Odell Beckham Jr. is the sports headline of the week. If you missed it, you really missed out. In embarrassing, nauseating, and fascinating fashion, Odell Beckham went full on temper tantrum. At certain points in the game he became so caught up in the fight with the Panther’s secondary that he quit playing football. He just lined up and waited for the ball to be snapped to go head-hunting. The causation of these actions are speculative and range from frustration and immaturity to fear and ignorance. While I cannot tell you why he really did it, I can tell you it does not matter.
In the short-term he really embarrassed himself. He ended his media honeymoon period and is now going to be the center of attention for more than just his incredible catches and ridiculous stats. Now any slight transgression, whether it be a personal foul penalty, a speeding ticket, or if he falters in some serious way this off-season then the outrage police will come running with their pitchforks and he will really be in trouble. In the long-term, he may have set himself up for more success. If his suspension is upheld (it was well deserved and is unlikely to be lifted), then he should take time and learn from this situation. He can turn this major failure into a positive. He can become the true American dream.
Odell came into the league with mild expectations. He was a first round draft pick and while the New York Giants expected a viable receiving option across from Victor Cruz, no one expected this. He has arguably had the best first 2 seasons of any NFL receiver ever. Outside of Antonio Brown being the cheat-code in Pittsburgh, some might even say Odell has been the best receiver in the league. Now, with his first fall from glory, he has a chance to rise higher than ever. Someone who has failed and grown from it, is the most lovable story. We love Michael Jordan because he was challenged before he was champion. Straight ascension to stardom, such as the career path of LeBron James, is boring and annoying. We liked to be surprised as sports fans and say, “how did that guy not get drafted first overall?”. Odell Beckham should use this to catapult his career from great young receiver to a Jerry Rice type persona. He can be the opposite of the diva wide-out America has grown so tired of.
So do not let the outrage police of social and national media tell you that Odell Beckham is ruined or a bad person. He is young and dumb, but with the right steps he still has plenty of opportunities to improve himself and become a bigger star for more and better reasons than before. America is the land of second chances and if you do not give Odell one, then do not be surprised if no one is there to give you yours. It is hard to be 23, rich, in New York, and on the cover of every magazine. Maybe things got to Beckham’s head this time, but give him a chance to recover before he you attempt to shuffle him aside because that is the world we should want to live in.