Sports Medley: Is Odell Beckham, Jr. an Egotistical, Selfish Thug? 21
by Tony Medley
game showed what ego and selfishness can do to a talented player.
Giantsí receiver Odell Beckham, Jr. was going against Carolinaís Josh
Norman, who many believe to be the best corner in the game. Beckham was
not up to the task. So his solution was to play dirty. He punched Norman
in the face and then head-butted him. He was called for three personal
fouls during the game. His selfishness clearly cost the Giants yet
another game because since he spent the entire first half trying to
seriously injure Norman (including sticking his hand in Normanís mouth
and grabbing him by the lower jaw), he didnít catch a pass and the
Giants fell behind 35-7. They came back to tie the game in the second
half but lost on a field goal on the last play of the game.
Thereís more to it than
that, though. One of Beckhamís fouls was a vicious, intentional helmet
to helmet head butt after a play was over. He should have been thrown
out of the game immediately for such a malicious, deliberate hit. But
the clueless refs, Terry McAulayís crew of umpire Bryan Neale, head
linesman Derick Bowers, line judge Tom Stephan, field judge Michael
Banks, side judge Jonah Monroe, and back judge Greg Steed, just whistled
him for a penalty and let him stay in the game. There are no good guys
here. Fault abounds:
The referees should have immediately kicked Beckham out of the game
after the punch to the face, but especially after the helmet to
When the refs let him stay in the game, Giants' Coach Tom Coughlin
should have pulled him and sent him to the locker room immediately.
The Giants should have suspended him for the rest of the season.
The league, which slapped his wrist with a one game suspension,
should have suspended him for the rest of the season.
The NFL should have suspended the referees for the rest of the
season for not acting against Beckham.
The NFL is aware that
the TV networks wonít be pleased if Beckham, one of the most exciting
players in the game, isnít on the field, which explains the meager one
game suspension. For the NFL, money trumps morality.
In light of the paltry
penalty by the NFL, the Giants themselves should penalize Beckham. His
actions were not only dangerous, they caused the Giants the game and
probably a place in the playoffs. No team should stand for that from one
of its players. Itís one thing to make a physical mistake like a fumble
or an interception. Beckhamís actions were egregious, extra-curricular,
and selfish. But these are the New York Giants, who have already proven
several times this year that they are not candidates for Mensa.
Bad Officiating isnít
limited to football:
There is a lot not to like about officiating in college basketball, but
near the top of the list is the blocking foul. About five minutes into
the first half of the UCLA Ė North Carolina game on Saturday a North
Carolina guard drove the lane. UCLAís Thomas Welsh, in my opinion UCLAís
most important player, was standing in the lane facing him, didnít move
his feet, and raised his hands above his head which is perfect defense.
The North Carolina player ran into him but the official behind the
basket immediately called the foul on Welsh. This was the second foul
called on Welsh, so he had to leave the game for virtually the rest of
the half. In the second half, a UCLA player drove the lane and a North
Carolina player ran over and knocked him over, a clear defensive foul,
but instead the referee called the UCLA player for charging.
Two things are bad here.
The first is that the charging/blocking foul is almost always called on
the defender, regardless of the perfection of his defense. The second
is the incomparable inconsistency in calls. The NFL officials are truly
horrible, but they canít compare with the incompetence of basketball
officials. Welsh was on the bench in foul trouble much of the game and
UCLA lost badly.
I think that one of the
main problems is that many, if not most, referees are old men. NFL
referees get up to $180,000 per year; NCAA referees get as much as
$2,000 per game. For that remuneration, the NFL and NCAA should be able
to attract young men, demand competence, and discharge those who donít
measure up. And they should have a mandatory termination age, like 50.
The games are played by young men; they should be officiated by young
men. But these same old men keep making the same awful calls.