“Corners wanna check em like Odell Beckham…”
Odell is the Goat! I’ve had it with all this modesty. I’ve had it with all this hate. I’ve had it with all this “wait” B.S.! Odell is the greatest wide receiver the NFL has ever seen and he deserves his respect for what he is doing on and off the field.
Beckham’s stats speak for themselves. No one has ever put up the kind of numbers this 24-year old has in his first three seasons in the NFL. He began his rookie season on the mend because of a hamstring injury and still lit up the league for 91 catches and 12 TDs and hasn’t looked back since. To paraphrase the great Pusha T, Ballin’, the boy puts numbers on the boards but the point isn’t to talk about what you can easily just google and find out for yourself. The mission is to free you. The mission is to let you know what you may not know already. To preface the thought, there is a difference between best and greatest. In sports, the word “best” involves overall performance and the talent on display, essentially all of the tangibles create the best of the best. The “greatest” involves all of the intangibles and essentially how one may transcend the sport in which they play in. The greats mean something to not only their sport, but the world. The greats make an impact on people. The example would be Muhammad Ali. Ali is the greatest boxer ever without question. His impact on the world is imperative to his legacy. What you should know is Mike Tyson at his best would probably have crushed Ali’s ribs in a devastating fashion if they happen to fight in the same era. Lucky enough for Giants fans, Odell Beckham Jr is the best and the greatest wide receiver right now. Some might say, “But what about Antonio Brown or Julio Jones?”. Shouldn’t they be in the conversation for the best wide receivers in the NFL right now? The retort to that would be to use your eyes and think critically. Antonio Brown is really, really good. At 29, it’s safe to say he put the work in and gradually got better with time but we can’t just sit here and ignore the fact that his stats are very circumstantial. He was blessed with a Quarterback in Ben Roethlisberger who happens to have a cannon for an arm, the likes of which we have never seen. Not only does he have a cannon for an arm, Big Ben is fairly mobile though he’s built like a truck. Don’t get me started on Le’Veon Bell who runs, catches, balances the Steelers check books and whatever the hell else is asked for him on the team. When you have those type of weapons on one team, it becomes much easier for Brown to prosper. Julio Jones of the Atlanta Falcons is really fast. That’s great but running really fast in a straight line doesn’t do much for this conversation. Jones was gifted with speed and enough height to go up and get the ball over any defensive-back in the league. I question whether he can continue playing this well when his speed goes. Odell on the contrary is under-sized and not the fastest player in the league but he gets the job done in whatever way he sees fit. His catching ability is second to no-one…….ever! His route running skills are top notch. He’s deceptively quick and fearless when running those slant routes near all those 260-pound man-eating linebackers.
A testament to Odell Beckham Jr’s greatness would be to just look around you. Look at the kids of this generation. Look at their hair! They’re randomly dancing when no music is playing to celebrate their accomplishments. That isn’t the Migos or Lil Yachty making them do that. Odell has all the kids going crazy. They want to be like Beckham all around the world. Number 13 is amongst the top in jersey sales throughout the United States and I would bet by the end of this year, Odell Beckham’s Giants jersey will be number one worldwide if it isn’t already. His popularity seems to rub some of his peers the wrong way on the field. ‘Jealous’ Josh Norman then of the Carolina Panthers and currently of the Washington Redskins (go figure) thought it would be a good idea to air out his grievances with Beckham in the week 15 matchup of the 2015 regular season where Norman would repeatedly harass Beckham and attempt to body slam the wideout on multiple occasions for no apparent reason after the whistle was already blown. Beckham would retaliate and receive discipline for it as he was suspended to end his season two games early. Nevertheless there has been numerous occasions where players and front office executives around the league and even on his own team have voiced their frustrations with how Beckham decides to display his passion. Most of the critiques are overblown by the media just to make a story about the most vibrant player in the league. Though some may dislike Beckham’s attitude, many notable players around the league love OBJ because they understand context. Just this past season we saw Tom Brady exchange autographed jerseys (a tradition that is growing around the NFL signified as a token of respect) after their preseason game between the New England Patriots and New York Giants, something that we rarely see done by Brady. We saw Dez Bryant (who doesn’t like anyone), of the Dallas Cowboys known around the league as not being the easiest person to get along with and Odell Beckham exchange pleasantries during the Cowboys rivalry games against the Giants.
Odell’s past season unquestionably ended horribly. He had a terrible performance against the Green Bay Packers in the Wild Card game and there is no excuse for that. Everyone has bad games and Odell is no different from anyone else in that regard. The issue manifests when writers and fans try to force their hypocritical ideals on Beckham. For instance, the day after exacting their revenge on the Washington Redskins in the 2016-17 season to punch their ticket into the playoffs and subsequently eliminating the Skins in their final game of the season, Beckham, Sterling Shepard and a few others on the Giants roster decided to go fly out to Miami the next day to celebrate their season. Unfortunately for Beckham and crew, after a night out in the city with Justin Bieber and Trey Songz, the flashing lights caught it all on video. Next thing you know, the pictures and videos are all over TMZ. Somehow, these videos raised questions about the squad’s work ethic. The notion that the team’s decision to enjoy themselves after the win was somehow a careless act of immaturity is completely ridiculous. Context is important when looking at these sort of questionable mishaps. The Giants won their final game of the regular season on Sunday afternoon. They made it to Miami later that night and hung out all day Monday knowing that practice was not until later in the week on Wednesday. Are you kidding me? How wrong is that really? Most regular people go out and party the night before they have work and no one needs to get HR involved. The man had two days off and the big game wasn’t until the following Sunday. How much preparation did he really need? This should be an afterthought but Odell’s terrible game fueled the haters narrative that Beckham is not “mature” enough or isn’t a “true professional” and “real champions” don’t party before the big game. Try telling Rob Gronkowski or Deion Sanders that back in the day. I wonder how many of those people who echo those sentiments checked out Jerry Rice’s numbers in his first three games in the playoffs.
Above all else, Odell Beckham gets it. We heard he made news recently about him voicing his desire to be the highest paid player in the league and he has a point. He cited the NBA players contracts as a subset to his request. Look, there is no way in hell at any point in life should players in the NBA like Tyler Johnson or Timofey Mozgov make more money than Odell Beckham Jr. Of course there is circumstantial evidence as to why the contracts in the NBA are set up differently than the NFL i.e. roster size but the answer to that is very simple. Those circumstantial situations have absolutely nothing to do with the fact that Odell Beckham means so much to the NFL today. More than they may understand at the moment. Odell Beckham can transcend this sport into the stratosphere. If the NFL wants to expand past these United States and fully into these other countries, they are going to have to do it with Odell Beckham as the face of the movement. Odell is thinking big picture and that is worth at least the biggest contract in NFL history. Bottomline, Odell Beckham is the most polarizing figure in the NFL right now and it only took him three years. Now at only 24, he’s seeking to not only get paid but more importantly to set a precedent for other athletes in football for years to come. We can all benefit from the NFL and his franchise treating him like the megastar that he is.