Panther Tracks

Big Winner on Super Bowl media day? Panthers DB Josh Norman

Panthers QB Cam Newton was the most famous Carolina player at Super Bowl media day, but one guy who drew a lot of attention was cornerback Josh Norman.

Norman’s name was mentioned frequently on many of the late-night sports shows, and the Mexican wrestling mask he wore, done up in Panthers colors, was a bit hit, too. SportsCenter devoted a special segment to Norman and labeled him one of the stars of the night.

“We are one night into Super Bowl 50 this week,” the Bleacher Report said, “and Josh Norman has already won it all.”

It wasn’t all milk and cookies for Norman, though. He and NFL Network host Deion Sanders got into a bit of a confrontation.

Fox Sports reported that Sanders asked Norman about the Panthers game at the New York Giants Dec. 20, when Norman and New York receiver Odell Beckham Jr. got into several heated incidents.

"I really didn't agree with what you had going on with Odell and that whole situation," Norman told Sanders. "I feel like you took his back on some stuff. Like if he was your son you would have gave him props."

Norman said he didn’t start anything.

"I think people get misconstrued about how I go about doing things," Norman said. "I don't talk unless you talk...If you're going to do talking please be embedded in it. Please come from that style of play ... and not get out of your game. Because I promise you that if you're going to talk to me I'm going to get you out of your game. You going to get it for the whole night. That's when it gets very exciting for me. It gets me going. My blood gets going.”

Another simulation, another Panthers win simulated Sunday’s Super Bowl, running its simulation engines 501 times. Earlier today, the Madden football game predicted a tight Panthers win. So did WhatsIfSports.

The Panthers won in 59.6 percent of the simulations by an average score of 20-16.

Quick Hits

▪ Players seemed to enjoy the NFL’s new prime time media day format, which included pro wrestling style introductions. Reporters, though, had to work a little to get into the building.

ABC reported that bomb-sniffing dogs checked reporters equipment and once inside, reporters crowded around Peyton Manning’s podium an hour before he got there. Miss Universe was there (the one was initially named a runner-up by Steve Harvey) taking photos and doing interviews. One reporter, dressed as a mock superhero, mask and all, asked Peyton exactly how his family ate together. Manning, hamming it up, described some of his family standing around the table and some sitting at the table eating as if it was one of his “Omaha” line-of-scrimmage audibles.

An Austrian TV reporter dressed as a skier, decked out with a helmet and snow skis.

▪ Linebacker Luke Kuechly arrived at media day ahead of his teammates and was interviewed by NFL Network analysts Deion Sanders and Rich Eisen along with Denver Broncos defensive star DeMarcus Ware.

Kuechly was asked about his Super Bowl experience so far.

" I don't think it really hit me until right now," he said, “to go out there and line up against one of the greatest to ever do it (Broncos QB Peyton Manning). It's going to be a great experience for us."

▪ Nine-year-old Riley Ottele, a Seattle-area kid, won the “Super Bowl Kid Reporter” contest. He was one of 120,000 entrants nationwide. Former Seattle QB Trent Dilfer called to tell him he won a trip to the Super Bowl and would get to ask questions during media day.

"I can't wait to interview Peyton Manning,” said Riley, a Broncos fan. “Once I found out it was the Broncos, I was bouncing all around the house."

They Said It

"He's the best player they have. He might be the best player in the league. "Cam is a super tough player to take down, he controls that whole offense. As Cam goes, that offense goes." -- Denver linebacker Von Miller on Newton. Miller was the No. 2 pick in the 2011 NFL draft, one spot behind Newton.