Our weekly Monday sports round-up features three-time ‘So . . .This Happened’ Featuree Odell Beckham Jr., Johnny Manziel being shown the money (but not how he imagined) in his starting debut, and a wonderful speech by Notre Dame’s women’s basketball coach about activism by athletes – and all of us – in the wake of the death of Eric Garner.
1. Ode To Beckham: Hey Is That Odell Beckham Jr. Guy Featured Here EVERY Week?
Well. Pretty much. But it’s well deserved. The Giants wunderkind WR has been the best receiver in football since November 1st, and perhaps its best and most dynamic player, period.
The rookie made his first big statement about his transcendent talent with “The Catch.”
Shortly, thereafter, we learned that he can kick FGs all by himself (holder, optional) and throw 50 yard bombs, all while continuing his romp through opposing defenses with blinding speed and vice-grip hands.
Today, in the Giants victory over the (not very good at football) Team from Washington DC, ODB Jr. continued to give NY Giant fans reason to watch football by posting another 12 catches for 143 yards and 3 TDs. Since November 1st he leads the NFL is catches, yards, yards-after-catch, first downs, and is second in receptions of 25+ yards.
Every Giant fan in the land is bathing in the holiday warmth of last year’s first round draft pick gift: the Gift of Beckham.
Even Beckham himself is enjoying the Gift of Beckham!
I swear I can’t make this up… Follow Gods devine plan and watch your dreams unfold #SomeoneWakeMeUp
— Odell Beckham Jr (@OBJ_3) December 14, 2014
May his Legend grow.
(GMP Sports Editor’s Note: Full disclosure. The author is a huge NY Giants fan, and holds Odell Beckham, Jr. on his fantasy football team. I am very much “Down with ODB. Yeah, you know me.” As the kids say. In 1995.)
2. “Johnny Football” Is (Show The) Money (Gesture By the Cincinnati Bengals Defense).
Johnny ‘Football’ Manziel entered the league as a polarizing figure. Brash, but oozing with talent.
It’s looking like his choice to make “show me the money” his defining gesture may have been … well … a mistake.
For one, it makes him look shallow. For another, it makes him look cocky. And finally, if you do that, best back it up.
He did not back it up today. To put it lightly. The Cincinnati Defense shut out Manziel and the Browns 30-0. Manziel’s stat-line: 10 of 18 for 80 yards and 2 INTs. So, they got to do this:
Johnny Manziel. Simply not as endearing as Rod Tidwell:
Not even close.
3. Coach Muffett McGraw and The Ladies of Notre Dame Basketball: Beacons of Social Justice, Accountability, and Standing Up for What You Believe In
Joining a wave of activism by athletes, the Notre Dame women’s basketball team wore “I Can’t Breathe” t-shirts in warm-ups before their game against Michigan. It was a move to express support for change and solidarity with others demanding change in the wake of the death of Eric Garner.
Coach Muffett McGraw discussed how important this was to her athletes, to her, and for all of us:
“You gotta fight. You gotta fight for what’s right. You gotta fight for playing time . . . You have to be willing to stand up and fight, and you have to be accountable in that fight. And the accountability doesn’t end when they leave the locker room. It’s not just about basketball. Basketball is just a game. The thing that it teaches you is about life. And these are the lessons I want them to learn . . . Look in the mirror and ask yourself: ‘what are YOU willing to fight for?'”
– Coach Muffet McGraw
Everything that is good and right in sports, right there.
Photo Credit(s): Odell Beckham, Jr. and Johnny Manziel (Associated Press/File); Cincinnatti Bengals D (Associated Press/David Richard
For back-issues of our weekly “So…This Happened. Three Things in Sports,” see:
December 8, 2014 Edition: Eric Garner protests by athletes, Andre Johnson’s Christmas toy shopping spree for kids, and the Legend of Odell Beckham Jr. grows.
December 1, 2014 Edition: Ferguson protest by the St. Louis Rams, what’s good about sports from Ohio State/Michigan, and an epicly bad loss by the NY Football Giants.
November 24, 2014 Edition: Odell Beckham, The Red Sox, and Kentucky Wildcats basketball