Few players, if any, bring as much excitement to a football field as Odell Beckham Jr, but his temper and out-of-control emotions are taking away from the one-handed catches and jaw-dropping highlights.
Beckham’s tangle with Carolina Panthers cornerback Josh Norman on Sunday should have been one of the most compelling one-on-one matchups in the NFL this season for strictly football reasons.
Instead, the bout was often literally a fight, with both players exchanging blows and turning the play on the field into a footnote of their drama.
Norman was by no means blameless and did his part to instigate the action, but the more disappointing behaviour came from the New York Giants wide receiver, who appeared intent from the get-go on peacocking his toughness.
Beckham was penalised three times for unnecessary roughness, but the one that was inexcusable was when he took off at full speed and dove helmet-first at Norman’s head.
That’s the type of dirty play that leads to serious injury and Beckham undoubtedly should have been ejected.
A one-game suspension was rightfully warranted by the NFL, but it should have been properly punished on the spot.
What’s more concerning, however, is that this isn’t the first time Beckham has come unhinged, despite being very aware that losing his temper could be the one thing that stops him on the field.
After having an otherworldly rookie season, Beckham openly admitted during the offseason that he would have to keep his cool as opposing defenders try to get under his skin.
On Sunday, Beckham at times got the better of arguably the best cornerback in the league this season, burning Norman down the field in the first quarter for what should have been an easy touchdown if he hadn’t dropped the ball and then hauling in the game-tying touchdown over the defensive back in the final minutes.
But make no mistake, Norman won the war by getting in Beckham’s head.
For all his world-class ability, Beckham isn’t impervious. He just needs to harness the aggressiveness and allow us to get back to having our minds blown.
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