anyone either.

If this "report" is true, he probably just acted in the heat of the moment because he didn't know what to do. He's not evil, either.

So Gary Myers, shut your mouth, and stop calling them the "Big Blue Bad Boys." Everyone has a little trouble. The Giants really aren't too bad.