For those of you who don’t already know this, I’m one of the two admins of New York Giants 366. The other one is my brother Matt. We tend to agree on most things but he definitely was less on the Odell bandwagon than I was even though we both thought that the trade was stupid. He offered up the take in the post above and I think he’s wrong about some of the stuff that he said.
For the first three years of his career, for better or worse, Odell Beckham Jr. was the face of the Giants organization. The team was completely irrelevant aside from him going 6-10 in 2014 and 2015. The only reason people outside of the Giants fan base wanted to watch us play was because he was an exciting player for us.
Then in 2016 when we went 11-5 we went 11-5 largely because of Odell Beckham’s dominance on offense and a defense that played well above their ability for the second half of the season. Our offense was putrid that season. Without Odell Beckham taking a 60 yard slant to the house against the Cowboys we likely lose a game to them 7-3 which is pathetic. He was the engine on offense that season.
Injuries obviously derailed him in the lost season 2017 which was unfortunate. Then in 2018 he missed the last four games with a quad injury and the Giants went 1-3 in those games getting shut out at home by the Titans.
Fast forward to today and the Giants have obviously decided to move on. Half of the fan base is thrilled about this because they never fully embraced Odell because he didn’t do things “The Giant way.” This was the side of the fanbase who wrote letters to John Mara about Odell’s “inappropriate” touchdown celebrations instead of the team winning 8 games in the past two seasons. They scream and yell for us as content makers to “move on” when this trade will likely be talked about until the day Odell Beckham Jr. retires, especially if Jabrill Peppers and Dexter Lawrence (the main two players we got in return for Beckham with the draft picks/trade) don’t live up to the hype.
The other half of the fan base is angry because the Giants got peanuts in return for a generational talent. I’m a part of this half of the fan base. We think the way that the Giants are run is antiquated and they need to get up to date in order to manage players better from Gen Z. Whether we like it or not they don’t respond the same as players did twenty or thirty years ago. Dave Gettleman will continue to drive away talent with his belligerent approach to player management.
I do agree with Matt that the Giants fanbase is bigger than Odell Beckham but that was never a question. Our fans always turn out whether we’re good or bad. We were still #4 in total attendance last season and the team was miserable to watch. We will likely be even more miserable this season and I’d bet my life we still end up in the top 10.
That being said, on a national level the Giants have become way less relevant. For the first time since NBC took over the rights for Sunday Night Football in 2006 the Giants don’t have a single Sunday Night game. With Odell they’re virtually guaranteed to have at least one. Him teamed up with Saquon Barkley, the new face of the Giants, is must see TV because something exciting could happen at any point with them.
It’s especially sad that we’re not getting any Sunday Night games when the NFL is celebrating its 100th anniversary and the Giants are one of the oldest franchises in the league. Dave Gettleman has plunged our franchise into irrelevance on a national level and the only football fans who don’t see it that way is the uptight half of the Giants franchise that hated Odell.
I also can’t blame Odell Beckham Jr. for feeling disrespected when the GM probably lied to him just like he lied to the entire fan base. Odell was extremely angry to be traded and despite what many fans or media members may say he didn’t want to leave. There may have been times where he was frustrated that the team was losing but he loved being a New York Giant.
So when it’s all said and done, the Giants are a less relevant team now than they were when Odell Beckham was on the roster. Whether we’re better or not long term remains to be seen. One thing remains true though: For better or for worse the Odell Beckham trade will be talked about for the next decade because of how polarizing of a player he is. He’s going to say things and things are going to be said about him and we’re going to cover it. That’s just how it’s going to be and there’s no way around it.