In today’s NFL, there aren’t all that many rivalries between players, which irritates fans. Fans look forward to games between players that have been in fights and have rivalries. In lieu of Odell Beckham Jr. and Josh Norman's recent twitter fight, fans have complained about the lack of rivalries in the game today. Taking a look at the top three current wide receiver vs. cornerback rivalries, lets see where Beckham and Norman’s rivalry ranks.
Michael Crabtree and Richard Sherman rivalry began in the 2013 NFC Championship game. Being divisional rivals, the two had already had a bit of a rivalry, but when the world was watching and both teams were looking for their bid to the Super Bowl, the players took their rivalry to the next level. The San Francisco 49ers decided to try Crabtree in one on one coverage against Sherman for the game-winning touchdown. Sherman batted the ball away winning the game for the Seattle Seahawks. During the postgame, Sherman had his infamous rant noting that he himself is the best player in the NFL. Crabtree left the NFC West to go to the Raiders, calming the rivalry significantly.
It isn’t a major rivalry at this point since it is the end of both players careers, but Andre Johnson and Cortland Finnegan will always have an edge towards one another after there in-game fight in 2011. Johnson and Finnegan had been pushing and shoving quite a bit, and eventually ended up ripping each others helmet off and getting into a fist fight before being retained by teammates and officials. The play erupted into a team vs. team brawl as players came off the bench and went after the other team. Both players are in the last years of their careers, but after their 2011 in game boxing match, this will always be a rivalry.
Lastly, the Beckham vs. Norman rivalry is developing, and is definitely the biggest cornerback vs. wide receiver in the league today. On the opening Giants’ drive, Beckham dropped what would have been an easy touchdown, which frustrated Beckham, likely being a major factor towards their in-game scuffles. Beckham and Norman were more so in a fighting match rather than a football game. Play in and play out, Beckham wasn’t running routes and Norman wasn’t covering a receiver, the two immediately ran after each other shoving and punching.
Norman constantly picked up Beckham and threw him to the ground, while Beckham eventually speared Norman in the head with his own helmet. Beckham ended up leaving the final mark with his one on one game-winning touchdown, but the Carolina Panthers ultimately earned the win. Recently, Norman released his top five receivers list, leaving Beckham off of the list.
Clearly, the rivalry isn’t diminishing by any means, as Beckham and Norman have now found a way to go at each other even during the offseason. If Beckham and Norman somehow face off in the playoffs, nothing has shown the two won’t have a matchup similar to the one from 2015.