Saturday night a college aged young man made a (toss up your air quotes) mistake.
Damn. That’s headline material. We should kill hours on national sports talk radio shows berating him.
Following Oklahoma’s 31-16 victory over Ohio State on Saturday, Sooners’ Senior QB Baker Mayfield decided to take his school flag, run around the Shoe while waving the flag enthusiastically, and then emphatically stake the flag into the Buckeye’s logo at mid-field.
Yesterday, Mayfield offered a disingenuous apology that was more of an acknowledgement, than a tear filled, remorse ridden statement.
“I didn’t mean for it to be disrespectful to any Ohio State people at all, especially the team or the players, because they’re a great team and a great program,” Mayfield said. “It was an emotional game. I knew that it was going to have a lot of implications on the playoffs. I got caught up in an emotional win. Yeah, it should’ve been something I did in the locker room. So I apologize for doing it in the middle of the field.”
Nah. Clearly not, as in evidence by the fact that we are still talking about it.
Baker Mayfield knew what he was doing when he planted that flag. He only apologized to get some of the haters off of his back. If it had been his buddies chastising him, he would have said, “chill”, and moved on.
I used the word disingenuous above when describing Mayfield’s apology because the QB doesn’t care what you think. Somebody probably advised him to say what he said simply to reduce the supposed target he created for the rest of his squad. I doubt he wanted to apologize.
Some coaches and players likely took what he did personally. Imagine if JMU staked a flag on the Richmond Spider’s logo. That wouldn’t go over well. Yet, it’s different. That hypothetical is between two rivals. Sure, this OU/OSU game could be a potential playoff preview, but I doubt Mayfield cares about a perceived target. Even if that game happens, he’ll probably enjoy a larger spotlight.
College football possesses the most intense fan base in the world, other than maybe international soccer. We ravenously defend our Alma Mater on game day. Any little misstep from an opposing fan is a potential opportunity to verbally, or sometimes, physically spar. Especially if certain substances are incorporated in the tailgate.
OSU players, fans, and coaches took notice of Mayfield’s comments. Buckeye running back Mike Weber took to twitter to notice that Mayfield “waited until we went into the locker room” to plant the flag.
C’mon Mike! He wasn’t trying to start a fight. He was trying to send a message to future opponents and get in your head! The man ran around with his school flag for what felt like 5 minutes! His metaphorical endzone in that instance was the middle of the field! That was his destination all along.
Athletes don’t have to ‘do the right thing’ anymore. They probably never did. With a calculated action, you might think Mayfield made things a little tougher for himself and his team. I’m not so sure. He knew what would happen when he embarked on this journey. Your disposition towards him because of it doesn’t mean a thing, because you have to be pretty apathetic towards the opinions of others when you decide to do something with cameras all around while cognizant of the potential ramifications.