Book Reviews

Book Review: GIANT

Right after the Miami Dolphins (I forgot to mention that I sat behind Don Shula on my way to Jacksonville for a business meeting this Tuesday), my favorite team is the New York Giants.  I went wild at Club ESPN in Disney World when the Giants had the miraculous fourth quarter that ended up knocking off the New England Patriots to win the Super Bowl.  To top it off, one of my good friends is a die hard Patriots fan, and ended up jumping in a huge lake and getting scalded by Disney employees.  I would not have had that much fun had the Giants been without Plaxico Burress.

Jason Cole, an excellent writer at Yahoo! Sports known mostly for his deep investigation in the Reggie Bush drama, spent some time with Burress after the Super Bowl, learning about his past and turning his recordings into a book titled, GIANT: The Road to the Super Bowl.  Even though Jason Cole wrote the book, it truly reads like Plaxico is telling you the entire story.  In fact, some of the grammar is so bad that I would not recommend it to a child still developing reading skills.  But for us older folk, you can definitely get around the elementary writing and truly enjoy the story that Plaxico has to tell.

Hammerin' Hank, George Almighty and the Say Hey KidGIANT would not be complete if Plaxico did not discuss the Super Bowl and all of the events surrounding the main event; however, do not fear that the entire book is full of just that one event.  Burress takes you back to his roots, growing up in a rough area of Virginia Beach with only his mom to care for him, often starving herself so that Plaxico would have enough food on his plate.  His upbringing has played a huge role in his development as a football player and regular citizen, and he discusses his hometown and mother’s influence at length.

But Plaxico Burress plays the sport of football, which is America’s favorite, and you better believe that he has a lot to talk about.  As a self-proclaimed talker on the field, Plaxico does not hold anything back in his interviews with Jason Cole.  He calls out defenders, coaches (like myself, he is not a fan of Nick Saban), and more.  GIANT goes through Plaxico’s early life to his college days and then to playing for Pittsburgh and the New York Giants.  Who would have thought that his best friend is Jeremy Shockey?  I guess it makes sense, since they are both Rosenhaus clients, but Plaxico did not start out that way.  He was originally signed with Leigh Steinberg, then switched to Mike Harrison, before he immediately dropped him and signed with Rosenhaus Sports Representation.  I bet Plax is upset that Shock is now a New Orleans Saint.

I really enjoyed reading GIANT, because Plaxico Burress left nothing behind on the table.  He was comfortable discussing burying his mother when he was only 25-years-old, talked about all of his injuries (there are a lot!), and even told the truth about where he truly wanted to play college ball.  That’s right, the University of Florida!  He did not have the requisite grades, though, and ended up playing a year at a Prep School before thriving at Michigan State.

Take the journey through Plaxico Burress’s life, if you dare, and pick up a copy of GIANT.  Worst comes to worst, you will hate it and be done with it in a few days…I promise that it is easy reading!

By Darren Heitner

Darren Heitner created Sports Agent Blog as a New Year's Resolution on December 31, 2005. Originally titled, "I Want To Be A Sports Agent," the website was founded with the intention of causing Heitner to learn more about the profession that he wanted to join, meet reputable individuals in the space and force himself to stay on top of the latest news and trends.

Heitner now runs Heitner Legal, P.L.L.C., which is a law firm with many practice areas, including sports law and contract law. Heitner has represented numerous athletes and sports agents as legal counsel. He has also served as an Adjunct Professor at Indiana University Bloomington from 2011-2014, where he created and taught a course titled, Sport Agency Management, which included subjects ranging from NCAA regulations to athlete agent certification and the rules governing the profession. Heitner serves as an Adjunct Professor at the University of Florida Levin College of Law, where he teaches a Sports Law class that includes case law surrounding athlete agents and the NCAA rules.