Any of you following the NFL might have been slightly shocked when the details of Plaxico Burress’ sentence became public. Even I was surprised by the severity of his sentence, and I’ve been watching NFL players tango with the (in)justice system since well before, um, Ray Lewis? For those of you who have not diligently observed the latest parade of black (American) footballers marching from locker room to lock down, here’s what happened: Plaxico Burress, former wide receiver for the New York (football) Giants and quasi-legend of Super Bowl XLII (he caught the game-winning touchdown and predicted a Giants win) turned himself in to authorities in December 2008 for unlawful possession of a handgun. According to reports, in November 2008, Burress, though not licensed to carry a firearm in New York City, brought a gun with him to a New York City nightclub. While on his way to the VIP section of the club, Burress accidentally shot himself in the leg. Burress then checked into the hospital under an alias (he claims someone else registered him under an assumed name); though the hospital was required by law to notify police when treating the result(s) of a shooting, it was never reported, and NYPD wasn’t aware of the situation until it became news. Unlawfully carrying a firearm in New York City is very, very illegal. Consequently, Burress was indicted on two weapons charges. Due to NYC’s mandatory minimums for unlawful gun possession, Burress’ lawyers reached a plea deal, and last week he was sentenced to two years in prison.