Kallas Remarks by Steve Kallas
It would be very difficult to call the last few years of the New York Giants the Plaxico Burress Era. But everyone understands what a huge factor Burress has been for the Giants. What he did last year against the Packers (11 catches for 154 yards on the road on a cold day in the playoffs), his Super Bowl-winning catch against the unbeatable Patriots and his ability to draw double teams on numerous plays in virtually every game is something that will not be replaced by any receiver on this Giants team.
Having said that, the Giants fined him here and looked the other way there, suspended him for a game, but always with THEIR eye on the prize – a Super Bowl victory. The Giants and their fans got just that; Burress got his ring and his money – and he still never saw the light.
So the Giants, on Tuesday (this is being written on Wednesday evening), have essentially cut ties with Plaxico. Despite a staged plea by his agent on Monday Night Football and, despite a more appropriate plea by his lawyer, Ben Brafman (innocent until proven guilty, let the legal process continue, etc.), the Giants and their fans had had enough and you won’t see Burress in a Giants uniform this season or, probably, ever again. Mayor Bloomberg piling on certainly didn’t help Burress either.
WHERE DOES THIS REALLY LEAVE THE GIANTS?
Well, it’s true that the Giants have won this season without Burress. The problem, of course, is that Burress is such a threat in a big game and the Giants may miss him most in a huge game. It’s not hard to picture a playoff game, Giants down six late in the game, down near the opponent’s goal line and, when they can’t punch it in on the ground, who’s going to catch that fade or jump ball that Eli throws up in the corner of the end zone? That’s, potentially, a season-ending problem.
Or, late in the game, the Giants have to march 80 yards and Eli, in trouble, essentially throws it up for grabs. If you’ve got Plaxico Burress or Randy Moss or not too many other receivers, you’ve at least got a fighting chance. But without the 6’5” receiver to go up and catch poor throws or prayer throws or throws up for grabs over those smaller DBs, what’s going to happen?
Can the Giants win the Super Bowl without Plaxico? Absolutely. But, until that happens, there may very well be, in a close playoff game, that key moment where he won’t be there. And that could spell disaster.
WILL ANTONIO PIERCE BE THERE?
You’d like to think that he will be there. Whatever he did, it certainly seems that he didn’t know that Burress had a gun. While the police are livid that NFL Security didn’t bring Pierce in as promised, once Pierce got smart and got a lawyer, he wasn’t going to speak to anyone until his lawyer is ready to bring him in. NFL Security doesn’t represent Pierce. So the notion that they could “produce” Pierce for a meeting with the NYPD was ridiculous on this fact pattern.
It does seem that Pierce’s lawyer should be able to work something out where he tells the truth and no charges are brought against him. The problem in the Giants locker room could have eventually had Pierce pitted against Burress. The Giants, well aware of this, ended that problem by, essentially, cutting Burress loose.
SO, ERA OR ERROR?
Well, this was a profitable deal for both sides until this past weekend. The Giants already have one (minor miracle) Super Bowl and still might be the favorite in another. Their road to the Super Bowl and winning another one would have been easier on the field with Burress. But this year (fines, suspensions, missed this meeting, late for that, take my kid to school, etc.,etc.) went from the ridiculous to the sublime when he shot himself over the weekend.
Even if the Giants had plans to deal with all the absurdity and distractions (and it seemed that they did) before this weekend, their plans went up in smoke on the East Side of Manhattan early Saturday morning.
So the era of Plaxico, as it were, officially ended today. Unfortunately for him, his error is going to negatively hurt him and his family (and others) for days, weeks, months and, probably, years.
© Copyright 2008 by Steve Kallas. All rights reserved.