Sometimes, the universe gives you gifts.
See, even a job as exciting as this one, which sends us to events others dream to attend and puts us in contact with people others dream of meeting, has lulls. But sometimes, you can be sitting around, counting the unending hours before another NFL draft, and all of a sudden the news breaks that Josh Norman is signing with a team in Odell Beckham Jr.’s division.
That’s right. Norman is signing with Washington and will play two games a year against Beckham and the New York Giants. This year, it will be Sept. 25 in New Jersey and Jan. 1 in Washington, and as a former wide receiver even more dominant than Beckham once said, get your popcorn ready.
You may remember Norman and Beckham from a Dec. 20, 2015 game at MetLife Stadium in which they smacked each other around after nearly every play. Norman got called for one unnecessary-roughness penalty; Beckham got called for three and was suspended for the following week’s game. Afterward, Norman called Beckham a “ballerina” and said, “players like that don’t deserve to be in the game.”
Now, it’s entirely possible that these two guys are smart enough to make sure such a thing doesn’t happen again. But what we know for sure is that they haven’t made up. Beckham has declined to discuss Norman in interviews since the incident. Norman has taken a couple of shots at Beckham in his. And the two went back and forth a bit on Twitter last month after Norman took one of those subtle shots on ESPN.
The story leading up to the Week 3 game between the Giants and Washington is going to be all about Beckham and Norman. Beckham, who doesn’t love doing locker-room media sessions in the first place, is going to hate it. Norman, who views the locker-room media interview session as a stage, is almost certain to say something to fan the flames. The two will match up against each other and it’s going to be tough to send your eyes anywhere else on the field.
And the Week 17 matchup in Washington? Hey, it’s the NFC East. It’s not insane to think, if Kirk Cousins can repeat 2015 and the Giants can figure out a way to exceed expectations by a game or two, that the Week 17 game could help decide a division title. Even if nothing happens between Beckham and Norman in Week 3, there could be plenty of reasons to keep an eye on these guys in the second matchup.
In his short time in the league, Beckham has shown that his one weakness is that he lets opponents rile him up. In his time in the spotlight, Norman has shown that he’s happy to be the guy that does the riling. Now, they play in the same division. It doesn’t get a lot more fun than that.