Odell Beckham Jr and Josh Norman aren’t big fans of one another. Norman, the ex-Carolina Panthers star cornerback now with the Washington Redskins, didn’t exactly get along with Beckham, the New York Giants superstar wide receiver, in their head-to-head matchup. The two went after one another every play, resulting in multiple stupid personal fouls but amazingly no ejections.
Since then, things have been relatively calm. Norman’s decision to join the Redskins, NFC East rivals of the Giants, sparked some controversy; however, even that passed without too much nonsense.
Then Beckham got to talking again.
“It goes back to what I was saying: If I wasn’t playing him twice a year, maybe people wouldn’t bring it up as much,” said Beckham in an interview with GQ when asked about the rivalry and the hype around their impending matchups. “But now it’ll be a lot more media attention for him, attention that I don’t really look for, attention that I don’t need. The reason that he’s become so relevant is because of me.”
Beckham went on to explain that the five-year, $75 million deal Norman signed with the Redskins was nothing more than an attempt to garner attention through the hype of two matchups a year.
“I don’t know what to say about that,” responded Norman. “I guess if a guy talks about you that much, you must be doing something right.”
Norman got in Beckham’s head early in the matchup; however, while the Panthers won, Beckham torched Norman’s ass towards the end. If I were Norman, I’d just let it go.
“It means nothing to me obviously because the same fact—he’s talking about me but I’m not talking about him,” continued Norman, talking about OBJ. “It’s kind of like, ‘Well, dang.’ You was once the hunter; now you’re the hunted. So it’s like, why am I talking about you? For what? So I have nothing to say, and now we are the hunted and not the hunter.”
Analogies may not be Norman’s strong suit, so at least he has football to fall back on if the poetry career doesn’t work out.
With things heating up again between the two rivals, Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz decided to share some advice with his 23-year-old teammate.
“Pretty understanding,” said Cruz, describing Beckham. “I think he understands that this past year since last season has been a little bit of a whirlwind in that regard. He wants people to know him for him and how he’s a great player, great person, and how he wants to be perceived. And I think he has really taken charge of that, and he’s just got to take it one day at a time.”
Well, calling out Norman more-or-less out of the blue isn’t the best way to communicate your soft, caring side. But, at 23, Beckham is under a lot of pressuring, having become one of the biggest athletes in the world overnight with The Catch. Then there was the Madden cover and the Norman feud.
“I think he knows [he’s a target],” said Cruz. “He just has to understand how to combat that, how to talk to them, how to talk to people out in the streets, because anything he says is going to be used as a headline.”
Beckham must be used to this type of publicity by now, though. I think he just really wanted to tell Norman to piss off.
The Giants host the Redskins Week Three and travel to D.C. Week 17. So, yes, we have to hear about it all season.