He will long be remembered in Green Bay for one of the most incredible playoff performances in National Football League history.
And he’ll always have a place in the hearts of New York Giants fans for his game-winning touchdown catch with 35 seconds left in Super Bowl XLII … a victory he’d predicted earlier in the week over a New England team that was just one win away from becoming only the second team in NFL history to record a perfect season.
But what Plaxico Burress has worked hardest to forget over the last two years is that night in November almost three years ago when he accidentally shot himself in the thigh with his own gun at New York City nightclub that eventually brought a momentary interruption to his football career.
But now, Burress is back. And at 33 the wide receiver vows to resurrect his career.
“I’m going to play again,” he recently said with unabashed conviction.
After being drafted eighth overall in the 2000 NFL draft, Burress played five years with the Pittsburgh Steelers, catching 261 passes for 4,164 yards and 22 TDs.
He was featured on MTV’s “Tru Life,” documenting his rookie season. In his second season he broke the 1,000-yard receiving mark, gaining 1,008 yards on 66 receptions. But his best season with the Steelers came in 2002, when he set his career highs for receptions (78) and yards (1,325), to go along with seven touchdowns.
He also played in his first career playoff game, catching six passes for 100 yards and a touchdown. In three subsequent playoff games with the Steelers, Burress totaled only seven receptions, 123 yards, and one touchdown. Burress remained with the Steelers for three more years before signing with the Giants as an unrestricted free agent in 2005.
In his last three seasons in New York he led the team in receptions (209), receiving yards (3,227) and touchdown catches (29). The 29 Eli Manning-to-Burress touchdowns are the most by any quarterback-wide receiver tandem in the NFL since the start of the 2005 season.
Plax, as he’s known around the league, has caught at least 60 passes in a season 6 times and more than 1,000 receiving yards in a season 4 times. His most memorable game came in the cold in Green Bay when he caught a postseason record 11 passes for 151 yards in the NFC Championship Game.