I know, I know, you all are tired of talking about Odell Beckham Jr. We as football fans have a hard time letting things go, so I would like to apologize in advance.
OBJ is often the center of attention wherever he is, but in this case, it’s in a different light. Most of the time we celebrate an outrageous catch or even some insane dance move from the second-year wide receiver for the New York Giants. For the first time, that’s not the case. Beckham and the Giants faced off against the undefeated Carolina Panthers. The game within the game between Josh Norman and Beckham was highlighted as must-see-TV, and that it was.
During the matchup between the two, Beckham and Norman overshadowed what was one of the more entertaining games this NFL season. In lieu of the game, we learned a few things about the Big Blue wideout. Let’s take a look at what we unearthed from the leader of the frosted blonde fauxhawk coalition.
Beckham Made The Battle Personal
Wide receivers and cornerbacks are the most flamboyant positions in all of football. It doesn’t help the situation when you pair up arguably the best at either position. The highly anticipated matchup between the two was talked up as if it was Shawn Michaels vs. Stone Cold Steve Austin at WrestleMania XIV.
During the week, Beckham downplayed the matchup, but his play and antics on the field said otherwise. He wasn’t his usual self, as he uncharacteristically dropped passes and did his best impersonation of Conor McGregor during the game as well. Norman, who is arguably the best cornerback in the NFL, has a fondness for trash talking just as all elite cornerbacks do, and he and the Carolina Panthers defense got the best of Beckham for most of the day.
It’s Time For OBJ To Grow Up
We’ve all done things that were regrettable at a young age, so let’s not be too harsh on him.
It’s hard to tell a 23-year-old to grow up when he has the world at his hands. Beckham’s lack of maturity almost put his team in a hole, as he committed three unsportsmanlike conduct penalties against the Panthers. His behavior was absurd, and it could cause him to lose money through fines and endorsements.
Beckham’s face is plastered all over the Big Apple, and he is one of football’s most recognizable faces. With huge endorsements looming, the fiasco with Norman could possibly put a big hit to Beckham’s brand. In less than two full seasons, he has already graced the cover of Madden 16 as well as being endorsed by Nike and Head & Shoulders. Companies are quick to shy away from athletes who make gaffes, and yesterday brought out an ugly side in OBJ.
In Beckham’s favor, this is just the first one that caught the public eye.
Opposing Teams Dislike Beckham
Odell Beckham Jr. may be a hit with the fans, but his NFL peers are not hitting the whip and nae-nae with OBJ. It may be a case of professional jealously. Due to Beckham’s quick rise to superstardom, teams have a disdain for him. It also doesn’t help that when he outplays you, he tells you about it. It’s easy to not like someone who is seen on commercials and becoming one of the faces of the NFL. It’s rare that non-QBs are showered with endorsements, and Beckham is as rare as you can get.
He sort of has the Blake Griffin syndrome where teams will continue to attack him in a way that would compel him to even the score. If Beckham reacts in a fashion that would jeopardize his endorsements, he could lose them, and that would make good for some of the players lining up against him.
He Showed Resiliency
Despite having an uphill battle against Josh Norman, OBJ displayed a great amount of resiliency during the game. It wasn’t always pretty, but he did whatever it took to help bring his team from a hole that he helped create for the most part. Beckham was held in check for majority of the game, but he erupted for a big fourth-quarter performance.
Odell caught the game-tying touchdown to make it 35-35 in the closing moments of the game. Not only did Beckham catch the touchdown over his nemesis, but he did his best impersonation of Allen Iverson while in the end zone. Beckham ended the game with a meager showing by his standards with sixe receptions and 76 yards, but he continued to fight — figuratively and literally — throughout the game.
Adversity reveals character in a sense, and for one Sunday, Odell Beckham Jr. displayed a side of him that we have never seen before. The spear to the head was dangerous and blatantly dirty, while the penalties were selfish, but all in all, this was a learning experience for him. We may have learned a few things about the all-world wide receiver as well, but I hope he learned some things in the process too.
Columbus, Ohio born. Ron is a first-ballot healthy hairline hall of famer. He spent the summer of ‘08 eating calamari pasta because of OJ Da Juiceman. He also loves to write about sports while listening to Sada Baby. Follow him on Twitter @Ron_Hamp