By Kate Arhar // @ClvlndK8
As a Browns fan, we tend to take the “red headed step-child” view when it comes to how the NFL treats us and our team.
Most of the time, it’s just us being super-sensitive. When we complain, everyone else just shakes it off and tells us to quite whining and get over it.
And I, for one, have tried to be more objective, to not take everything personally when it comes to penalties, fines, etc., that are aimed at my team.
But now the NFL has fined wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. because his pants didn’t cover his knees. $14,037 worth of non-knee-coverage.
So it’s hard even for me to just shake this off and pretend it’s not personal.
In a email dated October 16th, the NFL informed Beckham that his pants didn’t cover his knees during the game against the Seattle Seahawks, which is a violation of Rule 5, Section 4, Article 3, Item (4) which states that “pants must be worn over the entire knee area ; pants shortened or rolled up to meet the stockings above the knee are prohibited.”
OBJ gets fined 14k for pants that are too short.
— Cleveland Sports Talk (@CLEsportsTalk) October 22, 2019
Not gonna lie – my first reaction was…. “How do I get a job looking at players knees every week and making a list of who is wearing shorties?” But then I got irritated.
In an era where player safety should be the NFL’s first concern, is this somehow saying that covering the knee area with pants is a safety concern? Or are they just nitpicking? And is this a wide-spread problem in the NFL or has OBJ been singled out? I’ll let Camryn Justice make my case on this one.
Josh Gordon Week 3. Pants above the knee all game long. Was not fined for his uniform.
Odell Beckham Jr. Week 6. Pants above the knee all game long. Fined $14,037 for his uniform.
— Camryn Justice (@camijustice) October 22, 2019
Let’s take a quick look back to Week 2, Monday Night Football, Browns vs Jets…. Beckham was removed from the field by an official when the Browns were facing a 3rd-and-goal situation because his visor was too dark. Hmmmm….
I still don’t get the visor thing with OBJ last night. I’ve had his 1-handed catch on a loop this morning. #Jets CB Nate Hairston is also wearing a visor and I can’t tell the difference between the 2 visors 🤷♂️ pic.twitter.com/1HfN3OPLFt
— Daryl Ruiter (@RuiterWrongFAN) September 17, 2019
And every week I see more dark visors and more tweets from fans asking why Beckham got called on it but no one else does.
Why can Mark Ingram wear a tinted facemask? Legitimate question. Is it because he’s on the Ravens and OBJ is on the Browns?
— Mark Kroboth (@mkroboth) October 20, 2019
So you can see why I’m taking this latest situation over his short pants a bit personally. Everyone talks a good game about how the league is better when the Browns are good. They talk about our great fan base and how much we’ve suffered over the last 20 years. They all root for us because we’re the underdog.
And yet now that we’ve got talent, now that the Browns are trying to bring themselves up to the top and no longer want to be the joke of the league, it seems as if we’re being singled out. Look, I completely get that OBJ is one of those guys who draws attention to himself, who likes the spotlight. But frankly his play on the field allows him to do that. He’s not dirty. He’s not cheating. He’s just pretty darn good and enjoying life.
What are our options? As usual, we’ll have to suck it up and deal with it. This team will go on. It’s not a crisis or anything. But I would just like you, the reader, to acknowledge that there something going on here. Stop shaking your head at me and telling me to just “let it go.” I’m not Elsa. We may not be able to change whatever this is that’s happening but to pretend it’s not real is insulting.
Talk NFL Football with Kate on Twitter // @ClvlndK8