Two thoughts came to (what’s left of our) mind after noted management consultant Brandon Marshall offered Giants brass advice on handling Odell Beckham Jr.
1) The Giants organization, anointed many moons by a fawning local media as one of the NFL’s “model franchises,” the definition of “class,” doesn’t have a clue how to handle Beckham. Or really doesn’t want to rein him in.
2) Imagine if Beckham was losing his mind on the field while playing for the Jets AND being publicly criticized by the quarterback who, went you sift through his double talk, is calling OBJ a selfish player?
“If the Jets had a situation like this (Beckham thing) they would be depicted as the ‘same old Jets.’ Here comes another Jets circus,” said Jonas Schwartz, host of SNY’s Jets postgame show. “They can’t get out of their own way and there’s no discipline. But since it’s the sainted Giants we hear little of this.”
The Giants are letting Odell Beckham act like a baby on the field … and are getting away with it.
Others who earn their living covering the Jets have recognized the double standard has existed ever since the Giants defined the Jets as a renegade organization back in the AFL days. They now must feel like their world has flipped. Compared to the Giants, it’s now Gang Green, despite the losing record, that’s the model of sanity and stability.
Don’t forget, before Beckham lost control and controversy began percolating, Giants brass (specifically co-owner John Mara who waited too long to makes his feelings known) acted foolishly and erratically while botching the Josh Brown situation.
That episode ran its course. The Beckham situation is already out of control and has legs. Yet Giants’ brass failure to effectively manage it is not a front burner topic for the media, who have designated the corporate suite off limits to their “inquiring” minds.
The Giants organization still has not sent out a unified message on its position and the media has not criticized management’s scatterbrained approach to handling Beckham.
Jerry Reese was seen talking to OBJ after a game but no one knows what was said. Instead, rookie coach Ben McAdoo has been the face man in this fiasco. He has the communication skills of an ant. He too has sent out mixed messages. Has the astute Giants organization even media-trained its coach?
McAdoo has gone from one extreme to the other, all the way from criticizing Beckham to saying “I’ve got this young man’s back.” Donald Trump had more debate preparation than McAdoo did for his last encounter with Mike (Sports Pope) Francesa, whose agenda was to make the coach either look bad or foolish. He succeeded in doing both.
Someone should have warned McAdoo Francesa would use him to create a headline. Like they should have warned McAdoo that when he agreed to take WFAN’s money, he signed up to play the role of Francesa’s whipping boy. In other words, this “sainted” organization hung its new coach out to dry.
Another disturbing piece of info was presented by ESPN 98.7’s Michael Kay, who said a “Giants source” (We’re guessing it was not Anita Marks) told him because of Beckham’s immense talent, with unlimited upside, it is worth placating him, coddling him, accepting his instability, and allowing him to run the asylum.
This likely means Giants brass will continue letting Beckham do his thing without regard for future consequences. Then again, Giants suits won’t have to worry about the media pointing fingers in their direction.
They are already The Untouchables.
Medical minds are still trying to find a cure for cancer.
Military minds are still trying to find a way to destroy ISIS.
And some serious media types are struggling to find out why NFL TV ratings are down.
Now, that’s hilarious. Yet for some this is serious business. After all, isn’t everyone concerned when billionaire owners and TV networks, with highly compensated executives, face such terrible adversity?
Doesn’t the Free World fret over the possibility of some over-paid NFL announcer getting his salary cut because the ratings are starting to suck.
Please. The NFL TV contracts expire following the 2022 season and any ratings fall off won’t reduce the $ 3 billion per year in rights fees the league will pocket through the life of the current deal.
Also, the NFL is only at the quarter pole, but these ratings geeks are in a state of panic, seizing on the ratings drop as a trend.
Chill. Haven’t you heard Mr. Trump already has a plan to solve the NFL’s ratings problem.
And we thought ESPN was a buttoned-up, detail oriented, organization.
Not according to Annie Apple, mother of Giants DB Eli, who she refers to as “Black Eli.” Apple was in Minny Monday night on assignment for ESPN’s “Sunday NFL Countdown.”
According to Ms. Apple — writing in her SI column — she was supposed to “shadow the guy who does uniform checks” for the NFL. There are 64 former players, she said, who do that job.
A not so funny thing happened to Apple on the way to the stadium. She was told the person she was supposed to “shadow” never agreed to participate in the piece “and the league never gave its permission.”
Shouldn’t these major details been finalized before game night? Or did someone at ESPN drop the ball by neglecting to ask the “uniform checker” and the NFL for access days before Apple arrived on the scene.
Someone messed up.
Will Cain. Remember that name.
He’s a conservative political pundit who crossed over to sports when ESPN hired him in May, 2015.
Tuesday he had a breakthrough moment while appearing on “First Take” a show experiencing a ratings decline since Skip Bayless went into the Witness Protection Program and was replaced by Max Kellerman.
Cain went at it with Stephen A. Smith. He succeeded in getting under SAS’s skin. Watching all this we got the impression, from his hyper intensity and naturally angry facial expressions (not the usual contrived mugging jive), Mr. Smith detests Mr. Cain.
The spot was riveting, producing some real heat. And it even featured comedy when Cain, who brings a clear superiority complex to the table, mangled a line but managed to put a different twist, so to speak, on it.
“The measure of a man is not the size of his body,” Cain said. “It’s the size of his man.”
* * *
DUDE OF THE WEEK: TERRY COLLINS
For rocking steady. Can you imagine all the behind-the-scenes crap this guy puts up with that the media doesn’t know about (or hides)? Yet there he was Wednesday night — once again — answering all the questions after San Francisco eliminated the Mets from October. Collins’ ability to motivate has been well documented by many of the same bloviators who make their living second guessing his moves. Still he takes it in stride, holds himself accountable, and moves on. And when he, or some suit, decides it’s time for him to exit, Terry Collins will be missed.
DWEEB OF THE WEEK: DJ LeMAHIEU
Who does this guy think he is? The 2016 NL batting champ? The Rockies infielder played it safe last week sitting out four games including the season finale to nip Daniel Murphy, who was injured and out of the Nats lineup, by one point in the batting race. Colorado manager Walt Weiss made the benching sound like some kind of reward for LeMahieu. “My philosophy, whether you like it or not, is I’m going to take care of the guys who take care of our team,” Weiss said. Still, we suspect no one will ever confuse LeMahieu with Ted Williams.
What Eric Decker said: “I’m more focussed on every day getting (my rotator cuff injury) better and getting to the point where I can be ready to go.”
What Eric Decker meant to say: “See you in 2017, Jets fans.”