Monday, December 01, 2008

Santonio Holmes, are you paying attention?

First and foremost, we are very glad that Plaxico Burress was not injured more seriously by his (apparently) self-inflicted gunshot wound. Without going off on a tangent we are always saddened when someone with everything to live for is killed, or seriously wounded, by any means.

However, for all of his on the field brilliance last season, Mr. Burress is showing once again why the Steelers made no attempt to re-sign him at the end of his fifth season in Pittsburgh. In fairness it must be pointed out that it is not clear to us that Mr. Burress has violated the "Guns and Weapons Policy" of the NFL ~ that policy, while discouraging gun ownership, only bans the carrying of a weapon "while traveling on League-related business or whenever you are on the premises of . . . [a] facility owned, operated or being used by an NFL club . . . [a] stadium or any other venue being used for an NFL event . . . [and a] facility owned or operated by the NFL or any League company" ~ however we have shaken our heads ruefully more than once over the last few days at this significant misstep by Mr. Burress.

All of that leads us back to Santonio Holmes. Since being drafted by the Steelers Mr. Holmes has been arrested or cited by police on three separate occasions: disorderly conduct in Miami (May 2006, charges that seemed trumped up at the time and which we believe were dropped), domestic violence in Columbus, Ohio (June 2006, charges that were later dismissed when the reported victim ~ LaShae Boone ~ declined to testify against Mr. Holmes), and most recently for marijuana possession (October 2008).

An allegation is not a conviction, but how much bad publicity does Mr. Holmes believe his employers will tolerate? More importantly, does he want to live from one entanglement to the next? We hope ~ for the sake of the team and the individual ~ that the cautionary tale currently unfolding in New York resonates with Mr. Holmes enough to inspire a genuine change in his behavior.