Friday, September 9, 2011

Plaxico Burress: New York Jets' Player Speaks Out

Statement Analysis does more than simply discern truth from deception. 

It often shows how a person thinks. 

Unafraid of dating myself, I don't like (nor respect) 'trash talking' that has become common place in many sports where sportsmanship is no longer cherished as it was when I was a youngster.

Here, we find a player willing to be published in an upcoming article, with plenty to say.

A New York Jets fan since I was little, it isn't pleasant to read of the trash talking by the coach, nor players.  It may sell well in our media frenzied society, but it doesn't set good examples for our sons.  

When I was very young, Joe Namath waited patiently, for hours after practice, to make sure every one of us kids had our autographs.  When Pete Carroll was with the Jets, he was passing the ball to rookie, Keyshawn Johnson who had words with the 5' 9" walk on, fan favorite, Wayne Chrebet.  Carroll saw my son, with his nerf football, snatched it from my son's hands, hid it behind his back, and threw it to Keyshawn.

Johnson caught it, stopped, glared at Carroll, and threw the nerf ball off the field, and walked off in disgust. 

Pete Carroll retrieved the discarded toy football, came over, without breaking a smile on that hot August afternoon, signed it for my son and went back to practice.  

I grew up with heroes like Tom Seaver, Julius Irving (Dr. J), and others who seemed to remember that with the privilege of athletic gifts and the ability to earn more in 6 months than a working man will earn in a life time, comes an expectation of decency.  

Athletes are far from perfect, but they should, in the very least, govern their tongues.  

Burress takes direct aim at Coughlin, Manning and fans

Plaxico Burress fires shots at more than himself in an explosive interview to be published next week.
The Jets wide receiver blasts Giants coach Tom Coughlin and quarterback Eli Manning as well as the team’s management, fans who celebrated his incarceration and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg in the October issue of Men’s Journal, which hits newsstands on Sept. 16.
Burress’ biggest target is Coughlin, the coach he butted heads with for four years with the Giants. When Burress shot himself accidentally in the leg in November 2008, he said Coughlin showed no concern.

After my situation happened, I turned on the TV, and the first words out his mouth was ‘sad and disappointing,’ ” Burress said. “I’m like, forget support — how about some concern? I did just have a bullet in my leg. And then I sat in his office, and he pushed back his chair and goes, ‘I’m glad you didn’t kill anybody!’ Man, we’re paid too much to be treated like kids. He doesn’t realize that we’re grown men and actually have kids of our own.

Here we see the modern measurement of a man; not by character but by the size of his paycheck.  Note that while he complains about his treatment, he does not take responsibility for his actions. Passivity in language seeks to remove responsibility.  His "situation" didn't happen; it was his actions that caused it.  Note that "sad" is an emotion of empathy, and "disappointed" shows disapproval in the action of the player who brought a gun into a nightclub.  Note that he does not appear pleased that "you didn't kill anybody" which is something most of us would be grateful for.  His statement about being "grown men" comes as he is doing what children are noted for:  not taking responsibility.  His language matches his beliefs.  
Note body language posture shows increase in tension, and that subject may have felt like he was in the principle's office.

The 34-year-old said Coughlin’s style rubs players the wrong way.

“He’s not a real positive coach,” Burress said. “You look around the league, the Raheem Morrises and Rex Ryans — when their player makes a mistake, they take ’em to the side and say, ‘We’ll get ’em next time.’ But Coughlin’s on the sideline going crazy, man. I can’t remember one time when he tried to talk a player through not having a day he was having.

Note that the coach did not support his player carrying a gun into a nightclub.  

The interview was done shortly after Burress was released from prison in June after serving nearly two years on weapons charges. Since then, he met with Coughlin and other members of the Giants during a visit to their offices in July when he was a free agent. Burress signed a one-year, $3.017 million with the Jets days later.

If you make $35,000 per year, and work for the next 50 years, you still won't come close to what he will make from September to January.  Perhaps with such privilege an expectation comes with it to act and speak like a professional and a grown man.

Judging from his remarks to Men’s Journal, it seems like any reunion between Burress and the Giants was never really going to happen. He said he was saddened by the way Manning treated him when he was in prison.

I was always his biggest supporter, even days he wasn’t on, ’cause I could sense he didn’t have thick skin,” Burress said. “Then I went away, and I thought he would come see me, but nothing, not a letter, in two years. I don’t want to say it was a slap in the face, but I thought our relationship was better than that.

Note "I went away" is softer and minimizing language than "I went to prison"

Burress will always have a place in Giants history for his game-winning catch in Super Bowl XLII, but he does not have fond memories of how he was treated that season when he dealt with injuries that prevented him from practicing.

It was hurtful that they didn’t have the courage [after the season] to admit they told me not to practice all year,” Burress said. “They let the media tear me apart, saying I was dogging practice, that I wasn’t a team player, all this [stuff]. The players thought I was pissing on ’em, and Coach Coughlin hated it because he was out of the loop: The orders came from upstairs. And meanwhile, he’s on the sideline cursing me out ’cause I got a ball punched out against Green Bay. I just stared at him like, ‘Are you out of your [bleeping] mind? I got a separated shoulder and can’t run!’ ”

Note "I was dogging"; we cannot tell if this is an embedded admission of his work ethic, or if he was entering into the language of others, which, when pointing to an organization, may be difficult to accept, rather than pointing to an individual.  "They let" shows passivity.  Was it "media" who said he was "dogging" (not working hard)?
In his own language, was he insulting his teammates to the press?

Burress said he was treated like an “axe murderer” in prison, confined to a 23-hour lockdown. In prison, he said he received cruel letters.

Note the continued victim status, this one by those who confined him (often for one's own safety) and by those who wrote to him. 

I was a human pincushion; they were like, ‘Yeah, we finally got you, mother[bleeper!]’ “ he said. “On the cover of the New York Post, it said ‘GIANT IDIOT’! and I’m thinking, ‘Damn, I went and gave ’em what they wanted. I’m just another gun-toting, famous black athlete.’ ”

Note that "human pincushion" is often used when describing verbal assaults, not physical assaults;
Note also that he identifies himself by income, gender, and now by race. This is often done as a means to deflect criticism.   

Burress taunts the fans who took pleasure in his confinement.

Note that he complained about being taunted earlier, by letters.  Here he taunts: 

“What are you doing now?” he said. “You still mad at your job? You still angry about your life?

His measurement of himself is by his paycheck, and here he taunts those who purchase tickets they cannot afford to see him play a game, allowing him to be wealthy.

’Cause I’m back living my life and enjoying my family while you’re still doing the same thing.”

Note that "my life" comes before "my family" which may be less than pleasant for his family. 
Note "doing the same thing" likely refers to their jobs which pay them a small percentage of what the subject's job pays him. 

This will not endear him to Giants fans, Jet fans, nor his teammates.  The interview may impact the team negatively.   I hope not. 

Burress also spoke about his feelings toward Bloomberg after the mayor publicly called for him to be harshly punished after the incident.

“The way Bloomberg treated me was totally wrong, stacked those charges so high I had to go to jail,” Burress said.

Note that he "had" to go to jail because Mayor Michael Bloomberg "stacked" those (distancing language) so high..."; not because he brought a weapon into a nightclub or fired it.  
He does not take responsibility for his own actions but adds to his list of those who are to blame which now includes the mayor of New York City.   Did you note the missing pronoun before the word "stacked"?  This indicates that he knows that the Mayor was not responsible for the actual filing of charges.  The subject broke more than a single law.   

The childish blaming of others, along with the narcissistic taunting and view points in life cannot make pleasurable living for his family, or anyone close to him. 

Perhaps he can meet up with someone more like his own personality...

They just don't get it
Plaxico Burress sounds an awful lot like LeBron James did after the NBA Finals when he talks about fans getting joy out of his problems:
Plax on fans who “took pleasure” in his confinement:
“What are you doing now? You still mad at your job? You still angry about your life? ’Cause I’m back living my life and enjoying my family while you’re still doing the same thing.”
LeBron on fans who cheered when the Heat lost in the NBA finals:
All the people that were rooting on me to fail, at the end of the day they have to wake up tomorrow and have the same life that they had before they woke up today. They have the same personal problems they had today. I’m going to continue to live the way I want to live and continue to do the things that I want to do with me and my family and be happy with that.

Although I wish to have a paycheck as large as either of these professional athletes, like many of you, I am glad to wake up to the family I have.  

The irony of where this will be published is not lost upon us:

Men's Journal."

There's a wonderful old movie that reminds us how few movies today are made with sizzling dialogue instead of gratititous nudity and violence, "The Philadelphia Story" which readership should watch (carefully listening!) and enjoy. 

Jimmy Stewart's character says about the upper class in which Cary Grant and Katherine Hepburn were part of:

"with the rich and famous, always a little patience..."

A great line.  


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