Partying with Bieber won’t hurt Giants’ chances versus Packers

Marshall Faulk joins the show to preview Wild-Card Weekend, discuss if the Giants receivers partying is a bad look & talk Kurt Warner and other Hall of Fame nominees.

The New York Giants might lose to the Green Bay Packers in their NFC wild-card matchup at Lambeau Field. And chances are they won’t run the table on the road and win the Super Bowl as they’ve been given 20–1 odds at the Las Vegas SuperBook.

But one thing’s certain: Whether or not they’re successful on their quest for a third championship in the last 10 years will have nothing to do with their wide receivers partying.

The back story here: Immediately after their win over the Washington Redskins on Sunday, Odell Beckham Jr., Victor Cruz, Sterling Shepard and Roger Lewis Jr. headed to Miami. Once there they appeared in R&B singer Trey Songz’s Snapchat story hanging out at a club and later moved to a party boat.

Naturally criticism ensued. Skip Bayless was the first of many to weigh in with a dissenting voice.

“This was a really, really bad idea starting with Odell Beckham and all the diva receivers on the New York Giants. It’s such a bad idea and a bad look, it now makes me re-think my position and prediction of yesterday that the Giants will go up to Lambeau Field and end Aaron Rodgers’s ‘historical’—as Shannon Sharpe called it—run.”

If I were facing down a month-long tournament for the chance of winning a Super Bowl, would I be interested in going to Miami? No. Do I think it would have been wiser for the receiving corps to be running plays with Eli Manning and not running game with Justin Bieber? Yes. But I’m 33 years old.

Beckham is 24 and remarkably one of the veterans of the young position group. It’s natural he would want to blow off steam and celebrate the New Year.

Enjoy every moment of life… every second

A video posted by Odell Beckham Jr (@obj) on

Most importantly, the group didn’t break any team rules by doing it. In fact, what they did is common practice.

The NFL CBA mandates that players receive one day off a week where they are not required to come to the team facility. When Ben McAdoo took over as head coach for Tom Coughlin he changed the team’s day off from Tuesday to Monday for the expressed purpose that players could get away after a game and then come back focused for the work week ahead with no interruptions.

The optics of hanging at a club with celebrities or partying shirtless on a yacht aren’t great, largely because the activities aren’t relateable and therefore seem more extreme. But if the receivers had rented out a private room in a steak house and polished off a couple bottles of wine, would anyone have an issue? If they were walking 18 holes on a golf course in khakis and polo shirts, would they be characterized as reckless?

If they made a mistake, it was putting their exploits on social media. Much of the criticism they’ve received surrounds a video posted to Odell’s Instagram page. In it you can hear a male voice in the background saying “I can’t take Adderall. I play football.”

Adderall, of course, is a banned substance in the NFL.

Gossip site Terez Owens claimed the voice in question was Shepard and that Adderall wasn’t the only drug consumed on the boat.

As of now there is no proof to corroborate those claims. But that hasn’t stopped people from taking them as gospel.

The truth is this type of trip has been happening for a long time. The difference between the Giants’ receivers’ jaunt to Miami and, say, the 1997 version of it, is back then we had no lens into the players’ lifestyle thus no platform to criticize.

And while some have compared this situation to Tony Romo going to Cabo with Jessica Simpson for several days during a bye week in 2007, the details are completely different. That was an extended period of time away from his entire team and infrastructure in another country. Something like that would never happen during the regular season.

For his part, Eli Manning treated the issue with humour.

“As a team we kind of always pride ourselves on being well prepared, so when I saw some of those pictures, I was a little disappointed because obviously they didn’t pack accordingly,” he said. “They didn’t have any shirts. All long pants, no shorts, no flip-flops or anything. So I was disappointed in their packing and not being prepared for that situation.”

The QB, whose performance relies on these players, has the proper perspective.

Joe Namath famously went out on the town during his playing career, and he’s remembered for delivering a championship to the city of New York. The same will be true for the Giants’ receivers.

If Beckham ends up holding the Lombardi Trophy with one hand after a few one-handed catches nobody will remember his play time in Miami—they’ll talk about his play on the field.

And if he doesn’t, there will be a lot of reasons for that—and none of them will be how much fun he had on an off-day.

When submitting content, please abide by our submission guidelines, and avoid posting profanity, personal attacks or harassment. Should you violate our submissions guidelines, we reserve the right to remove your comments and block your account. Sportsnet reserves the right to close a story’s comment section at any time.