Chasing the dream, trusting the path
I do not personally know Odell Beckham Jr., and likely never will. He will always be veiled behind that curtain that intersects between celebrity and football star. When he played for the New York Giants, the persona that reached me was a young and flamboyant NFL player who seemed to have a bit of a “see me play” aspect to his game.
When he landed on the Cleveland Browns, I won’t lie. The narratives of the Browns being Super Bowl contenders just by adding him to that roster had me jeering to myself that the Browns, and OBJ, would get their comeuppance.
But after free-agent wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. signed on with the LA Rams, gambled on himself, and proved to me that I was 100 percent all wrong about the guy, I found myself cheering for him. No, not because he was now playing for the LA Rams. But because the young man who seemed to be trying to fit in had finally found a team, a culture, an offense where he truly did fit in.
And then, in an instant, that fairy tale dream came crashing down all around him and he is suddenly without a team, fighting to recover, and most importantly, trying to make sense of it all.
For an NFL player who must face these circumstances, the uncertainty is unbearable. But perhaps now, in this moment of vulnerability, I finally begin to understand the man in that uniform. Perhaps we all do.