SPORTS DAILY: Another reason athletes shouldn’t play with guns

When an athlete accidentally shoots himself, he forever becomes a punchline, assuming he lives through the experience.

Worse, he is immediately lumped with the likes of former NFL receiver Plaxico Burress and, going back a bit, dimwitted former NBA player Steve Stipanovich.

Josh Morgan is the latest victim, taking a bullet in the shoulder while allegedly cleaning his firearm.

To his credit, the ex-NFL wideout did not blame a masked intruder, as Stipanovich did in 1980 when he tossed a pistol on his bed and it discharged into his arm.

Stipanovich, then a 7-foot junior at Missouri, famously said a man wearing a ski mask and cowboy boots had broken into his house, opened fire with a rifle, then picked up a revolver, shot him and fled.

Quite a story, but that’s all it was. Stipanovich averaged 13.2 points per game over five NBA seasons but remains known mostly for shooting himself in college.

Morgan has been charged with misdemeanor reckless use of a firearm and has a March court date.

Granted, it would be funnier if Morgan still had an NFL career or if more people knew who he was. (And don’t confuse him with Cleveland Browns receiver Josh Gordon, who already has enough problems as he tries for reinstatement after a one-season drug ban.)

At least Morgan didn’t smuggle a gun into a New York nightclub in his sweatpants and inadvertently shoot himself in the thigh, which is what happened to Burress, the former Steeler and current poster child for this unique brand of stupid.

Adding to Plaxico’s embarrassment was the two-year prison sentence he served in New York after being convicted of a felony.

He tops this list of eight famous people, including Al Capone, who mistakenly shot themselves.

With so many athletes armed these days, it’s amazing these accidents don’t happen even more frequently.

SOARING FLYERS: In case you’re just tuning in to the college basketball season, you might be wondering how the Dayton Flyers have reached 20 wins so quickly.

They are, in fact, one of 22 teams in the country with at least that many victories, which explains why they are No. 19 and climbing in the AP poll.

You’ve heard of 30 for 30? How about 20 for 20? Click or tap here for UD beat writer David Jablonski’s list of 20 reasons the Flyers are soaring.

FELONIOUS BROWNS: Another story worth following comes from Cleveland, where one current Browns player and an ex-Brown are facing a variety of charges after a Christmas arrest.

One of the players was a disposable member of the practice squad and was cut, but the other is outside linebacker Armonty Bryant, who had 5 1/2 sacks last season and has another year on his contract.

Bryant is facing felony drug charges, not to mention inevitable NFL discipline.