“Odell’s hit was so dirty”
“Odell is a punk”
“There’s no place for Odell’s actions in the NFL”
Keep those hot takes coming guys. I want all of them. Odell wants all of them. Because guess what? He just played you all like a fiddle.
You think that shit was a mental breakdown? You think Odell is just a mental midget? You think Odell let them get in his head?
Nah. Odell knew exactly what he was doing.
It’s called the long con.
See, while the NFL and all the media and all the hot take machines think they have Odell figured out… While everyone thinks they know the way into Odell’s head…. While you all think you found Odell’s weakness…
You all just bought his bait. Hook, line, and sinker. Because Odell Beckham did this all on purpose, and the entire NFL just bought the whole thing. It worked like a charm both from a team standpoint, and a personal one. Here, let me explain…
First off, the Giants season was done.
Sure we have a top-flight, crunch time expert, two time Super Bowl MVP at quarterback and a superduperstar at wide receiver. But what else is there? The defense is trash, the o-line is trash, the running game is trash, and our #2 target is a undrafted tight end from Stonybrook. Fucking Stonybrook. Think about that for a second, Jerry Reese. Think about that.
Sure Eli could carry the Giants to the title if he was given the opportunity, but where does that leave us? The Giants need to rebuild. And another classic Eli Super Bowl run means another year of Tom Coughlin messing up the clock, and Ben “lost dad on vacation” McAdoo not utilizing the best players, and Stevie Spags desperately trying to create pressure with a practice-squad-level defense. And, worst of all, Jerry Reese continuing to build a terrible, mind-numbingly injury-prone roster around his two centerpieces. Winning it all again this year would give the front office and the coaching staff another year of slack. Which means one more year of leaving Eli and Odell with another team full of scrubs to carry for another season.
Can’t do that again. Just can’t have it. Odell is playing the long game. He knows that’s not sustainable. He knows what it takes to build a dynasty.
This is classic Steph Curry right here. Classic.
You see, we all know Steph was good enough to carry that Mark Jackson-led Warriors team deep into the playoffs, but that wasn’t sustainable. You can only do so much when you need to run a basketball play and your coach is reading scripture in the huddle. You need a sustainable system. You can’t just read from Leviticus and tell Steph to go one-on-one and trust in God. There was just too much of a burden on Steph there. (I’ll get back to this in a second.)
Just like there’s too much of a burden on Eli and Odell here. They’re all this team has. Them and a one-handed defensive end. Everyone knows that the Giants performance week in and week out relies on those two to give another superhuman effort. That’s just not sustainable.
What you need is a fresh start. You need your Steve Kerr. You need a real system. And in the Giants case you also need a GM who will draft and sign competent, durable players who don’t get hurt EVERY SINGLE YEAR. And now that we’ve lost to Carolina and are all but guaranteed to miss the playoffs (related: hammer the Washington moneyline on Saturday night, absolute lock), the Giants will finally clean house to bring in our own Steve Kerr. You see, this is what I’m talking about with Odell. He’s thinking about our future.
But even more-so than rebuilding the Giants, Odell’s actions on Sunday were a set up for his own personal long con…
This is what makes Odell so brilliant. He knew the Giants season was all but over. He knew they had to rebuild. He knew the rest of this season didn’t matter. So what did he do? He played the long con.
You might think Josh Norman won that battle on Sunday, at least from a mental standpoint. Everyone with eyes could see that Josh “best corner in the game” Norman couldn’t physically cover Odell. He didn’t even have a chance. Every time he was singled up on him and Eli went that way Odell had yards of separation. Not inches. Not feet. Yards of separation. Odell dusted Norman. It wasn’t even close.
But mentally, Norman seemed to dominate him. Got in his head, made some homophobic slurs, threatened to end his career, brought some practice squad scrubs out to walk onto the Giants half of the field swinging a bat, bodyslammed him on the first play, shoved his hands in Odell’s facemask. You know, all the normal things you do when you’re insecure about your physical abilities against a guy. All the stuff that guys like Butler or Harris Jr. or Revis don’t have to do because they’re actually elite cover corners. All the stuff you do when you know someone is better than you.
So what did Odell do? He played right into it on purpose. Let it all happen. And threw that bullshit cheap shot to get himself ejected to ensure the Giants would lose, miss the playoffs, and therefore rebuild. Did it all on purpose. Did it all to make himself the villain. He wasn’t actually phased one bit by Norman’s talk or dirty play, but he acted like he was. “Why would he do that Ham? What the fuck are you talking about?” you might ask… Well guys, he did it all in order to portray a “vulnerability”. A fake “vulnerability” that everyone in the league will now attempt to take advantage of.
THAT is how you play a mental game. THAT is how you set up the long con.
First impressions stick, and now everyone’s first impression of Odell is that they can fuck with his head. They think that’s his weakness, when meanwhile it’s his greatest strength. That shit talk and dirty play you think gets in his head? That only makes him better now.
You know what this reminds me of? Steph Curry. It’s exactly what Steph did against Chris Paul in the 2014 playoffs – a.k.a. Mark Jackson’s last series. See those parallels? Steph let himself get beat up to give everyone the impression that physicality was the way to beat him. Like Odell, nobody could actually guard Steph. And like Odell, Steph knew the team needed that new coach and new system to take the burden off him and reach the next level. So he let Chris Paul get physical, pretended to be affected, lost a close series, and came back the next year to light the league on fire. Teams couldn’t guard him, so they tried to get physical. All that did was make Steph more focused and ignite that new Warriors team. His “weakness” was now a strength. And the more teams focused on attempting to “exploit” his weakness, the better he got at exposing his opponents. Go for the hard foul guys, I’ll put it in high off the glass, make the free throw, steal it on the other end, and bury one in your eye before you even realize that hard foul didn’t work.
And that’s exactly what will happen with Odell next year.
Game in and game out, fuckboy cornerback X will line up on Odell thinking the gay slurs and dirty hits will send him off the rails. He’ll think a hard f- and some well timed eye-gauging will throw Odell off. He’ll focus so much on how to get into Odell’s head that he won’t even realize he got dusted on the quick slant for a 25 yard gain. And before you know it, that
hard foul on Steph’s layup just spurred a barrage of three pointers and a 17-point Warriors lead shit talking and eye-gauging while Odell was blocking just spurred two deep routes and a 14-0 Giants lead. But hey, great job exposing that weakness.
2015 Steph Curry = 2016/17 Odell Beckham
Or Odell is just a hyper-competitive kid who’s probably a little off, like all competitors are. And who lost control and pulled a bullshit move and is still wildly immature because he got all the fame too early and needs to learn not to overreact and how to handle his shit maturely and will now, having undergone an offseason of self-reflection and growth in understanding how his personal battles affect his team, will learn to overcome those things and harness all his energy and enthusiasm and work ethic into becoming the best receiver in the league and not letting the petty shit affect him.
Either one works.
Totally cool with either one.
P.S. Check out the What’s The Action Podcast for some non-Odell NFL talk. This week was a great one.