Let Baker Mayfield eat his cake.
After all, what good is cake if you can’t eat it? What good is Mayfield, if we don’t let him talk talk trash after a big victory?
Let’s be real: I need this, the NFL needs this, and Mayfield needs this.
Mayfield seems like he can’t live without a little trash talk. The Cleveland Browns quarterback needs someone to hate. He needs to prove someone wrong. He needs to chatter so that he can back up that chatter.
Our very own Tully Cocoran labelled Mayfield’s beef with Jackson “sophomoric.” That’s fair. Then again, we’re talking about professional sports. Being a sports fan is sophomoric. We’re watching men we don’t know play sports. Surely, there are better things we could do with our time, right? It’s entertainment. Mayfield makes for a good show.
Hear that, Tully? I’m talking trash about Mayfield talking trash! OK, so I’m not as good as Mayfield at talking trash. All the more reason for him to do it.
When Mayfield dumps on Jackson, who we all know to be an incompetent finger-pointer, I’m into it. Many players in the NFL loop on repeat about how they’re trying to get better, about how they respect their upcoming opponent, about how they’re thinking about nothing but that opponent. It’s probably true. But it grows stale.
Maybe Mayfield’s routine will grow stale. Maybe, for some, it’s already growing stale. But here’s hoping that a big personality like Mayfield will energize the NFL. Mayfield injects the league with a rough edge it has been lacking. We’ve seen it before: Jalen Ramsey was one of the biggest trash talkers in recent memory. He has backed away from the microphone amid a weak season by him and his Jaguars defense. But he shouldn’t stop. He should keep antagonizing, because that seems to be a part of his game. He gets under the skin of his opponent, and that can help him play his best.
Mayfield is the same way. He has risen from being a walk-on player at Texas Tech to getting drafted first overall and getting to be a starting quarterback for a Cleveland Browns. And he’s actually winning football games, which is something the previous 1,043,052,345 quarterbacks haven’t done. Mayfield channels his hate. He’s practically a Sith Lord. (Sorry, geek joke.)
Point is, the NFL is more interesting when Mayfield and Ramsey are stirring the pot — even when they can’t back up their trash talk. Let Mayfield chirp from dawn until dusk. It’s music to my ears.