The biggest scandal in sports right now is Boatgate, otherwise known as Boatghazi. The crime in question is that the Giants wide receivers, Odell Beckham Jr, Victor Cruz, Sterling Shepard, Roger Lewis among others, decided to go to Miami to party on a yacht with Trey Songz last week. They were given a day off after beating Washington and decided to spend it partying and clubbing, with pictures surfacing of them being at the infamous Liv night club until early morning.
Giants coach Ben McAdoo saw no issue with it, saying that the players were off until Tuesday morning and were well within their rights to do what they wanted on their off hours. Eli Manning also dismissed the uproar about the issue, joking that he was also there, but that his disappointment was with the receivers not packing shorts and sandals.
That was before the Giants lost to the Packers in the Wild Card Game and the wide receivers dropped several passes —some which could have led to touchdowns. Now, though there’s no direct correlation, critics are suggesting that the boat party was the reason for their bad play.
Odell will have to answer this question 100 times before next season pic.twitter.com/qZbVAGBjbk— Adonis (@trillac_) January 9, 2017
That’s nonsensical, but only because it’s short-sighted. The boat trip didn’t cause the Giants wide receivers’ failures here, but rather, the photoshoot from the boat trip did. That picture of them shirtless on the yacht, wearing jeans and Timberlands—looking like a late 90s R&B group—was what did the Giants in. Everyone knows this! The R&B photoshoot pic has taken down potential champions before.
The Curse of the R&B Album Cover is real pic.twitter.com/kx4H6irM8F— Hamp (@Ron_Hamp) January 9, 2017
The Seahawks seemed unbeatable headed to the Super Bowl in 2015. They had a great quarterback, an uncontainable running back and a defense so fearsome that its nickname is the Legion of Boom. Then they went and did a Jodeci photoshoot for Sports Illustrated. Next thing you know, they’re throwing the ball at the 1-yard line with only a few seconds left in the game, despite having Marshawn Lynch in the backfield.
In April of 2016, the Golden State Warriors were on the cusp of history. They set and broke NBA records left and right. The team chased the Chicago Bulls 72-10 record for best season ever. Stephen Curry shot three-pointers from halfcourt, Klay Thompson stared blankly into the abyss as he lit teams up and Draymond Green flexed and kicked groins. All was going spectacularly well for them. Until they decided to do a photoshoot for the San Francisco Chronicle to show that they have style both on and off the court. They came out looking like a suburban child version of New Edition.
That season ended with the 73-9 Warriors blowing a 3-1 lead in the NBA Finals, with the first unanimous MVP and coach of the year, to the Cleveland Cavaliers, on their home court. The Warriors had beaten the Cavaliers in 2015, a year in which they didn’t do an R&B photoshoot.
Next is the most infamous: The 2014 Indiana Pacers. The team that was supposed to topple the Miami Heatles of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh. Paul George, Roy Hibbert, George Hill, Lance Stephenson, and David West played the best defense in the league and at one point had the best record in the NBA. They went 16-14 after the the All-Star break and lost to the Heat in the Eastern Conference Finals.
There’s have been countless articles written on what went wrong in Indy. Too much fame, Stephenson’s offensive ostracizing, Hibbert’s weird regression, LeBron James being LeBron James, etc. But, again, if we look more deeply at the situation, we’ll find another ill-advised and terrible photoshoot at the root. This time for GQ in March of 2014, in which the Pacers looked like Dru Hill asking for money on Kickstarter for a new album.
Once is an accident, twice is a coincidence, three times is a pattern, and four times, with this Giants situation, is a truth. There’s no denying it.
It’s a simple correlation: Teams whose players are subjects in a terrible photoshoot in which they look like knockoff versions of R&B groups, always lose. The Giants wide receivers partied on a boat on their day off, which was fine, but then they decided to take a picture with their shirts off like a cosplay version of Next and their fates were sealed. They never had a chance against the Packers.
It’s the only valid explanation for what happened. And it has more substance and actual evidence than the assertion that because they were on a boat seven days before, they dropped passes and played poorly against the Packers. That’s just dumb.