The day started off the same way for Odell Beckham Jr. and his nemesis Josh Norman with officials warning both the Giants receiver and Redskins cornerback that one misstep could get them tossed from the game.
It ended, however, in a dramatically different fashion
On one sideline, Norman could be seen late in the game enjoying what ended up being a 29-27 Redskins victory. And on the other, Beckham was caught on video screaming and stomping and throwing a tantrum that included furiously swinging his helmet into a kicking net, which then fell and hit him in the head.
Appearing with a cut on the side of his face after the game from where it appeared the net had hit him, Beckham said he didn’t “remember” the details of the meltdown or whether he was crying after the game as it had seemed to some viewers on television. The tantrum came right after the Giants Pro Bowl receiver had burned Norman for two big plays on the opening drive of the fourth quarter only to have it rendered meaningless when cornerback Quinton Dunbar made a on-handed interception of Eli Manning in the end zone.
It’s no surprise that emotions ran high in the game considering it was the first time Beckham and Norman had met each other since last season when the two fought on the field in Week 15 last season. That fight, when Norman was playing for the Panthers, led to a suspension for Beckham and a fine for Norman.
Both players said they were approached by officials before the game and warned that that they needed to be on their best behavior. The league also announced before the game that Beckham had been fined $35,000 before the game for an illegal crack block in last week’s Saints game.
“Today, they came up before the game and said if you do anything, we’re throwing you out of the game,” Beckham said. “There was no, ‘You get a warning.’ ”
Said Norman: “I was trying to get warmed up and they pulled me to the side and said ‘We’re not going to let you make a mockery of the game.’ ”
Statistically, Beckham appeared to get the best of his rival, finishing the game with 11 receptions for 121 yards. Yet, it was Norman who came out of the game with a big smile on his face and Beckham with a big scratch.
Said Norman: “Just an awesome day, just straight awesome. From the beginning to when the refs came over and talked to us, about nothing, and towards the end when I was celebrating with my teammates . . . All this stuff between, that was the show At the end of the day, W is all that matters. I’m going to be high on this for awhile.”