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After shooting himself in the thigh Friday night at Latin Quarter, wide receiver Plaxico Burress has, in all likelihood, played his last game as a New York Giant.
Burress now faces ostracism from Big Blue, an almost certain league suspension, attempts by the Giants to get some of their millions of dollars back from him, and hours of knowledgeable criticism from callers on the ‘FAN. When “Steve from Woodside” thinks you’re a jerk, you’ve really stepped in it.
Plaxico, who turned himself in to police this morning, also faces a potentially career-ending jail sentence of more than three years — thanks to the recent presidential ambitions of Mayor Mike Bloomberg.
In 2006, while hunting for a national issue to deliver him to a position of prominence (all the better to play Electoral College spoiler), Bloomberg ushered through City Hall some of the toughest gun laws in the nation.
Now, miscreants caught with an illegal gun within city limits face a mandatory three-and-a-half year prison sentence. No questions asked.
In July 2007, Bloomberg made it crystal clear that he was not fuckin’ around. While announcing a public outreach campaign to alert potential shooters of their forthcoming jail time (featuring “GUNS=PRISON” posters), Bloomberg let it be known that his law — which even makes a legally registered gun in New York State illegal if it hasn’t been registered in the five boroughs — was the ultimate weapon in firearm protection.
“Last year, our Administration succeeded in pushing through a law that gives New York the toughest penalty in the country for carrying an illegal loaded handgun,” said Bloomberg. “Now, if you are convicted, you will serve a minimum of 3½ years behind bars — no exceptions.”
Still, Burress is a celebrity, so he probably isn’t headed to jail, at least if past performance is any indication. Last July, just days after Bloomberg’s tough as nails press conference, rappers Ja Rule and Lil’ Wayne were both arrested (in separate incidents) for criminal gun possession — and on the same night, no less. Neither man, you may have noticed, rots in prison, and both cases have disappeared from the news.
As for the Giants, who showed no signs of missing Burress during their 23-7 smackdown of the Washington Redskins yesterday, they are taking a “wait and see” attitude towards Burress and teammate LB Antonio Pierce, who, according to reports, hid the gun after Burress almost killed himself.
“We’re still investigating the circumstances of how he was shot,” team president John Mara said during a press availability before yesterday’s game. “I don’t know what happened there,” said Mara. “And until we find out exactly what happened, we’re not going to make any comment or make any decision about his future.”
The Giants face the Philadelphia Eagles at home on Sunday. No date has been announced for Burress’ forthcoming match-up with Manhattan District Attorney Robert Morgenthau. It’s reported Burress will be represented by the lawyer who successfully defended Sean Combs on a gun charge in 1999.