Odell Beckham, Jr., one of the most supremely talented players the football Giants have ever had, a talented kid they need to be great this season as much as they do the guy throwing him the ball, needs to settle down. Like now. But so does everybody else who acts as if the way he’s been acting, and that means all the way back to last season, is some kind of capital crime against all things decent. Even if it is almost as easy to get under his skin as it is D. Trump’s.
Not only does Beckham need to settle down, he needs to grow up. Like now. He needs to stop acting as if the world might stop spinning on its axis if somebody covers him, or chirps at him, or gives him a little extra shove out of bounds. He has to stop acting as if he is already halfway to Canton because he can catch balls one-handed, apparently in his sleep.
Mostly Beckham has to stop overreacting every time things start to go sideways for him. It really does mean that he has to stop doing what everybody is doing with him, now that the whole thing has turned into the opera.
Did he act like a chowderhead against the Panthers last season? He absolutely did. The kid wasn’t just out of control that day when he was matched up with Josh Norman, there were moments in the game – a game from which he should have been tossed all the way to Times Square – when he was recklessly and dangerously out of control. Last Monday night against the Vikings, he mostly just acted like a spoiled brat.
Worse than that, he didn’t do very much at all to help his team win the game, which is supposed to be the object of the game. Maybe things will change on Sunday night at Lambeau against the Packers.
But none of this means he has suddenly turned into some flashy wide-out version of Johnny Football, either. Maybe just Dez on training wheels.
I asked a football executive, this one out of the AFC, but someone who has followed the rise of Beckham along with his current rise of immaturity, what he thought about what’s been happening with the kid.
“I really think he’ll calm down,” the guy said. “Players are so different today. They’re celebrities. ESPN runs the antics over and over again. Having said that, it’s time he realizes how critical he is to this team. He changes everything on their offense. But he’s so good, you have to have patience with him.”
This other observation comes from somebody in the Giants’ family:
“He’s still all-in at practice and meetings. Just needs to grow up and be smart.”
It is time for him to act as if he fully understands how critical he is to the Giants, who across the first four games of the season have looked like nothing more than the fourth-best team in the NFC East. Yeah, it is time for him to grow up and be smart. And to stop whining the way he did after the Vikings game, when Xavier Rhodes not only shut him down, but pushed his buttons the same as Josh Norman did.
“I sneeze the wrong way it’ll be a flag,” was one of the things Beckham said after the Vikings game, and then was saying that he’s not the one putting the camera on himself, and acting like some victim of life’s circumstances because of social media.
None of this changes the fact that he remains, even this early in his career, as exciting an offensive player as the Giants have ever had. It does not change the fact that if he never catches another ball, he has already made the most amazing catch in Giants’ history, one of the most amazing catches in all of NFL history, in that Sunday night game against the Cowboys when he was a rookie. It was a one-handed catch that did more than anything to get Tom Coughlin one more year of coaching the Giants. You come to sports hoping that somebody on your team will someday do the kinds of things Beckham has done for the Giants.
Again: None of this excuses the way he acts when he doesn’t think things are going his way. For now, Beckham is nothing more than a thrilling talent on what has been a losing team since he showed up here from Eli Manning’s old high school, and then LSU. Beckham also doesn’t turn 24 until Nov. 5. Doesn’t excuse him, either. But even in a world where social media has made flogging in the public square legitimate, it does seem that everybody else is losing their minds over him the way he sometimes loses his over football.
When you are going good in sports, here or anywhere else, they call you fiery when you act like a hothead. When you aren’t going good, and Beckham certainly hasn’t been going good lately, you see how it goes. You read and hear what Beckham is reading and hearing these days.
Do I wish he’d stop acting this way? I wish he’d stop acting this way. I want him to make the kinds of catches he has made for Eli since he got here. I want to go back to waiting for amazing to happen with him, not the next unsportsmanlike conduct penalty, or the next fine.
He had a bad game last Monday night against the Vikings, and that defense of theirs. I thought Eli had just as bad a game, on a night when it started to look as if his first thought was too often throwing the ball into the ground. The Giants are allowed to say that they’re this close to being 3-1, because of the way they lost to Washington. They’re just as close to being 1-3 in a weak division, one that has two rookies starting at quarterback. Does Beckham need to pick it up? Absolutely. So does the quarterback. So do a lot of them. We were led to believe that this season was going to be different from all the dreary, mediocre seasons the Giants have had since that last Super Bowl in Indy.
A big game from Beckham in Green Bay changes a lot of things. The Giants twice went into Lambeau under Coughlin, in the playoffs, and took the Packers’ season. Tonight all they’re looking to do is turn their own season around. One way they can do it is if OBJ shuts up and sings.
Closers, Trump tape & the Grande Olde Game . . .
– What we found out on Wednesday night at Citi Field is that sometimes it doesn’t matter, in a one-game season, whether you’ve got your closer in the game or not.
– After that tape of Trump saying the things to Billy Bush about women coming out, didn’t it sound like he first issued the standard apology of an athlete in trouble, almost like a default mechanism.
“I apologize if anyone was offended,” is how his statement ended.
There was this great rush in the bullhorn media, of course, to make the leak of the tape an issue.
In the old days it would have been like one of those TV evangelists getting caught with his pants down then blaming his problems on the motel.
If I were Ryan Fitzpatrick, I would sort of be thinking of Sunday’s game against the Steelers as kind of an audition.
It might be the first start for a quarterback in Jets history where there will be guys warming up in the bullpen when the game starts.
– In the same week in postseason baseball, in the first week of postseason baseball, we had Edwin Encarnacion’s extra-inning home run extending the Blue Jays’ season and ending the Orioles’.
Then we had Conor Gillaspie’s shot against the Mets on Wednesday night.
Finally, on Friday at Wrigley, we had Javier Baez hitting one so that the Cubbies didn’t go one game down to the Giants.
We also had Bumgarner vs. Syndergaard.
And Lester vs. Cueto.
Not so terrible for the Grande Olde Game.
By the way?
It does seem as if the Jets have to play every good team except the Cavaliers and the Warriors in their first six games of the season.
The book isn’t on-sale until Oct. 18, but mark down that date, because a novel called I.Q., written by Joe Ide, is going to lay you out.
I kept thinking of something D. Trump said to Rand Paul in a debate last year when I was thinking about poor Sean Hannity on Friday:
“You’re not having a good night.”
– I love the way Joakim Noah plays basketball, have all the way back to Florida.
If he is healthy this season, the fans at the Garden are going to love how hard he plays the way they once did with Latrell Sprewell.
But the next time he is invited to a dinner at West Point, if he is ever invited to another dinner at West Point, he ought to keep his mouth shut and attend.
The idea that somehow that was an appropriate way to make an anti-war statement is, I’m sorry, dumber than a bag of practice basketballs.
Or are we not allowed to think that any kind of statement like that is anything less than good and true and noble and righteous?
– You have to say it was pretty cool watching LeBron get the crowd at Progressive Field worked up before Game 2 against the Red Sox.
If the Red Sox don’t come back from 0-2 down against their old friend Tito Francona and the Indians?
They get to spend all winter wondering why they mailed in the last week of the regular season when they could have gotten home field in the first round of the playoffs.
The back end of Darrelle Revis’ contract is starting to make him look like one of those Back-End All-Stars the Yankees were so hot to get rid of this year, right?
The Jets need to get a game today.
Because if they don’t, the refrain is going to be the one about the same-old same-old with them, not even two years into this new regime.
The way things are going for Hillary Clinton, she won’t need undocumented immigrants to get elected, just her documented opponent.
Source: NY Daily News Headlines Sports News