Ex-New York Giants star Plaxico Burress was released from prison today; Examples of other fallen stars who have made a comeback
Former New York Giants receiver Plaxico Burress was released from prison this morning after serving two years for the November 2009 incident in which he carried a loaded gun into a New York City nightclub and accidentally shot himself in the leg.
Burress, a former first-round pick, scored the game-winning touchdown in Super Bowl XLII just nine months before.
After two years away from the league, no one knows if Burress is still capable of playing at a high level. At 33-years-old, he’s attempting to revive his career at an age that many NFL players are thinking about retiring. Still, agent Drew Rosenhaus has repeatedly insisted that numerous teams have expressed interest in signing his client.
Last week, Burress’s old Giants’ teammate Brandon Jacobs said there was “no chance“ that Burress would re-sign with the team and that the Eagles were the likely front-runner, but today Rosenhaus said that Plaxico hasn’t ruled out a return to New York.
Burress will attempt to follow in the footsteps of these other fallen stars that were able to stage successful comebacks:
Michael Vick – Served 23 months in federal prison after federal investigators discovered his role in dog fighting rings in 2007. He filed for bankruptcy in 2008, was released in May 2009 and began speaking publicly against animal cruelty. Vick signed with the Philadelphia Eagles and took over the starting quarterback job last September. He led the Eagles to the playoffs and was the starting quarterback in the Pro Bowl for the NFC.
Josh Hamilton – Picked first overall in the 1999 MLB Draft by the Tampa Bay Rays. Hamilton was involved in a car accident in 2001 and developed addictions to alcohol and crack cocaine during his rehab. He was suspended for a year by MLB in 2004 after failing several drug tests. He got clean and finally made it to the big leagues for good in 2007. He made the first of three straight All-Star Game appearances in 2008 and was named AL MVP in 2010.
Kobe Bryant – As a married 24-year-old with three straight NBA Championships, Bryant was accused of raping a 19-year-old girl at a Colorado hotel. The case was eventually dropped, but Bryant’s image was tainted and he lost most of his endorsement deals. He rehabilitated his image and marriage and went on to win three more NBA Titles with the Los Angeles Lakers.
Ron Artest – Kobe’s teammate was at the center of the November 2004 brawl that spilled into the stands in Detroit and involved several fans. Artest was suspended for 73 games and was traded from Indiana to Sacramento to Houston. He signed with the Lakers in 2009 and won an NBA Title in 2010. This year, Artest won the J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award for his efforts to promote mental health awareness.
There’s no doubt that Burress faces an uphill climb to get close to the level of fame and success that he had with the Giants just a few years ago. However, Burress can look to these examples and several others for motivation and he’ll see that it’s very possible for fallen athletes to revive their careers no matter what obstacles they’ve had to overcome.
by Kevin Baumer
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Category: Views on the News