“I was always his biggest supporter, even days he wasn’t on, ’cause I could sense he didn’t have thick skin,” Burress said. “Then I went away, and I thought he would come see me, but nothing, not a letter, in two years. I don’t want to say it was a slap in the face, but I thought our relationship was better than that.”
Burress will always have a place in Giants history for his game-winning catch in Super Bowl XLII, but he does not have fond memories of how he was treated that season when he dealt with injuries that prevented him from practicing.
“It was hurtful that they didn’t have the courage [after the season] to admit they told me not to practice all year,” Burress said. “They let the media tear me apart, saying I was dogging practice, that I wasn’t a team player, all this [stuff]. The players thought I was pissing on ’em, and Coach Coughlin hated it because he was out of the loop: The orders came from upstairs. And meanwhile, he’s on the sideline cursing me out ’cause I got a ball punched out against Green Bay. I just stared at him like, ‘Are you out of your [bleeping] mind? I got a separated shoulder and can’t run!’ ”
Burress said he was treated like an “axe murderer” in prison, confined to a 23-hour lockdown. In prison, he said he received cruel letters.
“I was a human pincushion; they were like, ‘Yeah, we finally got you, mother[bleeper!]’ “ he said. “On the cover of the New York Post, it said ‘GIANT IDIOT’! and I’m thinking, ‘Damn, I went and gave ’em what they wanted. I’m just another gun-toting, famous black athlete.’ ”
Burress taunts the fans who took pleasure in his confinement.