As an NFL receiver, Plaxico Burress spent 12 years in the league, caught 64 touchdown passes, and the game-winning score in Super Bowl XLII. He also experienced the lowest lows the game has to offer.
As a result, Burress has a message for the players recently drafted into the NFL.
“If you want the juice – if you want to know how it really is – I won’t cut corners. I’ll give it to you straight,” Burress wrote in an essay for The Players’ Tribune.
Despite all of his football accomplishments, Burress may be best remembered for bringing a gun into a nightclub in 2008 and accidentally shooting himself in the leg. The violation of a New York law netted him a four-game suspension and the infamy that comes with shooting yourself.
It also gave Burress unique perspective into life as a superstar athlete.
“That’s one of the reasons you should listen to me. Because I’m living proof that it doesn’t matter who you are or what you’ve done. You could have it all – you could be living the dream – and then one stupid decision can change everything,” Burress said.
Burress had some words of wisdom to youngsters about becoming an overnight millionaire.
“I won’t tell you who to trust. I can’t. Because the only person who can make that decision is you. The only advice I can really give you is to trust your gut, not your heart,” he said.
“Before you take your checkbook out, ask yourself, ‘Would this person be there for me if I was broke, or if I wasn’t in the NFL?'”
When Burress entered the league, he didn’t know how to write a check and didn’t own a bank account. He soon would come to learn how easily he could be separated from his NFL millions.
“I’ve been sued more times than I’d like to count,” he said.
The article is a must-read for the 2017 draft class.
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