One of the most impactful events in recent Giants history occurred not on a football field or even in an NFL complex. This event occurred at the Latin Quarter, a Manhattan nightclub, on Friday, November 28, 2008. Wide-receiver Plaxico Burress who caught the Super Bowl winning touchdown a few months prior was at the nightclub when Burress shot himself in his leg. In those few seconds when Burress’s gun discharged to Burress’s gun falling to the floor derailed the Giants 2008 season and a chance to repeat as Super Bowl champions.
Big Blue was 11-1 and already had a spot claimed in the NFC playoffs before the Burress incident. After these events, the G-Men were 2-3 and eventually were one and done as the Giants lost to the Philadelphia Eagles in the playoffs. The offense could not score over 20 points in any of their losses and the monster of a Giants team was derailed by one incident. Effects could still be felt today because it would have been difficult to force Tom Coughlin to resign if had three or more Super Bowl rings.
Kyle Lauletta’s was arrested for several traffic violations and reportedly almost ran over a police officer. This arrest could have short term and long term effects that could impact the Giants for the next decade. In the short term, any chance of Lauletta replacing Eli Manning as the quarterback has been greatly diminished. A quarterback needs to make good decisions and Lauletta showed in his personal life that he is capable of making horrible decisions. The evaluation of Lauletta will now occur off the field in a courtroom instead of against an NFL defense.
Lauletta’s actions now have totally changed the Giants draft strategy. Instead of seeing if Big Blue has a serviceable quarterback to replace Eli on the roster now the brass will now have to add a backup quarterback to their list of laundry needs. Instead of getting a pass rusher or offensive lineman the G-Men could potentially start a quarterback carousel, and if that happens this incident by Laualetta will haunt the Giants.