Jamal Adams, Odell Beckham Jr.
ESNY Graphic, AP Photo

New York Jets stud safety Jamal Adams finally meets his LSU brother, Odell Beckham Jr., in the NFL. Primetime meets primetime in primetime.

Robby Sabo

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ—Before computers, prior to even the craziest thought of smartphones, simpler times existed. Fantasy football humans needed a pen and pad to match the insane idea of cable. (Over 50-plus channels on the television? Atlanta Braves baseball? My local home sports teams through MSG Networks and SportsChannel? You have to be kidding me. It was a dream come true.)

No misses, no screw-ups, no room for error. If a fantasy footballer found himself absent for NFL Primetime on ESPN, only the next morning newspaper could provide the entire statistical story as to whether not your fantasy team came out on top.

Along the way, the great Chris Berman and Tom Jackson enjoyed their moments, including highlighting one player who naturally captured the program’s namesake.

“Primetime, primetime, primetime.”

A Deion Sanders moment always prompted a “primetime” call-out by the beloved TV duo.

Today, along with a heavy dose of sensitivity, insane internet speeds and smartphones that may eventually take over the human race, NFL Primetime is gone (at least in its classic, standard form).

Luckily, NFL football in primetime and the idea of “primetime” itself lives on. Capturing a football moment in a flash of athletic brilliance and dominance is that idea.

Perhaps the next best example features two household names who come as close as anybody when attempting to fill the shoes left by Mr. Sanders.

Monday Night Football isn’t any ordinary matchup for two such players. Jamal Adams and Odell Beckham Jr. finally meet on the regular-season field.

“Everybody knows … if he’s not the best, (he’s the) best receiver in the game,” Adams proclaimed when describing Beckham Jr. “Tons of respect for him. Obviously, he came from the best university. It’s kind of set in stone; we’re (LSU products) built in a different way.”

Of course, OBJ and the wideout position fit perfectly. Strong safety, while never once thought of in this light, is starting to gain steam.

Honestly, who else?

The diva cornerback (aside from Jalen Ramsey) era is dead. Thanks to rules that’d allow your little brother to dominate down the field, corners have become just another guy on the defense. Quarterbacks don’t count in this regard. They belong in another class entirely.

Strong safeties are oftentimes the most important position on the defensive side of the ball. It’s this position’s all-over-the-place play and smarts that take away matchup problems usually favoring tight ends and running backs out of the backfield.

Adams and Beckham are as close as we’ll get to the idea “primetime” in today’s league.

Adams, 23, arguably the best safety in the NFL, represents a sort of flash only grit can get behind. His energy and leadership abilities are only matched by his excellent fundamental play and toughness. While the entire casual football world remains focused on his lack of interceptions, the diehards understand just how dominant he is in every area of the game.

Beckham, the flashiest weapon witnessed in decades, has intertwined social media and the professional game. Never without controversy and baggage, the kid’s talent on the field is tough to match.

Other than the obvious fact that “primetime is back in primetime” for this Monday night affair, LSU pride is ready for one serious showcase.

Adams continues on as the New York Jets best football player. Week 1 featured the All-Pro collected a pass deflection, a quarterback hit and six tackles under Gregg Williams’s system.

In Week 2, it’s about the 0-1 Browns and the man who’s expressed worries about Williams’s tendency for teaching over-the-top funny business.

“I’m excited to play him for the first time, and I’m looking forward to it and I know he is as well,” Adams said in reference to his friend, Beckham Jr.

The first between the two happened, naturally, at LSU when Adams visited the school as a 16-year-old talent.

“When I met Odell I was about 16 or 17, on a visit to LSU,” Adams recalled. “He was my host. I remember him wearing a white-collared silk shirt. He had on some leather wax black pants and Timberlands. I’ll never forget it. it was definitely different. But he’s obviously one of my good friends and definitely a brother.

“We’re excited to compete out there, but there are no friends on the field. Off the field we’re good, but on the field, it’s go-time.”

Beckham, the former Giant whose trade to the Cleveland Browns sent shockwaves through the league, is not only battling expectations, but he’s also still dealing with unnecessary drama.

Wearing a $350,000 Richard Mille wristwatch during his team’s opening-week loss to the Tennessee Titans, the older of the two LSU brother can’t figure out why drama always follows.

What else is new? The more things change, the more OBJ stays the same. Come to think of it, it’s a similar story to No. 21 as he navigated the early part of his NFL and MLB careers.

No, there won’t be any mentions of “primetime” on NFL Primetime this time around. Chris Berman isn’t as active and the classical form of the program is long gone in a world that features instant information and gratification.

Interestingly, however, the LSU (not Louisville) duo of Jamal Adams and Odell Beckham Jr. might be the closest thing that’ll get Berman and (Tom) Jackson out of their seats.

On Monday night, primetime returns to primetime, and the NFL can thank LSU.

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