This wasn’t any social-media troll or talk-radio host calling Odell Beckham Jr. on his office carpet Wednesday.
It was the owner — John Mara. Son of Wellington. Keeper of the Big Blue flame.
You didn’t need to be a fly on the wall to hear what should have been Mara’s message:
Enough is enough.
Enough hurting your team with penalties, post-touchdown or otherwise, and enough embarrassing the organization and yourself with some Stupid Pet Trick celebration in the end zone.
In the prison system, they call it “scared straight.” Sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn’t. Sometimes behavior can be changed, and sometimes it cannot be.
Beckham — beloved by his teammates, 13th Wonder of the World — didn’t commit any crime. He is, however, a prisoner of his own passion and desire to be a legendary Super Bowl champion, and maybe even his burgeoning popularity and fame.
But if the boss is upset, a boss who has bled Giants blue every waking hour of his football life, a boss who has bitten his tongue and refrained from rattling the cage of the most dynamic lion he has had since Lawrence Taylor … if the boss reads you the riot act and it still doesn’t sink in?
Then it never will sink in.
And if it doesn’t sink in, Odell Beckham Jr. should understand that he will jeopardize being a Giant for life.
Don’t blow it, kid.
“We talked,” Beckham said at his locker.
Better he listened.
Beckham was asked if he felt he embarrassed the organization and his contrition concession was: “More myself I guess.” He soon added: “Only regret is causing us 15 yards.”
He should regret forcing the owner to intervene in a last-gasp attempt to convince him that he is paid to be a football player more than he is paid to be Cedric The Entertainer.
He should regret that unsportsmanlike conduct penalty being his only regret after coach Ben McAdoo said: “Whether it was or wasn’t a penalty, it’s still not something that we’re condoning.”
Neither Beckham nor his teammates feel he has to offer a public apology for his Stupid Pet Trick, but if Mara and McAdoo, after further review, were offended by it, it would be in Beckham’s best interests to apologize in private to them.
“It’s a poor reflection on me, it’s a poor reflection on the organization,” McAdoo said. “We have a plan for it moving forward.”
Sitting Beckham for a series or two, much less a suspension, would punish the rest of the team at a time when the Giants are in desperate straits.
Shelving negotiations on a new long-term contract would be the better option.
Because how many times do you have to tell a guy to grow up? To wake up?
Asked if his Stupid Pet Trick celebration was out of line, Beckham said: “I don’t know. I don’t think any of us know the rules on what you can do celebrating.”
Then McAdoo better have a thorough review for his players, ASAP.
Not to mention that role models who so many kids look up to should use better judgment than a dog.
“But I do know going forward,” Beckham said, “I have a lot better celebrations.”
No one should ask him to act like he’s been there before when he scores. Dance, Odell, dance.
“He made two of the finest plays you’ll ever see in pro football, since I’ve been in the league, and those are getting overshadowed. It’s unfortunate,” McAdoo said.
Are you convinced it won’t happen again?
“That didn’t come out of my mouth,” McAdoo said.
Are you worried that it will happen again?
“I’m not worried about anything. We have a plan for it if it does,” McAdoo said.
All this, at a time when the 0-3 Giants should be laser focused on the Buccaneers.
Asked about Beckham’s celebration, Landon Collins said: “I loved it.” But the owner didn’t. “You ain’t gonna disrespect a person that made history in this game,” Collins said.
“The man upstairs probably doesn’t want him to do it, “ Dwayne Harris said, and chuckled, “so I’m pretty sure he’s not [going to] use that one anymore no time soon.”
Odell Beckham Jr. has the world by the ball.
Don’t drop it, kid.
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