On Celebrity Court Day, Plaxico Reigns Supreme

Sports trumps television and music on a busy day at Criminal Court.

The only thing missing from 100 Centre Street was Joan Rivers shrieking to ask passersby who designed the suits they were wearing to enter their pleas. It was "a cross between the red-carpet walk at the Oscars and a mad dash to capture an elusive quarry" at Manhattan's Criminal Court on Tuesday as three celebrities made their way to appearances before judges.

The big fish was unquestionably Plaxico Burress of the Giants. The football star's brief court appearance for criminal weapons possession launched a thousand flashbulbs and filled everyone's attention, much to the delight of Kelly Kiloren Bensimon and the rapper Ja Rule. Bensimon, a model and star of "The Real Housewives of New York City," was in court to answer charges of assaulting her boyfriend. Thanks to Plax, she only had to deal with a camera crew from "Extra," while Ja Rule, facing the same charges as Burress, slipped into court unassailed.

So a big day for sports in the socio-cultural hierarchy of New York City, right? Kinda, although a cable reality star and faded rap icon are the equivalent of the Giants playing a high school team. Throw Burress up against Bernie Madoff and he's a blip on the screen, not to mention more famous members of the television and music world. 

It is fitting that a reality star is involved, though, because days like Tuesday give rise to an idea for a reality show. Take 10 celebrities charged with the same crime and have them spend 10 weeks arguing motions and presenting evidence in front of a judge and jury. Each week one of the 10 is voted off the show and into prison until the ultimate winner gets to walk away scott free.     

Josh Alper is a writer living in New York City and is a contributor to FanHouse.com and ProFootballTalk.com in addition to his duties for NBCNewYork.com.

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