On Odell Beckham Jr. And The Gamble of Telling the Truth

The Blonde and The Carter. (Source: ESPN)

I took my then-high school aged cousin to the movies a few years ago. We saw “The Gambler” which was imminently forgettable, as most Mark Wahlberg-led movies tend to be, but one scene in particular actually stands out in this particular vehicle. Wahlberg’s character is in a spot of trouble and goes to see a loan shark (portrayed by John Goodman) to get the cash to fix the issue. With knowledge of Wahlberg’s history, Goodman probes because he "needs to know if he’s got the fucking brains to walk when it’s time to walk.”

When Goodman learns that Wahlberg had once been up two million dollars and lost it all, he becomes incensed. “You get up two million dollars, any asshole in the world knows what to do. You get a house with a 25-year roof, … put the rest into the system at three to five percent to pay your taxes and that’s your base. That’s your fortress of fucking solitude. That puts you, for the rest of your life, at a level of ‘fuck you.” Goodman's ‘the position of fuck you’ means your life is in such a state of security you can flip the bird to any and everyone you’d like to.

“A wise man’s life is based around fuck you. The United States of America is based on fuck you. You’re a king? You have an army? The greatest navy in the history of the world? Fuck you.”

You can imagine why this profane rant stuck in my mind and when I saw Odell Beckham Jr, Lil' Wayne, and Josina Anderson’s conversation earlier this week; it was my very first thought.

I have no problem with what Odell said, largely because it was all true. I think if Eli Manning was saying the same things, it would be a non-story. I also think it would have been a non-story if Odell had a more “conservative” look, or whiter skin and played quarterback, but that’s a different article.

OBJ officially entered the fuck you position in August when the Giants signed Beckham to his 5-year contract extension. Right now, all the critics of that deal have that “I was right” smirk, but in my opinion, they are missing the forest for the trees.

Eli supporters (trust me, they’re still out there) will tell you the offensive line is the problem. But a look around the NFL proves there are only a handful of elite offensive lines. On the other hand, quarterbacks with athleticism can lessen the effect of a dominant pass rush.

The Giants have neither.

What the Giants do have though, is an embarrassment of riches at the skill positions, as well as a unique window. Saquon Barkley is living up to all the hype. Sterling Shepard emerged last season, partially filling some of the void caused by Beckham's broken ankle. Evan Engram has shown to be a weapon. All of these offensive players are on their rookie deals and recent NFL history shows that the more quality producers on rookie deal, the longer the a team’s Super Bowl window is.

The Giants offense SHOULD look like the Rams or the Chiefs. Instead, Roger Sherman of the Ringer summarized it succinctly here.

I get it. Beating Brady on the biggest stage, twice nonetheless, will have Eli in NFL lore. He’s an institution in New York, for better or for worse. But easy to see truth is that Eli’s not a starting NFL quarterback anymore. The Giants should have moved on two years ago. Last year it was painful, but this season has been egregious. Odell is the best and highest paid player on the team and repeatedly stated his desire to lead and win. It’s beyond time for the Giants to allow him to do the former by removing Eli and see if the latter will come to fruition after their hefty investment.

Institutions are extremely hard to break down. Mishandling the situation will get you axed- just ask Ben McAdoo. People had a bigger issue with HOW he benched Eli, not that he was benched. Because you can’t treat an institution with that amount of disdain and perceived disrespect.

Unless, of course, you’re in the “position of fuck you.”

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