Only a few years ago, following in Antonio Brown’s footsteps would seem like high praise for any receiver. But we aren’t talking about a few years ago, or precise route running blazing speed or even football for that matter. Over the past year, AB has made more highlights on TMZ than on RedZone. AB’s on and off the field actions have most recently led to his agent cutting ties with him until “he gets help.” The 2019 Madden cover receiver might be out of the league for good. It’s hard to imagine anyone topping Antonio Brown’s PR disaster this year.
Enter Odell Beckham Jr. and the College Football National Championship. Odell went for the cycle of bad decision making when someone is surrounded by cameras. If you turned the game off after watching Heisman winner Joe Burrow lead LSU over Clemson, let me fill you in on some of the highlights.
The Bad Decision Making Cycle
The bad-decision-single: Odell starts the night off by banging up against NBA great Karl Malone. Overall not that bad. A little aggressive but Malone brushes it off with a smile.
The don’t-do-that-double: Odell breaks the age-old rule, “Don’t let the drunk guy have a megaphone.” He repeatedly chants “Neck” over and over. He is referring to a song the LSU band used to play which was banned by the school in 2010, due to a not so family-friendly chant that often followed from the crowd.
The thoughtless-triple: Odell continues his night by handing literal wads of cash to LSU players. Odell seems to be doing a nice thing here if it weren’t for the NCAA restrictions around student-athletes receiving money. Later in the week, LSU tried to play it off as if it were fake money, fooling no one.
The cycle-completing-what-were-you-thinking-homerun: Odell completes his historic night by committing a literal crime and assaulting an officer.
But let’s take a step back, are we being too hard on a guy who just wanted to celebrate his alma mater winning the National Championship?
The case for Odell:
Let’s cut Odell some slack. Clearly, he bleeds purple and gold. He was on the field during LSU’s rematch against Alabama in the 2012 BCS National Championship. On the biggest stage, they fell short, 21-0. How cathartic it must have been for Odell to watch his alma mater beat Nick Saban and the Crimson Tide earlier this year, causing Saban to be present only as an announcer. So, he had a few too many in celebration of his team? He’s no different than countless fans at any NFL stadium on a given Sunday.
The case against Odell:
Odell showed his best impression of a family member who took full advantage of the open bar at the wedding and is now explaining to the kid’s table “that love doesn’t exist.” He found a way to make something that should not have been about him become about him. Instead of stepping out of the light and letting the performances of Burrow and LSU shine, he awkwardly stumbled his way onto the stage. The public opinion case against Odell is damning… not to mention the literal case.
Let’s all agree that Odell’s actions shouldn’t be what is remembered from the National Championship.
Instead, take in Joe Burrow smoking a cigar, basking in the glory from a job well done.