The Jump To Conclusions Mat Has Way Too Many Footprints On It


Look, I’m not going to state that the facts out there surrounding Plaxico Burress’ shooting himself in the thigh aren’t there. It’s monumentally stupid of him to be carrying a gun illegally, only having a permit that had expired in Florida and at the very least, not applying for one in either New York or New Jersey. The fact that it went off in his pants suggests he has no clue about how to operate the safety on a gun, which is even more disturbing.

But I can’t help but sit back and want to smack the usual suspects like Bob Costas, Mike Ditka, and the rest of the NFL studio show crews make the usual suggestions about how players shouldn’t be allowed to own guns, and that they shouldn’t be out late after certain hours. Witness Ditka on the guns bit:

“This is all about priorities. When you get stature in life, you get the kind of contract, you have an obligation and responsibility to your teammates, to the organization, to the National Football League and to the fans. He just flaunted this money in their face. He has no respect for anybody but himself. I feel sorry for him, in the sense that, I don’t understand the league, why can anybody have a gun? I will have a policy, no guns, any NFL players we find out, period, you’re suspended.”

Lucky for us he never ran as the GOP candidate for Senate from Illinois. Jesus, who thought this guy would make a good senatorial candidate?  As long as he has the permits (which he apparently didn’t), it shouldn’t have mattered, period. The NFL is not big enough to where it should decide to take away people’s individual rights.

When I witnessesd Costas’ outrage on Football Night in America, I thought, “Spoken like a man who has never understood what it’s like to have to fear for your life.” It took Tiki Barber to correct Costas, by saying that many black athletes grow up in tough situations with gangs where they are protected because of their athletic abilities, and are used to a world where you have to protect yourself — you do not trust security people or the police. I don’t know if this is reflective of Burress’ background, but if you are a black man with millionaire money, you’re going to be wary inside and outside your home.

The situations are not comparable, as Burress was out on the town with teammates Antonio Pierce and either Derrick Ward or Ahmad Bradshaw (depending on who you read or hear)( but it’s silly not to think of how Sean Taylor was killed in his home and Antoine Walker was robbed near his home in Chicago.  Again — those are at home, but don’t you think you would protect yourself even more when you were out of you think you are a target? Yet this impulse seems to elude everyone commenting on the stubject before everything is known.

It is merely another string in Burress being a bad actor; it is part of a narrative to take missed meetings and fines and conflate them into something larger and more insidious. But the cycle hasn’t played itself out yet. Burress still has to be charged, and we have to find out his side of the story, too.  It’s asking too much to back off for a little bit though — there is blood in the water.

Having To Face The One You Love: A Quick Scene.

Scene: The visitors clubhouse at the Rogers Centre (fancy Queen’s English), as one particular Yankee third baseman comes in the ballpark much, much earlier before game time than usual, in order to clear his head and get ready, as the team continues to flirt with last place. When coming in from the players’ entrance, he notices beer and other bottles strewn and smashed around the locker room.

A-Rod: Jesus, this place is a mess. Did the Blue Jays just decide not to have the janitors come in and clean last night? (Walks to his locker, while someone approaches out of the shadows.)
Voice (slurring slightly): YOU DIRTY FUCKWAD. How could you do this to me?
A-Rod: What are you talking about?

(Derek Jeter emerges from the dark shadows, reeking of beer and holding a broken bat and a copy of the NY Post — in Toronto? Oh well.)

A-Rod: Jesus, you reek. Have you been drinking? What’s bugging you, man?
Jeter: This! (Holds up paper, visibly enraged.) Did you even think of me for one second when you left the club with her? You ditched me for THAT?
A-Rod (searches furiously for words): Jeet, Jeet….nothing, uh, really happened, I swear. She was just, um, y’know, interested in some workout tips after dinner and the club with the guys. Yeah, workout tips!
Jeter: It figures. She has better and bigger biceps than you do! You might as well have found another man!
A-Rod: You don’t mean that.
Jeter: Oh, you bet I do.
A-Rod (standing): Well, what was I supposed to do, while you go around gallivanting with the likes of every other twenty-something starlet that goes running around in your bed after you throw me out of your life? You and Jessica, you with Mariah, you potentially with Scarlett, the actress of the week, god, where was it going to end? All the rumors I had to go through!
Jeter: I told you those skanks meant nothing to me, Alex. You had to go and wreck it by saying we weren’t as close as we used to be. You had to go gripe in public.
A-Rod: Look, you wouldn’t acknowledge me. I had to say something, and look at the start I got off to. Then, I got cold, and the same shit came up again. I needed to do something. I needed to feel free again.
Jeter: You can bullshit all you want, it’s not going to help you.

(Manager Joe Torre walks into the locker room, observes the mess.)

Torre: Christ, I knew this whole season had been tough on the guys, but this is ridiculous. What the hell’s going on here?
Jeter: This, Coach. (Shows Torre copy of the Post.)
Torre: God, not another excuse for you to boot balls in the infield today, Derek.
Jeter: I’m going to fucking boot HIS balls.
A-Rod: Please. You couldn’t even try, buster.

(Jeter socks A-Rod in the jaw, and the fight begins, quickly devolving into awkward wrestling.)

Torre (shaking head): Maybe being fired won’t be quite so bad. Would you two clean up when you’re done, please?


party boys.

The photo above was sent to The Big Lead. I believe that is a bottle of Captain Morgan in Bears QB Rex Grossman’s hand, although others think it’s gin. Rexy looks like he’s making sure he’s got a little Captain in him before he gets his little Captain into the ladies (although his thoughts are probably on ESPN’s Rachel Nichols.)

On a more serious matter, apparently Broncos wideout Javon Walker is out in Vegas, blowing off steam after the Darrent Williams murder, and he missed the funeral, which seems a bit gauche on first thought, until you remember this:

Dude has every right to find himself in the arms of a showgirl or two after that.