It’s gotta be the shoes
As Odell Beckham Jr. continues to struggle this season, his cleats game gets better and better
Odell Beckham Jr., the New York Giants wide receiver and one of the NFL’s biggest stars, has been having a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad season.
But there is one bright and sparkly part of his 2016: his shoes. Beckham’s cleats might be his saving grace. This week’s pregame pair was created by the Los Angeles-based custom sneaker company, Kickasso Kustoms, and Beckham wore them while he warmed up for Monday’s game against the Minnesota Vikings.
The bottoms of the leather shoes were painted gold, the tops were awash in pale blue, and fluffy white clouds floated along here and there. If it had been a painting instead of athletic shoes, the scene would have been described as heavenly, in a Catholic elementary school kind of way. Even the gold Nike swoosh at the toe seems like it could have been lifted from an oil-on-canvas work by a Renaissance master.
On the outer side of each shoe, toward the heel, is a picture of an owl. And not just any owl. It’s a Drake (yes, that Drake) owl, the logo of the hip-hop star’s October’s Very Own (OVO) label. Apparently, Beckham and Drake are tight. You may recall reading about Beckham house-sitting at Drake’s Calabasas, California, home this summer.
Beckham’s OVO kicks were merely the latest in a spectacularly flashy series of pregame warm-up cleats. The ones he wore before a game against the New Orleans Saints on Sept. 18 were painted in sparkly purple, green and gold, and said “NOLA BOY.” They had gold shoelaces and a swirly pattern decorated the sides and back. (Beckham was born and raised in nearby Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and attended Louisiana State University.)
And who can forget the cleats Beckham wore during the New York Giants-Dallas Cowboys matchup? Like his teammate Victor Cruz, Beckham wore customized commemorative cleats before and during the season opener at AT&T Stadium to honor the 15th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. The pair of red, white and blue cleats, emblazoned with an American eagle on the side, were seen as a double-dog dare to the NFL over its policy of fining players who wear unsanctioned footwear or apparel during a league game.
Four weeks into the season, the New York Giants are 2-2 and Beckham’s on- and off-the-field issues — a bad temper and tendency to melt down like a kid in the candy aisle — are said to be a distraction for his teammates. But regardless of what happens with his game, let’s hope he keeps his penchant for amazing cleats.