You 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.