This morning, I read a piece from Harry Lyles on SBNation.com talking about the NFL player who will be the most iconic player of his generation. It discussed his highlight-reel plays, how he’s the “most recognizable player in the league,” the fun he has during games, and the life of a star that he lives off the football field.
But you’ll understand my surprise when I kept reading about this transcendent player whose name is not Aaron Rodgers.
Instead, this article was talking about Odell Beckham, Jr., the New York Giants receiver. With apologies to Mr. Lyles, whom I know and have worked with and find to be an excellent NFL writer, I simply cannot wrap my head around this choice.
Instead of a two-time league MVP and a Super Bowl MVP, this article discusses a hot-headed wideout who has been known to fight with cornerbacks and kicking nets alike. Let’s run down all the things that make him an “icon.”
- Ridiculous plays that brought him into the NFL’s consciousness? Check.
- Having fun on the field during and after games? Check and check.
- Snappy dresser? Check.
- Star-studded life outside of football? Check, check.
- A well-rounded person with a multitude of interests outside of football? Check.
- Showing up courtside for the NBA Finals? Rodgers did that, too.
About the only thing that Beckham has on Rodgers is that the receiver plays in New York. Even that isn’t that big a deal, considering the Packers’ nationwide popularity and reach.
So tell me: why would a player who hasn’t approached Rodgers’ level of success, a temper known to boil over, and no other significant advantages be a better pick as the most iconic player of the current era in the NFL?