In this corner, we have Josh Norman.
In this corner, we have Odell Beckham Jr.
We have now come to Week 3 in the NFL or – as it is commonly known – Josh Norman-Odell Beckham Part II.
Let the “crying and b----ing” begin.
For those who missed it the first time around, let me add a little fuel to the Odell-Josh fire – not that it needs much.
Norman now plays for Washington, but he was in his last few days with Carolina when we did a long offseason interview in 2016 for my new book “Panthers Rising.” Here’s what Norman said about Beckham.
“I’ll be honest,” Norman said. “I don’t care for the guy at all. ... Now don’t get me wrong, he’s a good player or whatever, but he’s not what he thinks he is. If you hit guys like that, if you completely jam them and shake them up, they can’t relate to that. So they start making excuses like, ‘Oh, he touched me.’ They don’t know how to respond because they never got hit like that. So me, every time I see him, I’m going to hit him in the mouth. I don’t care. Until he stops crying and b----ing.”
That final quote was picked up via Twitter by the ESPN SportsCenter account and ultimately was retweeted thousands of times.
‘One stupid little ball’
Beckham has been a star for the New York Giants, who will enter Sunday’s 1 p.m. home game with a 2-0 record compared with Washington’s 0-2 mark. Norman has not been able to have a huge impact yet with a Washington defense that has too many holes, although he did have a forced fumble Sunday. Norman went on a tirade Sunday after Washington lost a close game to Dallas for having to take a random drug test immediately after the game.
Norman believed when we talked for “Panthers Rising” that Beckham has gotten far more publicity than he deserves, in large part because of the amazing one-handed catch he made in 2014 on a nationally televised Sunday night game.
“He’s yapping over there,” Norman said of Beckham. “And (Beckham doesn’t) even sound like he’s making any sense. He just went (in the draft) in the first round and everything is handed to him. He gets to New York. ... He catches one stupid little ball, and everybody in New York (loves) this guy, because that’s the biggest amount of media in the world. ... So all that went to his big old head, and for some odd reason he thinks he’s somebody that he’s not.”
For his part, Beckham has said that he has had a lot to do with making Norman relevant and famous. That is somewhat true.
The two basically had a private war last December in a close Carolina win, with an out-of-control Beckham drawing three personal-foul penalties and Norman getting two. The New York tabloids eviscerated Beckham the next day with headlines like “GIANT JERK” and “BAD SANTA.”
What will part 2 bring Sunday? It should be fun.