At some point, the feud between New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham and Washington Redskins cornerback Josh Norman has to stop.
In a recent interview with GQ Magazine, Beckham opened up about last year’s game against the Carolina Panthers in which he scratched, battled and tussled with Norman, infamously squaring off in what turned into pure, primal physicality between the two. The game started off on the wrong foot, with Panthers players supposedly hurling slurs at Beckham before the game. And then it got physical between Norman and Beckham as the two literally duked it out on the field at MetLife Stadium.
But now the rivalry between the two is getting overplayed as the offseason talk about that isolated game is now being billed as a feud. This offseason, Norman signed a free agent deal with the Redskins in a move that now aligns both players in the same division.
"I’ve made mistakes. Like bringing people to your level who don’t deserve to be there," Beckham said in the interview with GQ. "They’re trying to bite off your so-called fame, make a name off of you. I think I did a lot of that––allowed people to be relevant in my life who really aren’t relevant to me at all….It’s about being rougher than you ever really thought you had to be. Losing people you were close to for reasons that are nothing more than they’re not doing anything to better you. It’s to say, ‘Yeah, it’s great to have friends, it’s great to be cool with people. But that’s not going to get me exactly where I want to go.’”
At what point does this stop becoming a talking point? Beckham said of the incident that “If I didn’t fight back, it would be looked upon as…words that probably shouldn’t go in this article, you know what I mean.”
But end this talk already. It is done and has no place at this point in the calendar.
Admittedly, neither player seems to like the other one very much, but it is highly unlikely that the feud will continue, at least at the level that was seen in 2015. When these two teams meet in Week 3 at MetLife Stadium, the level of scrutiny from the media and fans as well as the league will blow this thing out of proportion.
Yet, at the end of the day neither player is going to step beyond the bound of aggressiveness again, not this time around. Given the height of anticipation, a hefty fine and a suspension is likely waiting for either player should they exceed any necessary force in this game.
So let’s give this Beckham-Norman rivalry a rest for the time being. It isn’t even training camp and already this meeting in the season’s third week has more buzz and talking points than if Don King was promoting the event.
Enough with the words, this should only be about football. And judging from last year, it never was about football to begin with.