OBJ and the Apotheosis of Cleats

Like once-in-a-generation talents before him, Odell Beckham Jr. hasn’t restricted his activities to on the field heroics. Known for his fiery temper, boat parties, and eccentric style, OBJ has made waves. This cultural omnipresence is exactly why Nike inked the young stud to the richest shoe deal in NFL history.

Reportedly for five years and valued at $29 million, with incentives possibly kicking that figure close to $40 million, Nike will now officially be paying football’s latest prophet more handsomely than his own team. With the Giants on the hook for less than $2 million this coming season, Nike was forced to step in in classic capitalist fashion to even out this mismatch of gargantuan talent and bench-warmer compensation.

How have we as a society come to this point? Why must our cherished consumer institution intervene to right the wrongs done to evolution’s greatest creations? The story is one rich with heroes and villains.

It all began with Joe Jackson. Long known for his flashy shoes and skill at basing the ball, Joe was a media darling. Oh! How he did base that ball! His exploits drew money and fame, but soon those who paid his contracts grew jealous. They did not appreciate that while they bore the costs Joe was reaping the rewards. As punishment they stripped him of his shoes, salary, and forced him to switch throwing hands.

This was very irritating for Joe, as he had so loved using his dominant hand! The new nickname apportioned to him, “Shoeless” Joe Jackson”, stuck in his craw as well. These slights brought down not only Joe’s ego, but his performance as well. Fans would stand on tip-toe, eager to see their hero, only to see him trip and fall several times while struggling to get to his position like some sort of drunk wearing only shoelaces.

The only true source of good in America would have to step in to remedy this issue: Industry. Industry! The clarion call of industry’s pure-hearted leaders had long been the boon of the downtrodden. It was just as Joe reached his lowest that this very melody touched his ears.

The shoe barons descended upon Joe with bountiful gifts. Cleats of every color, size, width, and cleat length. Some were secured with space-age velcro, others with traditional laces, and yet others with series of byzantine buckles; Joe loved them all.

While the small-minded and hateful owners seethed, Joe enjoyed a resurgence. Each day a new cleat on his feet, each day a new feat to complete. The seats were replete with fans to meet and treat with his neat feats; never would he beat a retreat with these cleats on his feet. His favorite vegetable was beets.

So from the time of Joe, shoe companies began to support the poor, indigent ballplayers of every sport. Anywhere a physics-disregarding super-athlete broke minds with three-fingered catches; they would be there. Whenever an inspiration to the Gods appeared, he would not be without dope-ass kicks. God bless the shoe companies, and God bless OBJ.

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