Tony Tuesday

Well, it’s Tony Tuesday again, just like happens after every Monday.  The below is Tony Dungy’s take on the whole Plaxico Burress situation. It’s from his blog at There’s plenty more there if you want to dash over AFTER you read this. 🙂

Yesterday, former New York Giants wide receiver Plaxico Burress began serving a two-year prison sentence for carrying a concealed weapon into a night club.  He became the second high-profile NFL player to be sentenced to prison in the last three years.  Amazingly, Plaxico was the toast of New York less than two years ago after catching the winning touchdown pass in Super Bowl XLII.  How could he be on top of the world one day and in prison so quickly afterward? 

Most people who know Burress say he is not a bad guy and, in this case, he really didn’t harm anyone but himself. The gun he was carrying accidentally went off and shot his leg.  Many people feel the sentencing was too harsh, but I believe it all comes down to decision-making. Plaxico made a decision to break the law, and that is hard to defend.  Now he is going to pay the consequences for that wrong choice. 

When I was coaching the Buccaneers and the Colts, my first message to the players every year was about decision-making in their personal lives.  I stressed five areas where they would be challenged as young men in making decisions, and how those decisions could impact them as individuals and our team as a whole. I told them 90% of the problems they might encounter would deal with: 

Being out after 1:00 am 

Alcohol and illegal drugs 

Guns or other weapons 

Driving over the posted speed limit 

Getting too involved with women you don’t know well 

Very rarely did one of my players over the last 13 years have a problem that didn’t involve one (or more) of these five things.  And this doesn’t only pertain to athletes.   Poor decisions in these areas are short-circuiting the lives of many of our young people who have great potential.  My advice to dads is to talk to your children about making decisions that will affect their futures.  

One poor decision in one of these areas can have devastating consequences.


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