The Tortoise and the Hair

objYou know the fable, right? A hot shit rabbit challenges a tortoise to a race (I’m assuming it was a 5K race because the story wasn’t all that long), and then proceeds to get his ass handed to him by the tortoise because he was busy styling instead of running. After which, the wiseguys in Vegas who lost a shit ton of money over the race make stew out of the loser.

Or something like that.

Anyways, I thought about the tortoise and the hare when all this Odell Beckham Jr. bullshit was coming down over the last week before building to a crescendo on Sunday evening. You might be wondering how I applied a story that was published in 1668 to the trials and tribulations of a star wide receiver on the New York Giants. Unless you’ve visited Drinks before, in which case you know how my mind breaks from its leash and just goes off running into the wilderness.

Okay, let me ‘splain. Odell is the hare. He’s fast and he’s entertaining. Basically, he’s the bright and shiny object fans slobber over. He can dazzle with his one handed catches that win the top 10 highlight spot on SportsCenter, and so you tend to never mind the fact that he’s never won a really big game.  He can break one from anywhere on the field, and so you tend to never mind his disappearing act when the moment gets big. Sure he’s shown a proclivity for preening and posing rather than leading and winning, but he’s the bright and shiny object . . . remember?

Then you have the other side of the equation, the tortoise. Slower, methodical, it’s okay to say it . . boring. The tortoise might describe a lesser physical specimen than OBJ who just so happens to play the same position, at a fraction of the price in drama and dollars. And there are a bunch of these fellas in the NFL as we speak. They don’t have sizzle and most of them will never make the SportsCenter top 10 highlights. Because they’re not bright and shiny objects. See, if Beckham Jr is a Ferrari . . . these guys? They’re Honda’s.

But here’s the thing. The New York Giants are parking their Ferrari in the garage for the winter while the New England Patriots are tuning up their Honda’s for a road trip to February. I choose the Patriots in this instance because there is not a single wide-out on New England’s roster who can match Beckham’s talent; but it’s a good bet they wouldn’t take OBJ right now if the Giants offered him up for a bag of footballs (Even if the footballs were properly inflated).

Listen, I don’t give a flying fuck what a star wide receiver does in the week leading up to a single elimination contest. Just so long as he does his job come Sunday. Beckham showing up in Miami last week didn’t cost the Giants a chance to advance on Sunday. Beckham not showing up in Green Bay? That did. Miami gets blamed for shitty football every season, so hells yeah I have a problem with that narrative. This wasn’t Miami’s fault. This was an all world talent behaving like a punk when he should’ve been getting down to business at game time.

He’s young and so you tend to never mind the stupid. But at some point, the dude has to own it rather than deflect it. Beckham behaves as if all the criticism exists in a vacuum, as if he had nothing to do with it. It’s like he took a long nap when all this shit was going down.

At least he woke up in time to watch the tortoise play next weekend.



26 thoughts on “The Tortoise and the Hair

  1. CT at his finest.
    You know who’s really to blame though? Vitamin D. You don’t load up on Vitamin D before going into Green Bay in winter. That’s like loading up on oxygen before going to Denver. No, you acclimate to playing WITHOUT vitamin D. You acclimate yourself to playing in high altitude conditions. You deprave yourself. Less is more, to get all zen metaphor. And in Odell’s case, a very apt metaphor.

    Hares are flashy and fun but they never seem to be there when you need em. Give me a tortoise with an active imagination and tenacity and dependable Honda–and likely Super Bowl ring–any day of the week. Hey if it’s good enough for Giselle….?

    • Odell is a great pickup . . . on Madden Football. Outside of that, not so much. He’s young, so there’s ample time for him to get it together and become a perennial all pro. Hey! Maybe even for . . . . Miami! But only IF he gets his shit together. We’ve already had our share of head cases in Miami, we don’t need to go there again otherwise.

      And you know what doesn’t acclimate a person to the freezing temps? Running around without a shirt before the game begins, which is what OBJ was doing. Like I told you, I really believe he went into that game overcompensating because he wanted to prove everybody wrong. Problem is, the chip on his shoulder was put there by OBJ. Silly.

      Active imaginations and tenacity go a long way. 🙂

  2. All I know is that Antonio Brown showed up early and Bell showed up late and the Steelers are moving on.

    But what is it about the wide receiver that creates such prima donnas. So many of them over the years.

  3. Brilliant!
    My son, hubby, and I had the Odell discussion at the dinner table last night. My son is a nose-to-the-grindstone, undersized (5’9″ 180#) middle linebacker. He ADORES the tortoise. He IS the tortoise (4.6 40) He makes it his job to smack the hares. The hares underestimate him and never see him coming until he’s there.

    Please tell me you’re gonna give us your take on last night’s championship game? WOW!

    • Your son is a plugger! Those are the dudes who get shit done. They buoy the team through the ebbs and flows as they are the consistent theme. Me? I was a wide out. The only reason I wasn’t a diva about it was because I wasn’t quick and I had zero chance of playing beyond a high school level. I was fast and I could catch anything thrown my way, but I was always more concerned with the cheerleaders and talking smack and catching touchdown passes. I was a dime a dozen commodity to the bigger picture of the team.

      • Love it! In fact, the part I love most about football are all the characters who make up a team. I was a cheerleader – the only reason I learned so much about football was because my high school sweetheart was the quarterback. The things we do for love 🙂

  4. Another deep analysis, Pilgrim. It does boil down to character. Some have it some don’t. You can’t buy it with money or flash. You have to develop it. Maybe OBJ will learn that lesson. I know Dennis Rodman never did. (didn’t mean to change venue on you but I couldn’t think of another talented athlete who blew an entire career.

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