Odell Beckham Is Not A Villain, So Please Stop Trying To Make Him One

You probably went to bed last night following the Philadelphia Eagles’ 24-19 win over the New York Giants and thought, “Well, I just watched a football game that went down to the wire, and now I will go to sleep.” It’s weird that you vocalize that, but fine.

Then, as you mail in your final day of work before the holiday weekend by scanning the internet for a distraction, you come across some fresh content. You weren’t aware of this content last night, but there it is now. “Odell Beckham is at it again.” Oh, heck yeah, buddy. You were going to check the lines on some college football bowl games, but now it’s time to get angry about the sports man doing a thing. You love it when the sports man crosses the lines of proper sports conduct and people talk about it.

I hate to break this to you, but you have again fallen victim to Odell Beckham fake news.

Here is the tweet that helped start it all, from Pat Leonard of the New York Daily News. Don’t actually watch the video yet; just read the tweet.

Growling. Losing it. Guided him. It conjures images of a mental patient refusing to get into a strait jacket as he’s taken to the rubber room. Did someone have to hit him with a tranquilizer dart?

Now watch the video. Literally nothing in the text of that tweet occurs in the video embedded within that tweet.

Beckham doesn’t make a sound. Co-owner John Mara pats him on the back as he’s already walking to the locker room. Is it possible Beckham was pissed off about the Giants failing to clinch a playoff berth and let out a frustrated scream just before the video started? Sure. But here’s video from just before the video in the tweet, and what exactly is the issue here?

As far as distraught people go, this is pretty calm. And, again, what is the problem with this reaction to a heartbreaking a loss? He doesn’t yell (or growl) at anyone or punch the wall. How does response to a loss generate anything but a neutral response? Even if he let out a wail reminiscent of a wounded wolf deep in the winter forest, so what? Why is this even a thing?

The answer is simple — clicks. We all covet them, and when it comes time to pick your battles after a game, it’s way easier to make a target of the wide receiver you’ve already been targeting over nothing all season than, say, the coach that called 63 pass plays when the running game was doing quite well or the quarterback that threw a pick-six and missed open receivers — including Beckham on the penultimate play of the game — all night. We all know “You Won’t Believe What Beckham Did Now” is getting that click at a much higher rate than anything else.

The best part is the replies to that tweet that are filled with outrage over the video, because you can tell no one watched the video. If they did, their reaction would be along the lines of, “What’s the big deal here?” Fans love to be mad at athletes and stories like these fuel a fire that shouldn’t even exist. Imagine if only half the energy dedicated to parsing every Beckham emotion was used to criticize the Giants for how they handled Josh Brown.

Let’s add this to the Odell Beckham Take List and see if we can find any sort of connection between the events that have got the takesman hot.

Everything on that list is either a big ball of nothing (sads after losing) or something to be lauded (not talking to Lena Dunham) yet here we are. Meanwhile, the one truly terrible thing he did, which was try to murder Josh Norman last season, never got the coverage and drew the ire of people like proposing to a kicking net.

Just keep all this in mind when Beckham gets to the point of not talking to the media anymore and now that will be tied to a lack of maturity too.