On February 3, 2008, Plaxico Burress was officially a hero in the metropolitan-NYC area. He finally found the right "fit." He finally found a place where he was loved, accepted, and valued for being the receiver he always knew he was in his heart of hearts. That was the beginning of his problems.
Plaxico became demanding. Demanding to the organization which was so willing to forgive and allow his irresponsible and negligent behaviors from Monday through Saturday to continue while his job performance flourished on Sunday. The organization eventually, and literally, bought in to Plax: Plaxico accepted a deal for $35 million for 5 years. I'm sure he thought "this is only the beginning of what I will do." He had all the good intentions in the world, but "the road to hell is paved with good intentions."
Plaxico quickly lost himself. It seems after the contract, he wasn't the same guy. He got what he wanted...think of it as a man (Organization) on a donkey (Plax) holding a carrot on a string...if he gave the donkey the carrot, the donkey doesn't have anywhere else to go in the donkey's mind. The money, it seems, disillusioned Plax. Instead of competition driving Plax to succeed, money became the motivation; once he got it, nothing else mattered.
If we JUST look at numbers, it is plainly obvious. From 2005 to 2007, he averaged about 69 yard per game. In that same time, he averaged .6 TDs per game. In 2008 post-contract, Plaxico averaged about 45 yards per game and .4 TDs per game. JUST based on those numbers alone, Plaxico was not the same.
Now, we can argue that he drew more double coverage or the passing game was not as important as the running game, and some of that might be true. We know that Eli made 50 less attempts last year, however, the fact that Plaxico only played 10 games would cause an obvious limitation on the offense for the remainder of the season. There were certainly plays that were drawn up specifically for Plaxico. For a player who has been a focal point in the offense to just disappear like that demonstrates my point.
Now, I don't know if anyone else is feeling this way but I am getting tired of all the talk and hub-bub over Plaxico Burress. Plaxico has done nothing since the Superbowl but further humiliate and alienate himself from all social and professional organizations. He has lost all credibility. He has lost all the hope and promise he had gained after that Superbowl win. In what could have become a Hall of Fame career, I truly believe that the gunshot wound he sustained was merely one big crunch in between many of a high speed slalom skier tumbling over and over down a steeply pitched hill. Unfortunately, it is still going. I long for the day when I do not have to see his name anymore about his court case, or even about football for that matter. What a sad, sad waste of talent.
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