You really have to wonder about what's going on with New York-type football players these days.
Two years ago, Giants Super Bowl hero Plaxico Burress shoots himself in the leg. Sunday, Giants running back Brandon Jacobs aims a thrown helmet at the bench and it ends up as a stands-bound projectile.
And this morning, Jets wide receiver Braylon Edwards gets pinched for blowing a .16 alcohol level – twice the statutory limit – at 5 a.m., with a passenger in his car, no less. This in a city that has a limitless supply of cabs and a team that employs the NFL's Player Protect program, a system where the team provides transportation for any player who feels the need to get a load on.
We all know what happened to Burress. He's serving his whole two-year sentence behind bars, his application for work-release being denied earlier this month. Jacobs could face a league fine for the helmet toss, despite his claims that it was quite accidental that it landed beyond his original intentions.
And Edwards, fresh off a fine showing in a win over the Patriots, will certainly incur a first-time offense league penalty of a major fine, counseling, and unannounced urine testing. But if the Jets listen at all to public opinion, they, too, will levy their own penalty in the form of a multi-game suspension to drive home the point to the kids of all those grownups who bought Woody Johnson's PSLs that drinking and driving is not okay, even if you did catch a touchdown pass.
There's something strange that happens to these guys when they come to the big city. The Idiot Quotient rises to enormous levels. Perhaps it's the increased glare of the spotlight that makes a guy like Jacobs – a tempermental sort to begin with – do something so immature that even a 10-year-old would glare at him. Yes, he's frustrated that he lost his starting job. He was angry, too, that Tom Coughlin had just chewed him out for turning a sure, straight-ahead gainer into an east-west negative run which, by the way, was the chronic reason he lost his starting job to begin with.
So take that frustration and go out and flatten a linebacker. Better to knock a cornerback or safety into the stands than flinging your helmet there. Much safer for the fans.
As for Edwards, he came to the Jets from Cleveland with his own luggage. Louis Vuitton. Belted out one of LeBron James' friends in a nightclub and pleaded guilty to aggravated disorderly conduct in return for a suspended jail sentence, probation, and a $1,000 fine. Now he's roaming around Manhattan, which contains even more Idiot Quotient landmines than The Flats. Even Edwards spoke about the dangers of the big city.
"You can easily get caught up in doing too much New York," Edwards told a GQ Magazine blog. "But you've got to manage it, understand your reason for being here."
Guess the message got a little blurred.
New York does something to these guys. The spotlight makes them stupid.
And lucky. Lucky they didn't hurt someone else while they were hurting their own bodies and images.
Has Plaxico taught them nothing?
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