(a rare photo of Plax not catching a football, shooting himself in the leg or ignoring phone calls from Jeff Feagles in the Lowe’s parking lot)
Do any of us really care about Giants punter Jeff Feagles being slighted? Probably not, but if the slight in question provides a national magazine (and by extension, this blog) an opportunity to kick firearms felon / WR Plaxico Burress when he’s down, let the cutting and pasting commence. As such, I have no idea what would possess Sports Ilustrated’s Matt Dollinger to approach Feagles on the matter of the various jersey numbers he’s worn during a 23 year NFL tenure, but assuming no one cares about Plax adjusting to a post-prison life, here’s the story :
Feagles admits he’s never been too attached to his number. He’d worn No. 10 for as long as he could remember, but didn’t mind handing it over to a rookie when the Giants drafted Eli Manning in 2004.
As is customary in the NFL, Manning compensated Feagles for the numeral — but not with a load of cash. Instead, the rookie sent the veteran and his family on a week-long, all-expenses-paid vacation to Florida.
After giving Manning his number, Feagles was headed into his 17th season in the league. Thus, he decided to switch to No. 17 as a tribute. But a year later another new teammate came knocking for his number. This time it was Plaxico Burress, who had signed with the Giants on March 17 and thought it would be fitting for him to wear No. 17 for his new team.
“I said, ‘you know what, why don’t we do the same deal that I did with Eli,'” Feagles said. “Except I’m kind of re-doing my outdoor kitchen, so I basically told him if he could pay for it we’d be good.”
Instead of striking the deal himself with Feagles, Burress unleashed his agent, Drew Rosenhaus, to negotiate the exchange.
With Burress wearing No. 17, Feagles was numberless once again. In search of his third number in three years, he went with No. 18, this time in honor of his 18th season in the league.
Three years later, Burress is no longer a Giant and Feagles ended up financing his own kitchen. Feagles told SI.com recently that Burress (who was released by the Giants in 2009) stiffed him.
“I never got paid for it,” Feagles said. “I asked [Burress] for it. Every time I went to Drew he said, ‘That’s between you and Plax.’ Bottom line, I never got paid. He basically stole my number.”
Are we to believe that Feagles has never had professional representation of his own? Or that presenting his former teammate with an invoice would be so difficult? What’s the worst thing that could happen? It’s not as though Plax has proven himself to be an expert marksman.