When Plaxico Burress was busted for illegally carrying a gun in New York City in November of 2008, he had no idea how long it would keep him away from football.
Now, as Burress prepares to return to football following a two-year prison sentence, he says it took him a long time to accept just how serious a crime illegally carrying a gun is in New York.
“To go on the other side of that wall, to be on the inside of that fence, knowing what your world and life is supposed to be on the other side, when they close that door behind you, you say to yourself, ‘Is this really serious?‘” Burress told Fran Charles of NFL Network. “I actually said to myself a couple times when I first went in, ‘You know what? Somebody’s going to come and get me tomorrow.'”
Burress said he thought he’d get, at most, four to six months behind bars — a sentence that he could have served during the offseason before the 2009 season. In reality, he was behind bars for all of the 2009 and 2010 seasons.
That time gives Burress greater appreciation for the ability to play football.
“I love to play this game,” Burress said. “It’s definitely a privilege to play. You go out there on Sunday, where else would you rather be on NFL Sunday to come out of a tunnel, performing in front of millions of people? At no time did I ever think my career was over. I was determined to get back.”
Soon Burress finally will be back.