Tom Sorensen

Here’s the movie that gets Josh Norman, in ‘Dancing with the Stars’ finale, fired up

Former Carolina Panthers cornerback Josh Norman, now with Washington, has made it to Monday’s finale of ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars.”
Former Carolina Panthers cornerback Josh Norman, now with Washington, has made it to Monday’s finale of ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars.” AP

Did you watch Josh Norman on “Dancing with the Stars?” Come on now — be honest. I taped it. And when the time was right, I went to the show and there on the screen, with dancing partner and professional dancer Sharna Burgess, was Norman.

Norman is one of my all-time favorite Panthers. He played four seasons for Carolina before going to Washington, which signed him to the biggest contract ever for an NFL cornerback. He is from Greenwood, S.C., and played for Coastal Carolina.

Norman is funny and interesting, and attention appears not to upset him. When the cameras and tape recorders whir, Norman comes alive. But he’s alive even when they don’t.

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“DWTS” began the season with 10 athletes and their professional dance partners. Only one more show remains, and that’s Monday’s finale. Three athletes would advance from this week’s show.

The dancers performed twice. They did a contemporary dance and one that, I don’t know, might have been the Vietnamese Waltz. OK, Viennese. I knew that.

Watching the performance in Hollywood were Norman’s mom and his four brothers. In the final dance, Norman grabbed his shirt and flung it.

I have one criticism of the show. Norman is a normal sized guy, 6-feet and 200 pounds. The football players typically are receivers and running backs and linebackers.

I want to see Panthers such as defensive tackle such as 6-3, 346-pound defensive tackle Dontari Poe, 6-6, 330-pound offensive tackle Daryl Williams or 6-4, 330-pound defensive tackle Vernon Butler.

I especially want to see Butler. We’ll know he’s still on the team.

Aside from the foxtrot, one of Norman’s best qualities is his openness. He told me in Carolina’s locker room one day that to get properly excited for a game he watches a gladiator movie the night before.

Norman ranked the movies. The bigger the game, the bigger the movie. For a game of great import, he’d watch “300.”

I told him I had never seen it and he was appalled. So I watched, and sent him a message. Yeah, it was good.

“I told you!” he wrote back. “I told you!”

Pro dancer Sharna Burgess is former Carolina Panthers cornerback Josh Norman’s dance partner on ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars.” Richard Shotwell Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP

For the finale of “Dancing with the Stars,” will he watch “300,” “Magic Mike” or “Dirty Dancing”?

Dumb question. He’s competing for the title. “300.”

Tom Sorensen is a retired Charlotte Observer columnist. Sign up for his newsletter, and follow him on Twitter: @tomsorensen

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