We Don't Need Odell - A Message From Damar Hamlin

William "Dollar Bill" Mersey

Football is all fun and games until somebody looks like he just dropped dead on the field of play. Suddenly, we realize that there are more important things than winning or losing the contest. And I didn’t just feel that way when I watched Damar Hamlin collapse. I felt that way when I watched 15 minutes of video from inside an airplane where Odell Beckham acted out like a child.

If you haven’t viewed this “footage,” here’s about what happened: Beckham boarded a plane hungover from partying the night before and acted incoherently when the flight attendant tried to get Odell to fasten his seatbelt. He also allegedly took off his pants and sat in his underwear.

Fearful for the passenger’s safety over a 5-hour flight, the flight attendant alerted the captain and authorities and the drama was on. They wanted him off the plane. From the video, it appears that Odell “came to” when confronted by several uniformed and very respectful men — and appeared to be ok to fly. 

But by then, it was too late. He needed to disembark and take the next flight (which is what they told him would happen). To his discredit, Odell owned none of his erratic previous behavior and refused to get off the plane. Instead of doing the right thing, he dialed up a friend on his phone to complain about the treatment he was suffering rather than accept the fact he’d brought this all upon himself.

Even when informed that if he didn’t disembark, the entire plane would have to be evacuated, Odell would have none of it. And as a result, every passenger had to get off the plane because Odell refused.

Often, old-school players refer to NFL divas displaying what they call “Wide Receiver Syndrome,” a pejorative phrase describing spoiled rotten/overpaid wideouts of which the NFL has had too many. If I’d ever wondered about Odell answering to that description, that 15 minutes of video dispelled all doubts. 

As a longtime Giant fan, I loved Odell when he was on the team. The guy was fire! But in the wake of Damar Hamlin’s collapse and a new perspective I have on the game, I’ve come to the conclusion that winning at all costs has taken a backseat to humanity. And any man who acts out in the manner that I witnessed on those 15 minutes of footage is not a guy I want on my team. 

And oddly, it seems that I’m not alone in that appraisal. Odell played the diva when it was time to return to the NFL. And what happened? Nobody wanted him. He got what he deserved — and then demonstrated in no uncertain terms vi 15 minutes of video — that those NFL teams were on the right track. Beckham needs to take a long look in the mirror to see the “not cool” guy he’s become before anybody takes him seriously again.

Message to Odell: You’re a person first — and then a football player second. You’ve clearly lost sight of that. Time to reboot, brother.

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Alt views, news, and opinions from Greenwich Village, NY. Contributor for the Daily Beast, New York Daily News, Daily Mail, The Independent, and New York Times

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