Amid this entire “Plaxico Burress Shot Himself In The Leg Like That Cheddar Bob Guy From 8 Mile” controversy, there has been a rather salient question: Why, exactly, was Plaxico packing heat in the first place? And no, “Suicidal Leg Syndrome” is not a valid answer (though Pfizer is making a pill for it anyway).
Though we can’t know the real answer unless and until Plaxico tells us, a pretty good place to start would be Plaxico’s fellow receiver, Steve Smith; according to Tiki Barber at NBC (via NEWSDAY.COM), Smith was held up at gunpoint as he returned to his home in a gated community after a night out with friends Monday night. Okay, Tuesday at 4 a.m., but whatever.
“Ah, but if Smith lives in a gated community, how could he get robbed at his front door?”, you might ask. And there’s a simple and kind of disturbing answer waiting for you (proceeding emphasis ours):
He arrived home early last Tuesday morning - the Giants had the day off - and he was held up, apparently by the driver who took him to his home in a gated community in Clifton, N.J., according to a league source.
Shortly after being dropped off, Smith had a gun pointed to his head and was ordered to give up his jewelry and cash, which he did. The assailant then left the scene, and Smith called police.
So, yeah, pardon Plaxico if he was feeling like it wasn’t enough to have a couple members of his crew packing. Now, granted, Burress went about it the entirely wrong way (even before he shot himself in the leg, which is inadvisable). For one, you should at least make sure you own the gun legally before you bring it out for a night on the town. You should also have a better alias than Harris Smith (mine? “Dirk Thunderf*ck”).
Give Plaxico credit for making sure his legal defense doesn’t chew up too much of his money, though, as he’s (quite coincidentally, we’re sure) selling his Rolls Royce on eBay. Is it awesome? Of course it’s awesome.
Nonetheless, if athletes are becoming targets up in the Big Apple, we’d imagine it’ll take a lot more work to woo free agents to the Giants and Jets - at least free agents who don’t feel like going home by 9:30 on weekends, anyway. See how well that works out.