As you may have seen, after holding out of voluntary OTA’s, New York Giants star wideout, Odell Beckham Jr. showed up at mandatory minicamp.
But perhaps you didn’t see: On his feet were a pair of less than subtle cleats designed with custom shop Kickasso. And needless to say, OBJ isn’t thrilled about the coverage he received during his holdout. New York Post, TMZ, ESPN: SHHHH!
— LPG – NYG (@LicensePlateGuy) June 13, 2017
Now, this is nothing new: Odell Beckham Jr. has worn a multitude of custom cleats during the last two years. Not in games, of course (thanks, NFL), but on the field prior to. His obsession with sick footwear caught the eye of Nike, who signed the flamboyant pass catcher to a reported $30 million deal.
Here are some of the sweetest designs OBJ sported:
Now, if you’re wondering why the NFL doesn’t allow OBJ (or others) to wear these spectacular works of art during the game, well, here’s the letter of the law, per the NFL rule book.
“Shoes must be of standard football design, including “sneaker” type shoes such as basketball shoes, cross-training shoes, etc. Each team must designate a dominant base color for its shoes, either black or white (with shoelace color conforming to the dominant base color of the tongue area of the shoe).
Each team must also designate one of its Constitutional uniform colors as a dominant team color for its shoes. Each team must also designate one of its Constitutional uniform colors as a secondary team color for its shoes. Each team may also designate a third uniform color as a tertiary team color that may be used for accents on its shoes.
The designation of team shoe colors as described above must be reported by each team to the League office no later than July 1 each year. Each player may select among shoe styles previously approved by the League office. All players on the same team must wear shoes with the same dominant base color.
A player may wear an unapproved standard football shoe style as long as the player tapes over the entire shoe to conform to his team’s selected dominant base color (i.e., white or black). Logos, names, or other commercial identification on shoes are not permitted to be visible unless advance approval is granted by the League office. Size and location of logos and names on shoes must be approved by the League office.
When a shoe logo or name approved by the League is covered with an appropriate use of tape, players will be allowed to cut out the tape covering the original logo or name, provided the cut is clean and is the exact size of the logo or name.”
Boy, oh boy, if you thought determining what constitutes an NFL catch was complicated, try figuring out if a player’s shoes conform.
Of course, the NFL’s preferred equipment partner, Nike, doesn’t want to see Nike cleats on the field. And while “a sense of uniformity is important” it’s tough to argue there’s less uniformity in professional soccer, where cleat restrictions are more lax, than in football.
Ultimately, as with so many things in the NFL, this is about power, control, and allowing the appropriate parties (not the players, certainly!) to line their pockets.
Thank goodness for order and decorum, though. Who knows what Biblical state of anarchy would sweep the Unites States if OBJ were to wear a pair of Kickasso cleats in a game!