“Hey, did you see the hurting Kevin Ogletree put on the Giants last night?”
Following a performance that saw him record eight receptions for 114 yards and a pair of touchdowns in the NFL’s season opener, Ogletree is certainly deserving of all the acclaim that comes from shining under the national spotlight.
A fourth-year player out of Virginia, Ogletree looked almost unstoppable against a defense that was widely-considered to be a top-10 unit coming into the season.
However, whenever the Cowboys needed a big play, there Ogletree was—practically uncovered. It was a feat so mind-boggling you would have sworn that he was in possession of Harry Potter’s Cloak of Invisibility.
But while the entire sports world may be ready to crown him as the newest superstar the NFL has to offer, I remain skeptical.
If you ask me, Wednesday night’s debacle was more a case of the Giants defense playing a masterful game of hide-and-seek, with an emphasis on the former, than it was of Ogletree playing like a Calvin Johnson or a Larry Fitzgerald.
Listen, I’m not taking anything away from the kid’s performance, but we’ve seen this kind of story played out in sports time and time again.
Is Ogletree the real deal?
Some virtual unknown comes out of the blue with a performance that so far exceeds expectations that he’s got everyone in the sports universe buzzing.
Talking heads take to their respective morning shows. Social media users set the Twittersphere on fire. Fantasy football gurus fight tooth and nail to make the free-agent acquisition that they believe will change their entire season.
However, everyone seems to overlook the harsh reality: it’s only one game.
A lot can happen, or not happen, in one game.
Take the Giants for instance. If they were to utilize the same logic behind the Ogletree uproar, they would be announcing the release of wide receiver Victor Cruz.
Forget the fact that his 1,536 receiving yards and nine touchdowns in 2011 propelled the Giants to their second Super Bowl title in five years. That was last season.
On Wednesday night, not only did he manage just a meager 58 yards in receiving, but he also had three costly dropped balls.
Obviously, he’s past his prime. Get him on the next plane out of New York. Pronto.
Unfortunately for the rest of the league, that’s not going to happen. The Giants understand that it’s all about looking at the bigger overall picture.
And while Cruz’s resume resembles the likes of a masterpiece straight out of the Picasso catalog, Ogletree’s is more liken to an awkwardly drawn submission in a game of Draw Something.
Prior to Wednesday night, Ogletree only had 25 receptions for 294 yards in his three years in the league. Furthermore, in his four years at Virginia he only registered 10 touchdowns.
Hardly the DNA of a big-time receiver.
It’s fairly simple. Just like every talented athlete has an off game, every pedestrian one has their day in the sun. Wednesday just happened to be Ogletree’s.
And that’s what it was. A once in a lifetime occurrence. Nothing more.
With Miles Austin and Jason Witten looking close to full health, it won’t be long before Ogletree returns to obscurity.
I get it, though. America loves an underdog story.
But for every Jeremy Lin that comes along, there are a hundred Frisman Jackson’s waiting to happen.
Unfortunately, Ogletree just happens to fall in the category of the latter.
If I was him, I’d do my best to recover that first touchdown ball. He might never get his hands on another one.
That’s not being harsh. That’s reality.