It was a wild game between the New York Jets and Buffalo Bills on Sunday, with the Jets scoring the deciding touchdown in the final minutes and holding on to fight off a valiant comeback attempt by the Bills.
But for all of the excitement on the field, what the rest of the football world is talking about, is an amateurish stunt by Bills receiver Stevie Johnson (#13, above) that even some of the Jets players were irked by.
After scoring a second quarter touchdown, Johnson pretended to shoot himself in the leg, then mimicked the Jets’ trademark jet plane celebration before simulating a plane crash, drawing a penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct.
The gunshot part was a reference to the incident that caused Jets receiver Plaxico Burress to spend 20 months in prison and get cut by the New York Giants, where he had been a Super Bowl hero a year earlier.
But the plane crash part of Johnson’s antics rubbed some of Jets the wrong way, especially nose tackle Sione Pouha, who felt it was in poor taste considering where the two teams were playing.
“It’s probably not as professional as you should be in a professional setting,” Pouha said. “Us being from New York, we like to hold ourselves to integrity and that airplane thing was kind of a dagger a little bit, considering the circumstances in remembrance we had on Sept. 11 and stuff like that. Just unprofessional.
“We all stand for pride, all of us are from around this region,” he said. “We know that’s a sacred moment for a lot of people. It is a very sobering moment.”
It was in Week 1 of this season, that the Jets were at the forefront of a nationwide memorial of the 10-year-anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center in New York City.
Meanwhile, Burress took the high road when asked about Johnson’s bizarre, apparently personel attack aimed his way.
“He’s young, and he made a mistake,” Burress said. “I don’t look at him as any less than I did before. And I don’t want everybody just saying he’s a bad guy because he made a mistake. I’ve made a few in my life.”
Burress also said that Johnson called him and texted him to apologize after the game, although Burress admitted that the Burress of a few years ago may not have been so cool about the whole thing.
Darrelle Revis, who uncharacteristically got beaten repeatedly throughout the game by Johnson, offered his own take on it, saying that he didn’t quite get why Johnson went after Burress.
“That’s just wrong to me,” Revis said. “It wasn’t smart on his part, doing the gun thing and shooting himself. To me, that was disrespectful to Plaxico.”
“I felt it had nothing to do with the situation,” he said. “If anything, you scored on me, so come at me if anything.”
Burress and the Jets got the last laugh in the end, as Burress’s touchdown quickly tied the game back up after Johnson’s excessive celebration.
But more importantly the Jets were able to win the game, thanks in part to Johnson’s inability to hold on to a few passes his way that could’ve won his team the game, including a blatant drop over the middle.
In the end, the Jets escaped with a victory, while Johnson and the Bills slipped further into obscurity. Perhaps next time he’ll act like he’s been there before, and maybe he’ll show up when his team needs him most.