1) Plax and Shockey: No-Shows Again (Finn too)

So as I’m sure you’ve heard, Plax and Shockey no-showed the optional organized team activities for the third year in a row. I have no idea what kind of difference these workouts actually make, if any – I won’t pretend to know what I’m talking about by trotting out the obvious Eli/Plax Shockey vs. Peyton/Marvin Harrison parallel – but if you were Plax and Shockey, wouldn’t you just go to these things for the sake of having the media shut the fuck up about it already?

I mean, Jesus. Just show up for three days or whatever, run some routes and catch some balls, and then sit back and get showered with good press, content in the knowledge that you don’t have to hear about this shit for the rest of the season. If anything, for two guys who are accused of being uncommitted to the team, this would seem like the path of least resistance.

An aggravating circumstance here is the happy horseshit that Plax was spewing when he showed up for voluntary passing drills in early May. Here’s the quote:

“I’m just here because I want us to get better and I want (Eli) to reach his full potential, which I think can be great. I feel I’m one of the best players in the world at my position. If it takes me to come back and work with my quarterback right now to get to that level, then I’m more than willing to do that because I believe I can be that person.”

Best players in the world? That’s a little, I don’t know, grandiose, isn’t it. Whatever.

Are they doing this out of stubbornness? Are they doing this to spite the media, and/or Colonel Tom (for whom Shockey issued an unexpected, somewhat not-too-credible statement of support after the Giants retained him)? I don’t know. But grow up, fellas – this is ridiculous.

Whether these workouts make a difference or not, it’s gotten to the point where Plax and Shockey’s no-showing is a direct affront to Eli, who has openly stated that he wants these guys there. Here’s Eli’s rather pointed quote:

“(I) accept it. I have to do what I have to do. I have to be positive and make the best out of every workout with whoever’s out there and wants to come to practice and work. So these are the guys I’ll work with and try to get as good as we can with them.”

I can’t think of a better way to show up your underconfident quarterback who is always getting undermined by the media than to openly defy him publicly. (Again, this wouldn’t be that big of a deal if the media hadn’t made it one, but given that the media has acted like the media is expected to act, it has become a big deal, fair or not, and whether these guys like it or not.) The flailed arms during games are bad enough, but somewhat understandable in the heat of battle. Refusing to show up for these workouts after all the media scrutiny is now just a plain dick move to Eli.

It was hard to get a sense of how pissed Colonel Tom was from his comments. Refusing to comment on the absent players, he said: “We’ll talk about the guys that are here.”

Was that a shot at Plax and Shockey, or was that typical Tom gruffness towards the media?

I don’t know, but what I do know is that this season has already gotten off on the wrong foot. Nice job, guys.

(Also, Jim Finn blew this thing off as well. If I were Finn, I, too, would be pretty pissed that we tried unsuccessfully to replace him. This seems like a classic, “I won’t go where I’m not wanted move. Understandable, but another indication of the sour vibe that seems to be carrying over from last year.)

**

2) Antonio Pierce breeds pit-bulls, but thinks anyone who fights them “is a punk.”

This piece turned out to be pretty interesting: Pierce had a pretty strong reaction to the whole Vick thing. Some quotes:

“Anybody who fights pit bulls is a punk. It gives my dogs a bad rap. Everybody loves my dogs because they’re good dogs. So of course I’m not pleased with it.”

Re: Vick, he said, “None of it sounds positive. If (Vick was involved), then (authorities) need to do what they need to do.”

Here’s a nice quote from Kevin Dockery, who owns one of the dogs that Pierce bred:

“It’s all about how you raise them. My dog isn’t aggressive at all. They just have a bad rap because they’re capable of being aggressive and mean. But those dogs are reflective of their owners.”

Too much has been said about the whole Vick thing already, but I thought Deadspin’s Will Leitch put it best, saying of Vick, “You have to give him one thing, though: This was a unique way to go down.”

**

3) R.W. Trims His Awesome Dreads

Finally, some sad news: R.W. McQuarters has given himself his first haircut since his rookie season in 1998. So much for the R.W. – Harold Perrineau (dude in the wheelchair on “Oz”) call; the Antonio Pierce – David’s cop lover from “Six Feet Under” is now the most uncanny resemblance on the Giants. He still has one of the coolest names in professional sports, but the dreads will be missed.

This is actually a really good piece by John Branch of The Times. It shows both how attached R.W. was to his dreads and how quirky he is.

Quoth R-Dubs: “Different energies, relationships you had in the past, I think it all comes with your hair. Because it’s there. It’s always there. It grows. When you cut it off, it’s like cutting off some of the past. So it was really like getting rid of all that negativity…. In eight and a half years? Oh yeah, I’ve been through several negative situations. It was just time for me to change. I was 30, and it was time.”

Branch goes on to say that R.W. sort of started a trend in the NFL of corners with massive dreads. Following in the Dubs’ footsteps were Mike McKenzie and Al Harris, as well as Rashean Mathis, Asante Samuel, and countless others.

A new dreads devotee is corner Darren Barnett, a free-agent rookie from Missouri State. Though he probably won’t make the team, Barnett had an interesting lines about the connection between dreads and corners:

“Most of the top corners, guys who want to stand out there, have dreadlocks.”

Guys who want to stand out there. I love that. They always say corners are “on an island,” alone in their responsibility to prevent a game-breaking and embarrassing big play. Given all this pressure, there must be something psychologically comforting about rocking an awesome tassel of dreads. Like, it’s not just you against the receiver; it’s you and your dreads against the receiver, and that’s more of a fair fight.