You’ve probably already emotionally moved on from yesterday’s drama about Baker Mayfield’s comments about Daniel Jones in GQ. One last morsel from it involved Browns head coach Freddie Kitchens vacillating back and forth about whether he knows what a bullseye is — he said they already have one, then feigned ignorance about what the word means, then reiterated that they already have one — but he illustrated an interesting philosophy about bulletin board material in the process.
That is: Does bulletin board material matter?
Asked about if the bullseye on the Browns’ back is getting bigger, Kitchens answered:
“We don’t care. It’s already on there so it doesn’t matter. We’ll be ready to play. I don’t know what a bullseye is. I don’t know what that is. Does anybody know what a bullseye is? If they’re not trying to beat our ass and we’re not trying to beat their ass, I don’t know what else you do … Do we not have a bullseye on us just because we’re in the NFL and we’re playing on Sundays?
On one hand, people are petty and look for motivation everywhere. Tom Brady, for example, has won six Super Bowls but you probably won’t make it until Labor Day without hearing about how he was a sixth-round pick. On the other, as Kitchens says, doesn’t everyone want to win?
I actually lean on the bulletin board material matters side of the debate. Humans aren’t widgets and there is always extra motivation in some nook and corner with the capacity to be summoned. There’s also a lot of luck involved in sports, but that’s besides this point. Any way an individual or team can synthesize desire on any given day can help tip the scales.