- The Washington Times - Wednesday, December 3, 2008

The self-inflicted gunshot wound of Plaxico Burress puts the Gus Frerotte head-butt all into perspective.

The infusion of perspective rarely comes easily to professional athletes, impervious as they are to the daily challenges that sometimes overwhelm the overweight mortals who pray at their altar.

Frerotte’s head-butt put the Norv Turner regime into perspective.

Or became a symbol of the frustration that permeated the franchise.

If you recall, Frerotte sustained a sprained neck after delivering a celebratory head-butt to the wall beyond the end zone late in the first half of a game against the Giants in 1997.

His extraneous action resulted in a trip to a hospital at halftime and a permanent place in the Redskins Hall of Stupidity.

Frerotte was not the first quarterback of the Redskins to be sidelined in a creative manner.

Doug Williams injured his back in 1989 after going one-on-one with a mentally deranged treadmill machine.

To be fair to the Redskins, Vince Coleman was undone by a man-eating tarp before Game 4 of the NLCS in 1985.

Coleman became trapped in the clutches of the tarp after the electronically operated cylinder rolled over his left knee and started to consume his leg. Before he could be extricated from his predicament, Coleman incurred a bone chip in his knee and bruises to his leg and had to be carted from the field on a stretcher.

The matter before Burress is infinitely more complicated because it is considered socially unacceptable to shoot yourself in the thigh in a nightclub with an unlicensed handgun, even if it is an accident and no other parties are injured.

Even the mayor of New York City is upset, although the discharging of a handgun in an urban environment is hardly unusual. It happens all the time. Or so it seems in the daily crime reports.

So that was a handcuffed Burress being led to his arraignment in the Manhattan Supreme Court this week.

This is the same Burress who caught the game-winning touchdown pass from Eli Manning in the Super Bowl 10 months ago.

Talk about frittering it all away.

That is all the wild-eyed talking heads have been discussing since the Burress hit the fan.

No wonder his agent, Drew Rosenhaus, was at his damage-control best while appearing on halftime of “Monday Night Football” this week.

“I’m very touched by the way the Giants have handled this,” he said.

It is in the self-interest of Rosenhaus to dispense as many hosannas as possible in the direction of the Giants because of the $27 million that is in jeopardy.

That is the amount of nonguaranteed money left on Burress’ contract, which now is in doubt because of the shooting.

Burress might serve as a life lesson to professional athletes if being oblivious were not part of the psychological make-up of all too many of them.

Burress was said to be carrying a weapon because of all the money and jewelry in his possession during his night out on the town.

That looks like chump change compared with the $27 million he could lose.

He possibly should have had a bodyguard in tow if he was so concerned about being the victim of a robbery.

Not that most professional athletes carry handguns for protection.

They carry them to keep up with the Joneses in the jock subculture.

A handgun is merely another piece of jewelry. Or an accessory with lead.

At least Burress, while wounded, had the presence of mind to search for a hospital that would treat him in discreet fashion.

Once certain assurances were made, Burress checked himself into the hospital as Harris Smith.

That alias lacks the pizzazz of Ron Mexico, Michael Vick’s alter ego, but it is the cover-up attempt that counts.

Burress could wind up just like Vick, doing hard time on the state’s dime.

That would complete his fall, if not put it all into perspective.

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