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Monday, March 4, 2024
The Observer

Hagan: Odell Beckham Jr. is in the Super Bowl, and I just don’t like it

This Sunday, Odell Beckham Jr. will play in the Super Bowl. His team, the Los Angeles Rams, is currently favored by 4.5 points over the Cincinnati Bengals. One of the most controversial players in the history of the National Football League could be raising the Lombardi Trophy in front of thousands of fans in Sofi Stadium, and I don’t like that one bit.

Despite my feelings towards him, I can admit that Odell Beckham Jr. is one of the most talented athletes I’ve ever watched play football. Since he was drafted twelfth overall by the New York Giants in 2014, he has had countless incredible performances. He had 2,625 receiving yards in his first 25 games, and he never averaged less than 75 yards/game over the first five years of his career. I hardly need to mention the fact that he made what may be the greatest catch in NFL history during his rookie year. Yet, despite his incredible natural talent and football abilities, OBJ is the perfect example of a diva athlete. Throughout his career, he has been thought of as cocky, arrogant and entitled. He has caused trouble everywhere that he has played. 

As a New York Giant, Beckham was a near-constant distraction. During his second season in 2015, he began his never-ending beef with Carolina Panthers cornerback Josh Norman. These two were always in the headlines. They battled constantly on social media and resorted to good old-fashioned fistfights when they finally got on the field with each other. Of course, his antics did not stop there. OBJ eventually went from punching Josh Norman to punching inanimate objects on the Giants’ sideline during games. I’m sure we all remember the video of Beckham swinging his helmet at a kicking net only to have the kicking net strike back and hit him in the face. If you haven’t seen it, please look it up. It is a treat.

These constant temper tantrums and sideline confrontations were the focus of the New York and national sports media. All the while, his team finished with a measly record of 6-10 during each of his first two years. 

Even when the Giants did finally make the playoffs in Beckham’s third year, it was not without controversy. Days before his first playoff game against the Green Bay Packers, Beckham and the Giants’ receiving core decided to take a trip to Miami and post pictures of themselves partying on a boat. The Packers would smash the Giants in that game by a score of 38-13. But at least OBJ and his friends had a nice vacation.

Eventually, the Giants had had enough. Beckham was traded to the Cleveland Browns. And there, he actually stayed out of the national spotlight. The Browns had an abysmal season during Beckham’s first year with the team and he missed most of the next year due to an ACL tear. Football fans finally had the privilege of not constantly hearing about the OBJ saga. It was nice. Of course, this all changed during this past season. 

After the Browns Week 8 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers, OBJ’s father took to social media and posted an 11-minute video highlighting times when Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield didn’t throw the ball to Beckham when he was open. OBJ’s name was in the headlines once again, and his brief time out of the spotlight came to an end. In the days that followed, there was great debate on whether or not the Browns should keep Beckham or try to trade him. Ultimately, Beckham was released by the team three days after his father’s post.

Thank goodness. This was finally over. Certainly, no team would want Odell now. He had shown his true colors too many times, he was nothing more than a distraction and he could only ruin a team’s chemistry.

Wrong.

On November 11, 2021, Beckham was signed by the Rams. The worst part about all of this is that it’s actually working. Since joining the Rams, Beckham has once again become a dangerous receiver. He is a legitimate end-zone threat and he is a great second option for Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford. Throughout his career, OBJ has turned the football field into the set of his own soap opera. He has been an immature and overconfident prima donna and has never been a team player. Yet, he may be a Super Bowl champion soon. 

Joe Burrow, please help us.