Sooner or later, just about every employer faces the problem the New York Giants are dealing with right now.
A very talented employee has problems away from work. No matter the counseling, no matter the discipline, this employee can’t seem to stay away from trouble. The employer wrestles constantly with the idea of the employee’s talent and production, balanced against the misadventures that bring distraction and embarrassment to his business.
The guy in that spotlight right now is Giants WR Plaxico Burress. He was arraigned (right) on Monday in New York on gun charges stemming from an incident at a Manhattan night club early Saturday morning when he accidentally shot himself with a pistol he carried into the establishment.
With very strict gun laws in New York, it will be a legal upset if Burress does not spend some time in jail over the incident. For details on the legal stuff, you can go right here.
The Giants will soon be faced with a decision on Burress. Have his personality problems tipped the scales against what he can provide on the football field?
Consider that Burress was suspended earlier this season because he failed to show up for a practice and there have been numerous other episodes during his time with the Giants. The headaches are something the organization put up with because Burress is an outstanding football player.
The fans and media want their athletes to be choir boys off the field and killer competitors on the field. It doesn’t work that way, especially in football where the game requires so many players on the roster. Pick any roster in any sport and there are choir boys and there are guys who get into trouble. Most of the players fall in between those extremes. But sometimes good athletes are not such good people.
This is a problem that every sports team faces, no matter the game and no matter where their games are played.
Years ago, the Chiefs faced a similar situation with CB Dale Carter. Drafted in the first round of the 1992 NFL Draft out of the University of Tennessee, Carter was a truly gifted young man when it came to athletic ability. Over the last 20 years, he may have been the best athlete to put on a Chiefs uniform. Carter was fast, he was quick, he was strong and he was fearless on the football field.
He was also fearless off the field and that led to many problems, a gun battle in Westport and several arrests. The Chiefs worked hard with Carter. They spent thousands of dollars on counseling sessions for him.
But always there were problems. Some became public; others are known only by people within the organization. Eventually, when Carter came up for free agency, the Chiefs had to make a decision: sign him or allow him to leave.
They had to sit down and balance Carter’s production on the field with the headaches that were sure to happen again off-the-field. The Chiefs decided one was no longer worth putting up with the other. Carter ended up signing a big free agent deal with Denver, where he ran into more problems.
Right now the New York Giants face a similar decision with Plaxico Burress. This situation will receive extra attention because it’s New York and it’s the defending Super Bowl champions.
But it happens in every sport and every city.
BIG 12 CHAMPIONSHIP TICKETS
There are a very limited number of tickets remaining for the Big 12 Championship Game coming up this Saturday at Arrowhead Stadium.
The Oklahoma-Missouri game is set for Saturday with kickoff at 7 p.m.
The tickets can be purchased on line at ticketmaster.com, over the phone and at any Ticketmaster outlet.
FROM THE PAGES OF CHIEFS HISTORY
On December 2, 1979, the Chiefs beat the Seattle Seahawks 37-21 in front of 42,160 fans at Arrowhead Stadium. On the road, the Chiefs jumped out to a 24-0 lead at half-time as the offense pounded home three TDs and K Jan Stenerud hit two FGs. QB Steve Fuller threw a 28-yard TD pass to WR J.T. Smith and RB Ted McKnight had touchdown runs of three and five yards. RB Earl Gant had a two-yard run as well. Stenerud finished with three field goals. Defensively, the Chiefs picked off Seattle QB Jim Zorn three times, as Gary Barbaro, Gary Green and Frank Manumaleuga all had picks. DE Mike Bell had a sack.
On December 2, 1990, the Chiefs beat the New England Patriots 37-7 at Foxboro Stadium. From the first series of the game, the Chiefs controlled this contest as QB Steve DeBerg hit WR Stephone Paige on an 86-yard TD pass. That helped them jump out to a 23-0 half-time lead. DeBerg had an 11-yard TD pass to WR Robb Thomas and RB Christian Okoye scored on a pair of one-yard runs. K Nick Lowery hit three field goals. Overall, RB Barry Word ran 19 times for 122 yards and Paige caught seven passes for 151 yards. Defensively, Deron Cherry and Jeff Donaldson both had interceptions, while Bill Maas and Neil Smith had two sacks each.
SAY HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO …
A couple of former Chiefs players like S Chris Golub (1954) who played in one game during the 1977 season, T Todd Thomas (1959) who played 15 games in 1981 and LB Lew Bush (1969) who played in 37 games for the team in 2000-02.
On this day in 1940, Hall of Fame cornerback Willie Brown was born in Mississippi. He played 16 seasons for Denver and Oakland and finished with 54 career interceptions.
Also born on this day in 1983 was Green Bay QB Aaron Rodgers.
OPPONENT NEXT/DENVER BRONCOS
Broncos CB Champ Bailey says after missing five games, he’s going to be back and ready to play against the Chiefs this Sunday.
AROUND THE LEAGUE
The NFL’s next game in London will feature the New England Patriots and the Tampa Bay Bucs in October 2009.
In Tampa, they are already talking like defensive coordinator Monte┬áKiffin is gone and headed to Tennessee to work for his son.┬á
AROUND THE REST OF THE AFC WEST
Chargers GM A.J. Smith who didn’t want Marty Schottenheimer, talks about his 4-8 team and its┬ástunningly bad collapse under Norv Turner.
Raiders┬á interim head coach Tom Cable says he does not regret the decision to go for a fake field┬á goal on Sunday against the Chiefs.