If Josh Norman's production on the field in 2016 matches up with his first few weeks as a Redskin, where he's churned out spectacular quote after spectacular quote, the Carolina Panthers are going to be kicking themselves. Then they'll probably kick themselves some more.
Norman delivered throughout his opening press conference with the team, and has nailed other interviews with various outlets. A recent piece he wrote for The Players' Tribune, however, is undoubtedly his best work yet. The whole thing is riveting, but here are the five coolest chunks from his work, which is titled, "Steal Your Bologna."
5. When he talks about the day he first picked up football.
Norman opens the article by revealing that, as a youngster, he'd be left out during games of basketball. Because of that, he'd be forced to get shots up by himself on "the crooked-ass rim with no net." In case you aren't aware, shooting on bent rims that don't have a trace of nylon completely sucks. Those definitely weren't the greatest days for little Norman.
Eventually, though, he found his calling. Allow him to explain.
"One day, they made a mistake. They messed up. They let me put on a football helmet. They let me get in the dirt. Now, all of a sudden, the same dudes who used to steal my [spot on the court] were hearing a very particular sound. It’s a sick sound, really. I’ll never forget the first time I heard it. It’s the crack of a football helmet obliterating some poor dude’s chest protector. Then you hear him wheezing. You see the spirit draining right out of his body."
Having your spirit drained doesn't sound like a nice experience, but it's a tremendous visual.
4. When he writes about the kinship he feels with a particular superhero.
Everyone's got a favorite superhero. The All-Pro corner is no different. But the reasoning behind his pick is what's notable.
"My favorite superhero since way back was always Batman. I always related to Bruce Wayne because he came up through the darkness, and so did I."
Spiderman would've been a solid pick for Norman considering they both have sticky hands, but the darkness idea is much more powerful.
3. When he describes his mentality.
What's your mentality in life? "Do your best?" "Never give up?" Whatever it is, prepare to feel lame when you hear what mantra Washington's pricey aquisition follows.
"From the first day I put on a football helmet I have repeated the same three words to myself every time I go out on the field: seek and destroy. Seek and destroy everything."
Sure, that may not work for a barrista at Starbucks or a dental hygienist, but it fits Norman's profession perfectly.
2. When he turns the narrative of the Draft being the proudest day of a player's life upside down.
When Norman was taken in the fifth round of the 2012 NFL Draft by the Panthers, was he ecstatic? Was he full of glee?
"I was pissed. Because that’s just who I am. That’s how I got here. Fourteen other cornerbacks went before me. I wrote those names down. Oh yeah, I did. Very few people believed in me, and I’ll never forget that."
1. When he gives a shoutout to Odell Beckham.
Early on in his writing (and now you'll understand the title he chose), Norman discussed how, growing up, his older brothers would steal his bologna and he simply let it happen out of shyness. So, in his final paragraphs, he brings back that image as he mentions Odell Beckham, who he probably likes less than those crooked-ass rims from his childhood.
"When Odell and I went at one another last year, people got mad. Imagine that. People who watch this sport every Sunday and say they love it actually pretended to be offended. They don’t see the beauty in it. They don’t see the truth.
"But Odell and I, we know the truth. Anybody who makes it to this level knows it. The truth is that on the football field, he’s trying to steal my bologna, and I’m trying to steal his.
"See you twice a year, bro."
Friendly reminder: Only 143 days until Redskins vs. Giants.