You’ve Shot Yourself. Now What? — An Athlete’s Guide

The life of a modern professional athlete seems glamorous. Money, fame, women. But it's also very easy to shoot yourself.
If you are a professional athlete and suddenly find yourself the victim of a self-inflicted gunshot wound like Plaxico Burress or Vicente Padilla, what should you do?
1. Consider shooting someone else. You've just shot yourself. You're probably in a panic. And a great deal of pain. And quite embarrassed, too. I mean, you shot yourself. Your thoughts will be going a million miles an hour. But you need to calm down for a second and think. Is your gun still beside you? Yes. Is there anyone else near you? If so, shoot them, too. Really. Do it. Consider the facts: Plaxico Burress is imprisoned for shooting himself. Bob Knight and Dick Cheney? Both free. And they shot other people while "hunting." The message is clear: it's far better to "accidentally" shoot someone else than it is to accidentally shoot yourself. Just tell the cops that you saw a pheasant run behind your victim and you'll be golden.
2. Collect evidence. Not for some kind of cover up. You have nothing to hide. You were hunting, right?! (By the way, in case you don't know and in case someone asks, a pheasant is a medium-sized game bird.) No, you need evidence for eBay. Can you imagine if Plaxico Burress had auctioned off swatches of his blood-soaked sweat pants? He would have made a fortune. And then he could have afforded to hire a much better attorney than the one that he had.
3. Get to the hospital — Shooting yourself is serious. It's no laughing matter. Well, it is a laughing matter. In fact, it's kind of hilarious. But only for everyone else. Not you. Anyway, at the hospital you'll want to get fixed up. And do your best to get the doctor to prescribe you some steroids for "muscle regeneration" in the limb you shot. Your league won't suspend you for steroids use if they've been prescribed by a doctor. This gunshot just might give your career new life! Well done!
4. Apply for a gun license — Yeah, I'm just going to assume you didn't have one. But you're going to want to be able to produce a gun license when the cops show up. A little bribery should get you one. The person at the licensing office is a state employee. They make crap money. A few thousand in cash should be enough for them to backdate your license. If they really drive a hard bargain, offer the piece of clothing that shows the bullet hole. That would have earned the most on eBay.
5. Call your agent — Agents don't just help you negotiate your contract. They provide other services, too. Remember that time he disposed of that dead prostitute for you? Really, you don't? It was in 2003 after the first round of the playoffs, you were at the Tropicana, she got mouthy and … oh, okay,now you remember. Yeah, that dead prostitute. Anyway, agents can be a big help in situations like this.
6. Go public — Okay. All of your bases are covered. It's time to leak the story to the press. Who is the most friendly reporter that you know? No, it's not necessarily that one female reporter who clearly wants to hook up. What about the team beat writer who cheats on his wife during every road trip? Yeah, he's your guy. Call him, tell him what happened, hint that you know about his extramarital activities, and then say: "I know you'll do the right thing with this story." In tomorrow's paper you're going to be portrayed as the hero in an epic gun battle for the very survival of freedom.
7. Start a charity — Charitable people, even charitable people who are packing heat, are loved by the general public. So a few days out from the incident, once you have stopped bleeding completely, you'll want to hold a press conference. At the end of the press conference, announce that you are starting a charity to help athletes who are victims of gun violence. Specifically, from their own guns. It will be a small charity to start. But, trust me, the numbers of those in need will continue to grow rapidly. Athletes are getting bigger, not smarter.


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