Yesterday, Kevin talked about how Josh Norman is, in a nutshell, overrated. And to be honest, he’s 100% right, and he couldn’t have explained it better. Norman is talented, but he is a product of his defense. However, that’s not why I’m writing right now. At the end of the article, Kevin said that he thought Odell Beckham Jr. would expose Norman. On the stat sheet, sure, he definitely did. But I think that Norman exposed OBJ.
It’s well documented that I’m a supporter of trash talk (see my thoughts on KG, Cam Newton’s celebrations, and so on). I mean, other than Tom Brady, my favorite player in the NFL is Richard Sherman, for Christ’s sake. Josh Norman has made a name for himself largely through his trash talk, and while he’s definitely hyped, I respect it. More times than not, he’s backed it up on the field. But Sunday went far past trash talk in his battle against OBJ. Norman showed how trash talk, when used tactically, can throw a guy off his game.
OBJ had his stats- 6 catches for 76 yards and a touchdown. He wasn’t on top of his game, though. He had an awful, and I mean awful drop in the first quarter, which, as TJ pointed out in our group chat, effectively lost New York the game.
But that’s not what’s making headlines.
No, instead, Norman exposed OBJ for what a punk he is. Don’t get me wrong, Norman egged him on, instigated a lot of it, and so on. He isn’t some choir boy by any stretch. Seriously though, you’re an idiot if you get one unsportsmanlike conduct penalty. OBJ had three. For all intents and purposes, the refs should’ve thrown his ass out. And since the NFL’s leadership and discipline is ass-backwards, he’s probably not going to miss any games (as of 9:32 PM, Sunday night, OBJ hasn’t been suspended). If any other player pulled those stunts, they’d probably be toast for two games.
OBJ wasn’t just taunting. He was head-hunting, which is among the lowest things you can do on a football field. He was body-slamming people. He wasn’t blocking as much as he was tackling. He was swinging fists at Panthers’ players as if he was in some sort of street fight.
It was ridiculous, and completely embarrassing to both the NFL and the entire New York Giants organization that they would let such madness ensue during a game. If you haven’t seen videos or pictures, you can start by looking at this tweet from Mike Pereira of FOX Sports.
I never respected OBJ. And while he’s a ‘first time offender’, the people from the great city of Buffalo would beg to differ.
I don’t care if OBJ can catch a ball one-handed (as cool as it may be) or if he’s one of the best receivers in the league. His immaturity will come back to bite the Giants if he doesn’t smarten up. It makes football look bad. Talk all the smack you want. That doesn’t mean the game is a UFC fight.
I may not like how Norman is hyped, but I despise OBJ and don’t care if he put up numbers on Sunday afternoon. He still caught the loss and left a ton of things on the field that he could’ve done better. Stats might be sexy, but wins are better. And OBJ’s drop and his antics cost the Giants.
Picture courtesy of larrybrownsports.com
GIFS courtesy of The Big Lead, SB Nation