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New York Giants Odell Beckham Jr. suspended and is expected to be fined heavily.

By now you’ve probably heard of the events that took place during Sunday’s match-up of the undefeated Carolina Panthers and the New York Giants, with superstar receiver Odell Beckham Jr. and shutdown corner Josh Norman going at it for the whole game. And all of the post-weekend football-reporting shows have shown highlights (or more accurately put, lowlights) of the accounts of both players involved several times over so I won’t bother describing details in newsprint, I couldn’t do it justice. Additionally, there are enough people — football fans and media alike — bashing the guiltier of the two, Odell, for his appalling behavior therein (even in New York, an amazing thing in itself I’m told) and I certainly wouldn’t derived any pleasure from badmouthing a boy nearly half my age (And yes, I said ‘boy’. Men don’t become men ’til they start acting like men in such situations), so I’m not going there either. Where I am going is in the direction of the NFL commissioner.

I’d also like to add that the following expressed opinion is not necessarily the view of this site as a whole or its editor. It’s solely mine, but I wouldn’t doubt if it meets or matches the opinion of many longtime football fans that appreciate and honor the game…Oh, and one more thing, Odell Beckham Jr., as reported, has been suspended one game effective immediately (appeal to be heard Wednesday). If you agree with this decision you might want to discontinue reading now to find one of the many kindler gentler news-reporting articles on the topic.

At first, I considered a direct letter but it’s not likely to be read, and would start like this:

Dear Mr. Goodell,

Tell me, did they snip the left one or the right one?  One game? Are you serious?  

Heaven forbid, this new-gen era of superstar attractions gets a punishment befitting the crime and the times. And wait, I get it, the suspension was called for, as I’m sure the initial reaction research discussed this morning behind closed doors would indicate. However, sooner or later, it’s going to come down to what means the most, the sport or the money missed for the duration of the suspension.

And what the hell is wrong with the officiating this season? Or the take a swing, take seat policy? Yes, the proper thing was done early on when the coaches were informed and asked for help. But it is not the coaches’ job to police post-play activity when their focus is on the next best call for the situation their team is in. A stern warning should have followed, then butts should have been tossed out of the game to ponder their actions and stuff like which pending nightclub dates will now need to be sacrificed for loss of funds.

I assure you, New York, it’s not personal, and my only football-related hate is reserved for the Cowboys. But damn, one [realistically meaningless] game? My beef is this:

New Orleans coach Sean Payton was suspended one entire season without pay for his involvement in the “Bountygate” scandal of 2012. Saints General Manager Mickey Loomis was suspended for eight games and assistant head coach Joe Vitt for six (See where I’m going with this?), former Saints defensive coordinator (now with my Rams) Gregg Williams, was suspended indefinitely. Plus, ex-Saints defensive end and supposed ‘ring leader’ Jonathan Vilma receiver a season-long suspension with three other players receiving shorter suspensions (all later overturned). So how does Sunday’s incidents differ in importance? Consider Beckham’s actions were not condoned or overlooked by his coaching staff. Consider, too, that in no way, shape or form would he be rewarded financially by Carolina’s loss due to injury of corner Josh Norman (to my knowledge), then answer the question based on nothing more than the pure will to hurt another person.

Sure, in court you can pass it off as temporary insanity. But personally, I doubt if Odell Beckham Jr. did not see Norman’s game footage from the prior week and have it in his mind that if such harassment repeated, he would act accordingly.

Here’s where I walk on eggshells a bit to make my point: Having grown up in similar areas as some players today, I am very well aware of the mindset of some of the youth there having to survive the street life. It’s considered to be a street-cred-friendly frame of mind that one cannot “go out” like a coward (or ‘punk’). Simply put, this means — and it’s highly unfortunate — that it would be braver and more honorable (in the eyes of other street-level peers only) to risk one’s life fighting back when the option to walk away and live another day is available. Believe it or not, there are times when this bears substance. Professional football (or any other respectful position in life) is not one of those times and should not be tolerated in the slightest. Football, at the pro level, becomes a livelihood. When a boy takes a job, he should become a man about it. Certainly, two years is enough for any professional sports athlete to be held accountable for his (or her) boyish behavior, and dare I add, especially when it has become an on-going thing in recent generations and threatens the moral fabric of the most-respected team sport to the point that the fine doesn’t threaten the overall earning potential that influences and/or promotes such behavior.

In short, slap a boy on the wrist and you’re bound to repeat it. Punch a man in the gut hard enough…he’s bound to fold over.

 

About Author

Tony Lopez

Tony Lopez is a die-hard Rams fan and Rams representing writer at Fanosis, as well as an avid fantasy football player that has won championships at Yahoo, ESPN, NFL(dot)com and FOX. An ex-employment specialist at Goodwill of Southern California's main headquarters, he has work with prison programs and has L.A. certified training to aid people with disabilities. He is also a poet and ghostwriter.