Exactly one year ago, Odell Beckham, Jr. was a household unknown. No one outside of the college football circuit had any idea who he was, and he’d gone virtually unnoticed on the field as a rookie for the NY Giants at the start of his first season. Today, you can’t escape OBJ mania, and even non-football fans recognize him thanks to his multi-hued ‘fro and Head & Shoulders commercial. It’s hard to get noticed if you aren’t a Tom Brady or a Victor Cruz in an NFL arena dubbed “not for long,” since the career span of its biggest names is typically short. But all of that changed on Nov. 23, 2014, when Odell’s one-handed touchdown gave birth to a bona fide superstar.
I attended the NY Giants vs. Dallas Cowboys game at Met Life, where OBJ made the craziest catch of his career (so far) – the one football analysts and fans are still talking about. Defying gravity and all logic, Odell made it look so easy, that the crowd’s reaction was even delayed. For a split second, I felt like I was sitting on the couch at home watching my friends play Madden. There were quiet rumblings of “Did you just see that?” and “WTF!” throughout my section, before the stadium totally erupted.
Odell’s made nothing but Madden-like moves throughout the year, on and off the field. This summer, he landed a cover feature in ESPN’s annual Bodies issue, an honor given to the biggest athletes of the year. “The catch” even earned him the award for “Best Play” at the 2015 ESPY Awards. With impending fame also comes the impending “are they or aren’t they” dating speculations, and this year he was linked to Amber Rose (although both have denied couple status). The superhuman athlete even landed the cover of Madden 16. Dude’s arrived.
While some non-Giants fans may brush off “the catch” as a once in a lifetime sort of thing, Odell continues to clear one-handed catches beyond last year’s rookie season.
He makes them look so easy.
And what’s an NFL star without a mean touchdown dance?
As Odell celebrates his 23rd birthday, we salute the coolest, dopest Giant in the game.
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