This web of lies that is surrounding Plaxico Burress and his ventilated right thigh just keeps getting wider and stickier. As of this morning, it has now ensnared his wife, two doctors, an entire hospital, half of New York's backfield, and the guy who lights the Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center. (I never trusted him.) But the focus right now, is on Antonio Pierce—who appears to be ready to sing—and the team executive that got the first phone call from the nightclub that night. WHAT DID THE GIANTS KNOW AND WHEN DID THEY KNOW IT?
That executive is Ronnie Barnes, the team's vice president of medical services (i.e. head trainer), who Pierce apparently keeps on speed dial for just such emergencies. Barnes told Pierce to go to New York-Presbyterian Hospital, because it was next door to the Hospital for Special Surgery, which is where Dr. Mark Drakos was on call. He's an orthopedic surgeon who has worked with the Giants before.
According to the Giants, Drakos examined Burress and then called Barnes himself "to make certain he (Barnes) was aware of the situation." What no one seems to have an answer for, however, is why the other doctor, Josyann Abisaab, who has no affiliation with the Giants and does not work at the hospital (though she did have "privileges" there) showed up unannounced, uninvited (according to the team), began treating Burress and then admitted him to the hospital under a name she knew to be fake. Oh, and Barnes showed up at the hospital too, and had to be pretty well aware of what was going on there. Now investigators want to talk to everybody, because none of their stories seem to match (or make much sense.)
That part of the story becomes much more hilarious when you read this alumni profile of Barnes, who is not a doctor, but has been a trainer with the Giants since 1980, after getting his master's degree from (yes!) Michigan State.
He is considered a lifesaver by some, including Giants assistant coach Pat Flaherty, who told the New York Times it was Barnes who prodded him to undergo tests that uncovered a cancerous tumor. “If he had waited until the end of the season he wouldn’t have made it,” Barnes says.
Barnes, 54, cares so deeply about the bodies of the Giants that he’s come to represent the team’s soul.
But we're not done yet! There is also talk about Burress' wife, Tiffany. She drove to Pierce's house the next day to pick up the illegal gun and take it back to her home, even though she is a freakin' lawyer and if anyone involved in this entire stupid mess should have known better, it would have been her.
Oh, and the Player's Association is working their magic by pretending that Plaxico's four-game suspension was somehow unjustified. They're filing an appeal. I know they kind of have to do this stuff, but ... come on, guys.
Finally, the New York Post is saying that Pierce plans to take our advice and testify against Burress in front of the grand jury (he doesn't have much choice, really) sparing himself from gun charges and virtually guaranteeing that Burress goes down. (Or pleads out, which is what's going to happen anyway.) Did you get all of that? Because I'm exhausted.
Police probe Giants for delay of game in Plaxico Burress shooting [NY Daily News]
TEAMMATE WILL TACKLE BURRESS [NY Post]
From Britney to Plaxico: Hospital gives special treatment to celebrities [NYDN]
Healer of Giants [East Carolina U.]
Pro Athletes Should Listen To Don On Guns [Indy Cornrows]
NY Post's Steve Serby's Standards = Low...Pics of Antonio Pierce's Neglected Dog [Bob's Blitz]