Black and Blue Review

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Fan Fest Fireworks Give Josh Norman Super Bowl Dreams

All sorts of visions can go through a player’s head this time of year. Friday night, Josh Norman’s dream was a big one.While fireworks exploded above Bank of America Stadium, the Carolina Panthers’ cornerback was on the ground.Josh Norman Celebrates FireworksSo, uh, what was he doing down there?”I was picturing us coming back here in February and doing this,” Norman said, imagining a post-Super Bowl celebration.Because the Fan Fest record crowd of 55,060 delivered an electricity never before felt at the annual event, maybe Norman got a bit carried away. He can do that sometimes. But if you think back to where he was a year ago, it becomes tougher to laugh him off.During 2014’s Fan Fest, Norman tweaked his hamstring while knocking away a deep ball intended for Tiquan Underwood. It was another setback for a guy many were ready to give up on.

2014 Fan Fest
Photo: Carolina Huddle
Still, with a wrap around his hamstring, Norman limped around the lower bowl handing out autographs. His signature that night wasn’t nearly as in-demand as the one that endless, high-pitched screams begged for Friday.”I wasn’t get as much love as you as see now,” Norman said.”Some were saying they didn’t think I was going to make the 53-man squad. But as long as you continue to maintain that fire and desire, everything else takes care of itself. And you see what’s going on now.”It’s been interesting to watch Norman’s popularity rise among the fan base. His exceptional play through the second half of last season has erased most memories of the doghouse he landed in during each of his first two years. Now, many who continue to lambaste former general manager Marty Hurney for handing out contracts that didn’t end well want Dave Gettleman to give Norman a big check.While it’s easier to talk about money you aren’t responsible for, those sentiments about Norman aren’t necessarily misplaced.In a division featuring tall, ultra-talented wideouts like Julio Jones and Mike Evans, it’s comforting to have a top-10 corner. If Norman plays like one throughout 2015, he could price himself out of Carolina.He’s also become a fan favorite because of his mouth, something that’s gotten him in trouble on the field.Media-wise, Norman is one of the most approachable players in the locker room, and he’s often the most colorful quote. Pub like that can help elevate a guy’s public perception, as long as he’s playing well.Josh Norman Yellow CleatsThat caveat also exists when trying to pull off electric yellow cleats like the ones Norman wore Friday. Not everyone can do it. A rising cover corner can.”These are my ‘Fast Fridays,'” Norman said. “Every Friday during the season I try to bring them out to get my quick feet going, so I brought them out today for a little preview.”If there was a trailer for the 2015 Panthers, a Super Bowl win might be too far-fetched for most. But not for the guy with a fast mouth, bright cleats and big dreams.”Doing this all over again in February,” he said, pointing to the post-fireworks smoke. “That will be sweet.”[vc_raw_html]JTNDY2VudGVyJTNFJTNDJTIxLS1KYXZhU2NyaXB0JTIwR2VuZXJhbCUyMFJlZGlyZWN0JTIwVGFnJTIwJTJGJTJGJTIwVGFnJTIwZm9yJTIwbmV0d29yayUyMDU0NTIlM0ElMjBTcG9ydGluZyUyME5ld3MlMjAlMkYlMkYlMjBXZWJzaXRlJTNBJTIwU054JTIwLSUyMEJsYWNrJTIwJTI2JTIwQmx1ZSUyMFJldmlldyUyMCUyRiUyRiUyMFBhZ2UlM0ElMjBTcG9ydHMlMjAlMkYlMkYlMjBQbGFjZW1lbnQlM0ElMjBibGFja2FuZGJsdWVyZXZpZXdfMzAweDI1MF90b3BsYiUyMCUyODM1ODg1OTMlMjklMjAlMkYlMkYlMjBjcmVhdGVkJTIwYXQlM0ElMjBKdW4lMjAyNSUyQyUyMDIwMTUlMjAxJTNBMTYlM0EzMyUyMFBNLS0lM0UlMjAlM0NzY3JpcHQlMjBsYW5ndWFnZSUzRCUyMmphdmFzY3JpcHQxLjElMjIlMjBzcmMlM0QlMjJodHRwJTNBJTJGJTJGYWRzZXJ2ZXIuYWR0ZWNodXMuY29tJTJGYWRkeW4lMkYzLjAlMkY1NDUyLjElMkYzNTg4NTkzJTJGMCUyRjIyNSUyRkFEVEVDSCUzQmxvYyUzRDEwMCUzQnRhcmdldCUzRF9ibGFuayUzQm1pc2MlM0QlNUJUSU1FU1RBTVAlNUQlM0JyZGNsaWNrJTNEJTIyJTNFJTNDJTJGc2NyaXB0JTNFJTNDbm9zY3JpcHQlM0UlM0NhJTIwaHJlZiUzRCUyMmh0dHAlM0ElMkYlMkZhZHNlcnZlci5hZHRlY2h1cy5jb20lMkZhZGxpbmslMkYzLjAlMkY1NDUyLjElMkYzNTg4NTkzJTJGMCUyRjIyNSUyRkFEVEVDSCUzQmxvYyUzRDMwMCUzQm1pc2MlM0QlNUJUSU1FU1RBTVAlNUQlM0JyZGNsaWNrJTNEJTIyJTIwdGFyZ2V0JTNEJTIyX2JsYW5rJTIyJTNFJTNDaW1nJTIwc3JjJTNEJTIyaHR0cCUzQSUyRiUyRmFkc2VydmVyLmFkdGVjaHVzLmNvbSUyRmFkc2VydiUyRjMuMCUyRjU0NTIuMSUyRjM1ODg1OTMlMkYwJTJGMjI1JTJGQURURUNIJTNCbG9jJTNEMzAwJTNCbWlzYyUzRCU1QlRJTUVTVEFNUCU1RCUyMiUyMGJvcmRlciUzRCUyMjAlMjIlMjB3aWR0aCUzRCUyMjcyOCUyMiUyMGhlaWdodCUzRCUyMjkwJTIyJTNFJTNDJTJGYSUzRSUzQyUyRm5vc2NyaXB0JTNFJTIwJTNDJTIxLS0lMjBFbmQlMjBvZiUyMEphdmFTY3JpcHQlMjBUYWclMjAtLSUzRSUzQyUyRmNlbnRlciUzRQ==[/vc_raw_html]

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