Football

‘Rotten apples from hell’: Why Josh Norman’s antics make him the NFL’s lovable diva

Josh Norman has a lot of what people hate about the NFL.

He speaks his mind. He’s seemingly always doing something to garner attention. He won’t back down from a fight.

But somehow the Washington Redskins cornerback wears the “diva” label so much better than the rest. He doesn’t come off as a spoiled brat like the others. Instead, the Coastal Carolina alumnus comes off a genuine.

When a colleague pointed out Norman’s latest off-the-field headline, I was intrigued. And, despite being a journalist, by the end of reading about his rant I chuckled.

Yes, I am part of a reporting pool that contains “spoiled rotten apples that come from hell,” and I’m proud of it. What a line!

What sparked the rant was a situation in which Norman said the media misconstrued his words when he said “anybody can do that” when referring to Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott’s strong Week 1 performance when he threw for 405 yards and four touchdowns in a 35-17 win over the New York Giants.

“You stand back there in the pocket all day and go through your first, second and third reads and come back to your first one, OK, cool. Anybody can do that,” Norman said during the week leading up to what wound up being a 31-21 loss to Dak and those Cowboys.

After Sunday’s game, he ripped into media members, saying they misconstrued his words.

“[Prescott] is a great football player. Dak always has been a great football player,” Norman said. “And they did a great job out here today and they showed that. But what I will not do [is] allow the media – or whomever the case may be – [is] stir my words and change them to what they want it to be. It never has been the case. Never have been the case.”

Did they stir his words? I have no way of knowing. But I appreciate the fact Norman is willing to speak his mind and doesn’t resort to “coach speak” or try to blackball the media as some do.

Whether it was an honest mistake in interpretation or spoiled rotten apples trying to sell a story, Norman was right to bring it up.

At least at a time when we’re getting day-after-day updates on the Antonio Brown Saga and how expensive of a watch Odell Beckham Jr. is wearing, the Norman story is not just another diva acting out or drawing attention to himself for no reason.

Whether he’s jumping over bulls, dancing with the stars or calling out media members, Norman is always highly entertaining.

If only all NFL diva-like players were like him.

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