Have you ever had a boss who was real good at what he did but wasn't so great with the bedside manner? The kind of boss who was quick to tell you when you'd screwed up but never seemed to tell you when you'd done something well? Yeah. So have I. And so has Plaxico Burress. The difference is, once I was through working for the guy, I didn't wander around telling everybody who asked what a miserable time I'd had doing something I love for someone I didn't.
This is what Burress has done, again, with regard to New York Giants coach Tom Coughlin in an interview with Men's Journal. Burress talks, as he has in the past, about how tough it was to play for Coughlin because Coughlin is a tough, old-school coach. From the ESPNNewYork.com story on this:
"He's not a real positive coach," Burress told Men's Journal for the article that hits newsstands Sept. 16. "You look around the league, the Raheem Morrises and Rex Ryans -- when their player makes a mistake, they take 'em to the side and say, 'We'll get 'em next time.' But Coughlin's on the sideline going crazy, man. I can't remember one time when he tried to talk a player through not having a day he was having."
"I'm like, forget support -- how about some concern? I did just have a bullet in my leg. And then I sat in his office, and he pushed back his chair and goes, 'I'm glad you didn't kill anybody!' Man, we're paid too much to be treated like kids. He doesn't realize that we're grown men and actually have kids of our own."
Waaaah. Guess what? Coughlin is 65 years old. He's of a generation that didn't coddle its children. He's the kind of coach who believes he should demand excellence from his excellent players and call them on it when they don't deliver. The kind of boss who thinks asking a player to take responsibility for his own performance is treating him like a man. That might not be for everyone, but there are a pretty fair number of people who've had a pretty fair amount of success playing for Coughlin and others just like him.
Burress is upset that Coughlin and Giants quarterback Eli Manning didn't visit him in prison. Can't figure out why they didn't do that. Apparently, he hasn't considered the possibility that they can't stand him, and that that might have something to do with (A) the way he conducted himself when he was playing for the Giants and/or (B) the fact that he (not them!) committed a stupid crime that let them and the rest of the organization down, wrecked at least one season and basically left them all out to dry while he went away for two years. Somebody does that to me? And I didn't like him in the first place? I'm probably not going to visit him in prison.
If that makes me more a Coughlin than a Rex Ryan, so be it. My advice to Burress, when he gets his copy of Men's Journal in the mail, is to look at the first word of its title, the first three letters before the apostrophe, and think about maybe being one.