2008 has been a year of spectacular ups and down for Plaxico Burress, a professional football star. His journey from riches to rags is amazingly similar to that experienced by professionals who play with other people`s money in the game of life on Wall Street.
The personal high for Plaxico Burress came at Super Bowl XLII on February 3, 2008. That game between the New York Giants and New England Patriots was the most-watched Super Bowl of all time, with an average of 148.3 million total viewers throughout the world watching some part of the game
It was also the second most-watched TV program of all time in the United States.
Plaxico Burress made headlines when he caught the winning touchdown pass in the end zone with just 35 seconds remaining to give the New York Giants a thrilling upset victory, 17-14.
The New York Giants were the improbable champions of Super Bowl XLII and Burress was a hero.
On the last business day before the Super Bowl and Burress` magnificent catch, the Dow Jones Industrial average closed at 13, 265.
The next big event for Plaxico Burress came on April 30, 2008 when he and the World Champion New York Giants were hosted at the White House by President George W. Bush in honor of their stupendous victory in Super Bowl XLII.
Plaxico Burress`s unbelievable high of February 3 began to unravel in May when the star decided that he was being underpaid with his $3.25 salary for 2008.
Difficulties continued to hound Burress in September and October when he was suspended for violation of team rules and fined $45,000 by the National Football League.
It all came crashing down with great finality on November 28 when Burress shot himself in the right thigh while relaxing in a New York City nightclub. His injury was not life threatening and he was released from the hospital on November 29.
On Monday, December 1, Burress turned himself in to New York police to face charges of criminal possession of a handgun.
His cause was not helped by New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg who demanded that Burress be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. Burress had an expired license for the firearm from Florida, but no New York license. Unlawful carrying of a handgun carries a minimum three and a half-year jail sentence.
Mayor Bloomberg must have simply forgotten the catch that Burress made in February to bring the Super Bowl championship to New York City.
On December 2, Burress posted bail of $100,000.
Later in the day, he was suspended by the New York Giants for conduct detrimental to the team, which means that Burress will not be paid for the remainder of the season.
In just ten short months, Burress managed to go from Super Bowl hero to the ranks of the unemployed while facing a felony charge for damn near blowing his own leg off with a hand gun.
For Plaxico Burress, the worse may be yet to come: His foolish gunplay could cost him 3.5 years in prison.
Meanwhile, the Down Jones Industrial Average on Wall Street has plunged from 13,265 on February 1, the Friday before Super Bowl XLII, to 8,419 at the close of business on December 2.
Pity that while Plaxico Burress faces a possible prison sentence for foolish behavior resulting in great harm to himself, the characters on Wall Street, whose foolishness has harmed millions of innocent Americans, continue to be beneficiaries of a government gone barking mad with bail out fever.