Sunday, December 25, 2011
Plax. That one name conjured up so much sadness and pity when I got the assingment to shoot him for Mens Journal magazine. Plaxico Burress was one of the highest paid, best receivers in the NFL when he carried a loaded gun into a manhattan nightclub, where it accidentally fired while in hist waistband, striking himself in the leg. NYC has the toughest gun laws in the country, with a mandatory 3 year prison sentence for having a gun in the city. Even you or I, if found with a gun, even if legal outside manhattan, would face a 3 year prison sentence if found with it. I remember when i got the assingment, i remembered very well all the press when he was arrested back in 2008, thinking "what a bummer, from catching the winning touchdown pass in the superbowl, top of your game making millions, and a simple stupid mistake takes it all away." When I photographed him in July, he had only been out of prison for a month, so he was still enjoying all that he lost. His daughter, now 2, he was bonding with, as she was born while he was in prison. No amount of money could ever bring that back...we spent the better part of the afternoon on a football field doing portraits in the 100 degree heat for the story opener, then went inside to do a studio shot on a background as a backup. When he was changing his shirt for the inside shot, i saw the big tattoo on his back, "everything happens for a reason", and instantly knew that that was the picture. I asked Plax if he got it after the gun incident, and he said no, he had had it along time. I really liked him and our time together that day. I fully expected to meet a thuggish guy, with the gun incident and everything, but he wasnt like that at all, just a normal dude that made a major mistake and paid his price, no ready to move on. I've been watching him all season, as he signed with the jets, and have been so happy for him that he had a great season and is climbing back to where he was.
Posted by nathaniel at 5:37 AM