jb

The game of football has a pecking order.

There are two positions that lead the team on offense and defense. Obviously, the quarterback is the leader on the offensive side while a linebacker usually has the responsible for changing or adjusting the defense to what the offense is showing. Of course, the O Line and the D Line each have someone making calls and then there is someone in the secondary adjusting players.

However, the buck stops with the quarterback.

Teams win and lose by the play of the quarterback. A great example of that is looking at any of the Kansas City Chief fan pages.

I am a Chiefs’ fan, but the level of this expectation is way too much pressure for a third-year quarterback. Even though Patrick Mahomes was the Most Valuable Player of the NFL last season, he has been placed and will be held at a very high level.

Football started preseason games on Thursday night, but in the offseason, there were plenty of interviews that allowed this group of characters to express thoughts.

One of the interviews that I caught was in Gentleman’s Quarterly magazine. GQ has an interesting sports department and they always have unique stories.

I didn’t rush out to buy GQ to read the Odell Beckham Jr. interview, but I did acquire the story.

I am a firm believer in team first and no distractions to effect the team. There can be personalities on the team, but the personalities should not overcome the unity of the team.

Odell Beckham is about everything that I am against. I don’t like his style. I don’t like the way he handles himself and I don’t like his self-centered approach.

That said, he is a talented football player. He has been gifted with some amazing abilities.

However, he has not been blessed with much sense. During his GQ interview he explained that the only reason people were watching the New York Giants play was because of him.

“They (Giants) were getting prime-time games still as a 5-11 team,” he said. “Why? Because people want to see the show. You want to see me play. That’s just real rap. I’m not sitting here like, ‘It’s because of me.’ But let’s just be real. That’s why we’re still getting prime-time games…”

If I understand Beckham’s thought process, he implied that that Giants were on television during key times in the evening because of him.

New York had four evening games during last season. The last seven games of the season started at 1 p.m. If the schedule was because of you….well that should let you know your worth.

Another point that was brought up in the interview was about leadership based on race.

When the race card is dropped in this part of the world, people pay attention. This subject pulled me into the interview at the very beginning. Beckham used Tom Brady as an example of the racial double standard that he says exist in the media.

In fairness to Beckham, he didn’t want to use Brady’s name in the conversation, but he compared himself to Brady. He stated that both players are highly competitive and have the desire to win.

Then he went on to mention about yelling at referees, coaches or even teammates. Beckham eluded to the fact that if he does this, he is a bad teammate. However, if Brady does the same thing, he is a leader.

When I read this, I had to stop and think. I came to the realization that I was judging Beckham on his personality.

Both of these guys wanted to win. They are both very competitive. However, I was letting off-field things influence my thoughts of on-field things.

They both were guys that wanted to win. They were both leaders in some way for their teams.

I will never agree with Beckham’s style or the way that he handles himself. But, he does want to win and that is a start in the right direction for anyone.

Jeff Brasel is the sports editor of the Harrison Daily Times. E-mail him at jeffb@harrisondaily.com or follow him at twitter.com/jeffbrasel .

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