There is nothing wrong with being a fanboi, per se, as long as you don’t mind having your brain turn to mush. But this is the primary threat to the Browns going forward because Odell Beckham, Jr. fanboi-ism is running rampant in Cleveland. Let’s look at some examples.
The Orange and Brown Talk podcast from February 11, 2021 titled: Diving Into a Deep Odell Beckham Jr. Touchdown and What it Means for the Future of the Browns’ Offense plays like an OBJ fanboi club meeting. This OBJ 43-yard touchdown pass against the Bengals in Week 2 was the center of the discussion:
— Sunday Night Football on NBC (@SNFonNBC) September 18, 2020
After discussing the play, Doug Lesmerises gushes (at 24:05):
“How can you watch this play, Ellis, and think anything other than Odell’s got to be back as a Brown in 2021?”
And Ellis L. Williams then replies: “To me, it’s that simple.”
Really? You’re going to look at a single piece of tape to evaluate a player? If you can point at that play, why I can’t I point at this play and say that OBJ should be traded?:
Oh boy. Odell…. what are you doing??pic.twitter.com/RZF0CRd076
— NFL Update (@MySportsUpdate) October 8, 2019
What about all the plays where OBJ didn’t catch his target? Why not highlight one of those? God knows there were plenty. During the 2020 season, OBJ was targeted 43 times and caught 23 of them, which comes to a miserable 53.5%. By contrast, Rashard Higgins had 52 targets and 37 catches for a superb 71.2%.
The problem, of course, is that OBJ’s stats suck, so defenders really have no other option than to cherry-pick the evidence to support their flimsy cases. Or float ridiculous theories like this one from Lesmerises (at 28:20):
“Is part of this then that – I know there’s the discussion point of: did Baker get better because Odell wasn’t there? But, what you’re explaining Ellis is that Baker got better despite Odell not being there because he was efficient in this 10-20 yard area…”
In other words, without having OBJ to blaze down the field, Baker was forced to perfect his pathetic little dink-and-dunk passing game. What a ridiculous idea. But this is emblematic of OBJ fanbois who always ignore the fact that Donovan Peoples-Jones is just as fast as OBJ, and that the Browns, as of this writing, have five more receivers who are faster than OBJ. (See my speed page here.) Not to mention the fact that the fabled “speed” of the Chiefs that the fanbois are constantly carrying on abut didn’t prevent them from getting their faces smashed-in by Tampa Bay in the Super Bowl.
And it’s not a mere “discussion point.” The cold, hard, statistical facts prove unequivocally that Baker and OBJ are a literally terrible QB/WR duo, and that Baker is elite when throwing to his other receivers.
After acknowledging that Baker & Odell have zero chemistry (at 37:40) Williams goes on to say:
“…that’s the last progression I’m waiting to see Baker Mayfield take and if it happens in weeks 1-4 next year, where he’s in a rhythm with Odell that we haven’t seen before, Browns fans are going to be feeling pretty dang good about that connection going forward.”
In other words, hope, is his plan.
This is what I’m talking about. This is the mushy-brained thinking that rules the Browns. The biggest take-away from the 2020 season is that Baker Mayfield just might be the next Tom Brady unless OBJ is on the field with him; then he regresses into one of the worst QBs in the league.
And you know what? Just about everybody in Cleveland is okay with that; as long as they can get that selfie with the big celebrity.
The fanbois also dubbed that OBJ touchdown against the hapless Bengals defense as “Peak Browns Offense” simply because it was OBJ’s best play of the season. Of course, calling it the peak is an insult to the rest of the team that beat the Steelers twice in a row and made them cry! OBJ had nothing to do with those glorious, victories.
Why don’t the fanbois analyze this play? Because this is how the Browns got to the playoffs; with the old-school crew of Hig, Landry, and Njoku:
— Receiver Daily (@ReceiverDaily) January 19, 2021
Note: today OBJ posted this on Twitter:
“Players with 6,800 rec yds and 50 rec TD in their first 80 career games: Odell Beckham, Jr. End of List. Let’s not forget @OBJ is DIFFERENT.”
Okay, but where are your Super Bowl rings? You can’t be the GOAT without some rings.