Harry Carson Says Giants Should Stand by Plaxico Burress, Despite His 'Stupid' Actions
At least that's the opinion held by former Giants great Harry Carson.
As a featured guest at Tuesday night's Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year ceremony (attended by FanHouse) Carson walked the red carpet and chatted with reporters before heading into the post-ceremony party. Naturally, he was peppered with questions about Plax, and Carson spoke pretty candidly about the situation.
"(Plaxico) did something dumb, stupid, he regrets it, and I know exactly how he feels, but unfortunately he's in that situation right now," said Carson. "I hope the Giants organization sticks with him. Not so much to get him back on the football field, but, you know, Wellington Mara always said, 'Once you're a Giant, you're always a Giant, and you're part of the Giants family,' and I think that this is a time when Plaxico needs his family to support him. I hope the Giants organization sticks with him through this, regardless of what happens."
Carson went on to talk about how much Burress has done for the franchise, despite others' opinions to the contrary.
"(Plaxico has) been great for the organization; there are some people who say he's been a malcontent, but I beg to differ with that," said the hall of fame linebacker. "He's a guy who played much of last season with injuries, and he played well for the organization, so he showed his loyalty by coming out and playing -- he caught the winning catch in the Super Bowl -- and he hasn't really complained a whole lot this year, but he just did something really stupid."
A veteran of some Giants teams in the 80's that faced some off-the-field issues of their own (see: Taylor, Lawrence), Carson was steadfast in his belief that Plax could turn the whole situation into a positive, even eventually serving as a mentor to other players.
"There are a lot of young people who can learn from Plaxico in terms of what not to do, just like when Lawrence Taylor had his problems," said Carson. "I always said that Lawrence Taylor could be such an influential individual by sharing his story with young people as far as what not to do. And this is a prime example of that. Plaxico can go to athletes and tell them, 'You can have a huge contract and you can be a star, but you can't pack a piece.'
But in the end, Carson admitted that, given the dangers faced by pro athletes, it probably isn't wise to flaunt your wealth, as many of them do.
"(Don't) worry so much about going out to the club, but stay at home more," advised Carson. "If you're going to have a good time, have parties at home. Invite your friends over as opposed to going out. Reduce your profile. Ease up on the bling, so that people don't see it and say 'I want it' and they stick a gun in your face and they want to take it from you."