Ray Lewis has a theory about OBJ, but it’s unclear what the theory is

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Too many in sports media (or really in any media) believe that it’s not what you say but how you say it. Substance routinely takes a backseat to delivery; if it seems like someone knows what they’re talking about, the audience will often say, “Hey, that guy knows what he’s talking about.”

Enter former Ravens linebacker and soon-to-be Hall of Famer Ray Lewis. Appearing Monday on Colin Cowherd’s show, Lewis offered up a theory regarding the perceived struggles of Giants receiver Odell Beckham Jr. It’s not quite clear, however, what the theory is.

Where there’s no God, there’s chaos,” Lewis said, via TheBigLead.com. “Odell has removed God from his life. This is a kid who grew up under the covenant of who God really is. And everything that he’s doing, he’s crying out for help.”

Lewis apparently had offered to help, and that offer had been accepted. Until it wasn’t.

“We have a lot of people reporting about it, but it’s always been the duty of elders to go back to help him,” Lewis said. “So that’s why I raised my hand. And I told him, ‘I’m here [for] whatever you need.'”

“So what did he say?” Cowherd asked.

“It’s not what he said, it’s the commitment he started to make. So we started to make those phone calls, we started to have conversation. And then I started to see [that] he started to distance himself a little more, a little more, and a little more. And the moment — just listen to me, Colin, I don’t care about religion, I’m talking about a foundation. When your foundation is disturbed, when everything you’re doing is the opposite of what’s got you to this place, then you’re making your own bed hard.”

Instead of saying, “What they hell are you talking about?” to Lewis, Cowherd seemed to agree, suggesting that Beckham’s “life is less football.”

“You show me your crowd, I will show you your future,” Lewis said. “Man, Justin Timberlake ain’t never played no football. I love Justin, but Justin ain’t getting out there on the ground like that. These guys he’s hanging out with, they’re in studios all night. They don’t have to get up, they don’t have no discipline when it comes to athleticism. . . .

“And when you see this, what Odell is doing to himself. First of all, I’m not gonna just gonna call him out, I’m gonna call him. See, a lot of people [are] calling him out. Disappointed in [him]. No, no, no. What I’m disappointed in is we had an agreement, as men. And the difference of me and everybody else, I don’t need nothing or want nothing from you. But when you tell me you want me in your life to help you, when you tell me that we will be accountable with reading our bibles and sharing scriptures . . . then you wonder why things around you start to happen.”

There’s a lot to unpack in what Lewis said. The root of the problem seems to be that: (1) Lewis at one point reached out to Beckham; (2) Beckham initially was receptive; (3) Beckham eventually began to drift away from Lewis; and (4) Lewis thinks that Beckham’s failure to fulfill whatever “agreement” he reached with Lewis represents the root of Beckham’s current problems. Because of course it’s about Lewis, not about Beckham.

All of this presumes that Beckham currently has problems. Where’s the proof of that? He’s never gotten in any trouble away from football (including but not limited to never pleading guilty to obstruction of justice in connection with the investigation of a double homicide), and Beckham has associated with non-athletes from the moment he first rose to prominence in 2014. Apart from choosing to avoid the bulk of the team’s voluntary workouts last year and wanting to be paid for the value he brings to the team, what has he done differently in the past year than what he has done since his rookie year?

Yes, he gets emotional at times during games. It’s an emotional game. Yes, he enjoys the celebrity that flows from his football skills. But his football skills remain unparalleled. Yes, he wants to be paid $20 million per year. Yes, a video recently emerged that appeared to possibly show Beckham doing possibly something that a high percentage of football players do — smoke marijuana in their spare time.

The trade chatter from two weeks ago flowed from nothing Beckham specifically did but from the fact that Giants co-owner John Mara publicly bristled at questions about Beckham and his contract. On that point, Cowherd said that teams that did their homework about Beckham in advance of a potential trade didn’t like what they found. Though Cowherd didn’t mention any specific behaviors, he clearly implied that there was/is something unsavory that caused teams to shy away from trading for and paying Beckham.

None of this is fair to Beckham. Whether it’s Cris Carter or Ray Lewis, criticism from prominent former players could be rooted in the fact that Beckham has decided not to kiss the ring. Lewis specifically equates Beckham’s troubles to the fact that they made a connection and Beckham eventually ended it. Who’s to say that Beckham didn’t simply decide after some of their interactions that Lewis was making no sense and, in turn, providing no benefit?

Beckham remains a great player. The Giants have to ask whether they want to make a long-term financial commitment to him soon, or risk having him stay away from OTAs, training camp, the preseason, and possibly regular-season games. If they’re not willing to make a financial commitment, they should trade him to a team that will, and get what they can for him. Otherwise, the distractions will continue — whether originating with Beckham or with those who have tried to boost their own relevance by forcing their way into his story.

52 responses to “Ray Lewis has a theory about OBJ, but it’s unclear what the theory is

  1. God loves football, and is personally concerned with the outcome of games.

  2. And so the bottom line is this, NO MAN can curse what GOD has blessed! No man can EVAH do that! SO ODELL if you want to be great then BE GREAT! GOD has no problems with you being great! But stop this foolishness! Make your mind up to be great because GOD IS GREAT! Now if you’ll excuse me I’ve got to ruin my reputation with my only remaining fans on another show in ten minutes.

  3. Where exactly did Ray find this moral high ground? What he says is borderline incomprehensible and this is just the most recent example. Would love to see him and Deion try to have a conversation. You could probably slowly lower a dividing wall between the two and neither would realize for multiple minutes.

  4. The thing I find lacking with a lot of stories is proper context and not just furthering a false narrative.

  5. Sounds like OBJ is a reasonable person who wanted to distance himself from Lewis who is tapidly turning a self serving religious shtick into the ravings of a crazy man. Similar to when OBJ backed off from Lena Dunham’s flirts and she tried to imply there was something sexist about that. Good on you OBJ, keep those crazies at arms length.

  6. Any spiritual minded individual who listened to the interview is most likely to come out with a good idea of what Ray was talking about. Ray’s comments point to Odell Beckam departing from the spiritual path.
    Having listened to the full interview, being a Colin Cowherd regular, Ray Lewis never came off at any point as trying to make the issue all about himself. Ray Lewis has a style of communicating that leaves the observer with a lot of fill in the blanks, so to speak.
    Finally, to suggest OBJ has never has any run in with the law, though true, does not address the larger picture of why the NY Giants considered offers for his services.

  7. Actually I think RL’s theory is quite clear. Whether it works out or not to be of any help remains to be seen. But as far as what he is saying yeah I get it.

  8. I rarely understand anything Ray Lewis says. This time is no different.

    I don’t know what Justin Timberlake has to do with anything. Of people in show business, Timberlake seems like one of the more level-headed people. Never heard about him in a scandal, getting arrested, etc. I think he is a happily married man. If Beckham is seen with Michael Lewis (author of The Blind Side, Moneyball, Big Short, etc) or Oprah Winfrey is Ray Lewis going to rip into him again?

  9. I believe Ray also discussed the following;

    Small bands of nomadic hunters and gatherers. Ancient humans with tribalism in their DNA survived in their tribe.


  10. If Mike Tomlin had said the exact same thing the media would be falling all over themselves saying how smart and sharp he is. The truth is this is the same exact nonsensical gobbledygook gibberish that Tomlin always spouts.

  11. All of this presumes that Beckham currently has problems. Where’s the proof of that? He’s never gotten in any trouble away from football

    The only reason he hasn’t been in trouble is because law enforcement hasn’t caught him yet. As we’ve seen picture proof of.

  12. Ole Ray Ray is never going away as long as he has a camera pointed in his face he’s gonna flap his gums until the cows come home & one way or another it will ALWAYS turn to be about himself.

  13. ppl may not like it but obj could learn a lot from ray about how to handle himself on and off the field. i pray that some day o’dell will come to the realisation that there is no god but HIS glory. praise be to allah!

  14. It makes total sense when a person has grown up with a spiritual foundation (which I have to assume is the case with OBJ). Sometimes we think ‘religion’, as some people would refer it, should be separate from our profession. But I believe true faith in God should be a part of everything we are.

  15. I used my Ray Lewis decoder ring and somewhat understand him. His point is that Odell is a gifted and talented athlete who’s life is not centered around football or people who play football (hence the Timberlake references).

    Like when OBJ was goofing off in Miami instead of focusing on the playoff game that he flopped in.

  16. Oddly enough, he makes perfect sense…OBJ is hangin’ with the wrong crowd and didn’t take to RL’s advice…

  17. nice fanboy piece. obj delivered one of the most dangerous hits i’ve ever seen on josh norman so you can stop with the “how’s he different than everyone else” narrative.

  18. All these Ray haters are just glad he’s not out there smashing their team’s faces in anymore. Guy has been thru more than most of us can imagine, wisdom is earned children.

  19. Great player, but Ray Lewis is the most full of crap person I have ever heard. He’s so full of it and talks like he talks to God directly. It’s almost vomit inducing hearing him talk.

  20. JustBlameTrumpOrRussia says:
    April 9, 2018 at 7:11 pm
    All these Ray haters are just glad he’s not out there smashing their team’s faces in anymore. Guy has been thru more than most of us can imagine, wisdom is earned children.


    He has been through more…..most of us never killed anybody

  21. yea it’s real unclear to everyone who wants to hate on Ray. The guy was in an incident in which two men lost their lives so maybe, just maybe since he’s been clean forever he did actually change his life. OJB should definitely spend more time in south beach, in france with coke, weed and whatever was with him and doing late nigh recording sessions if he wants to be a good football player. only people he should listen to is the thousands of hacks like florio who make a career out of blowing hot air and rumors daily.

  22. Ray Lewis Counselor? I think everybody can do without. But man do I wish there were still football players like him.

  23. All these Ray haters are just glad he’s not out there smashing their team’s faces in anymore. Guy has been thru more than most of us can imagine, wisdom is earned children.


    Theres no wisdom in those words. Just the incoherent ramblings of a guy who has taken and given too many hits to the head.

  24. No one will accuse Ray Lewis of being eloquent or standing on moral high ground , but what’s with the OBJ cheerleading ? Beckham has a world of talent but the questioning of his focus and commitment are certainly warranted given his history of on/off the field antics . Saying he’s not a criminal is not a high bar . If he’s to be compensated the way he wants to be , he needs to grow up- something that has shown an unwillingness / inability to do .

  25. I think religion is dumb. Religious people think I’m crazy/stupid for not seeing the light. Thank the universe we are Americans and we respect each other’s right to form our own thoughts and opinions.

    I won’t discredit Ray Lewis for being religious. I think religion can do some pretty amazing things for people who truly believe it and follow the teachings of peace and love etc.
    I won’t discredit Ray for being stupid; he’s taken a lot of trauma in his career, and nobody gets to choose their intelligence anyway. And though we don’t call it “ebonics” any more, he clearly has a different linguistic approach than what most of us learned in school. That’s fine by me.
    What I will take issue with is that religion or spirituality is the right path for everyone. Take Ray Lewis out of it, think of who are the best defenders in NFL history? Two at the top would likely be Lawerence Taylor and Reggie White. Reggie was famously religious and spoke about his faith often. LT could be said to have “had his demons,” and lived a life pretty far from “God’s path.” Both successful in the NFL though.

  26. I understood exactly what he was saying. I know there is know place for God or faith in the media,but a lot of people do actually believe and are not afraid to express their beliefs on camera. God is a forgiving God and we have not heard of Ray in foolishness since that stuff happen. Do you not believe in forgivdness,redemption and rehabilitation? It seems to me Ray has tried to better his life and help others so they don’t make the same mistakes

  27. Only a stooge like Cowherd would give any kind of credibility to an idiot like Ray Lewis. I can just imagine what that interview looked like, kind of like watching a Trainwreck you don’t want to watch but you can’t help yourself because it’s so horrific. Cowherd reminds me of Keith Olberman, someone who thinks he’s always the smartest guy in the room but is such an egomaniac he doesn’t realize everyone is laughing at him. Ray Ray reminds me of that dude who can barely read but trys to use as many $5 words he can even though he has no idea what they mean because he thinks people will think he’s educated.

  28. The first mistake is expecting any thoughtful questioning from Cowherd. ESPN has made bad moves but letting him and Bayless go were good.

  29. Just like his pregame analysis was…………..mumble, mumble, mumble, change topic, repeat !! Ray, stop talking, try to get the red stains out of that white suit !!

  30. I’m not a Ray Lewis fan but I understand what the guy is saying. OBJ is heading down the wrong road and he needs to surround himself with better people. His biggest problem for people ripping him is that he used the word God which is a 4 letter word to most nowadays. Using the “G” word will get you torn apart in the media everytime.

  31. Ray Lewis is rambling idiot. All he does is talk in circles, he really never says anything. Lets just talk like a preacher with dramatic pauses and emphasize syllables and make it sound like I’m some other worldly genius. In reality the guy’s has nothing to say.

  32. I had my girlfriend watch Ray Lewis on Cowherd yesterday.. She could not explain what the hell he was saying either. lol

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