Category Archives: Baker Mayfield

Low Expectations for Browns yet again- Playoff Chances Diminished or Rising

By Cole Kegley

October 13, 2019

Cole Kegley is a junior undergraduate student at Bowling Green State University, majoring in Sport Management and minoring in General Business. The Bucyrus, Ohio alumnus focuses on basketball and football, with an emphasis on collegiate and professional levels. 

Browns’ fans were left in worry and bewilderment when their franchise relocated, becoming the Baltimore Ravens in 1996. To the surprise of no one, joy filled Cleveland when their beloved Brownies were back in the city beginning in the 1999-2000 season, following a 3-year deactivation period. The dawg pound was alive and thriving. Though, to what degree? 

Since their return to the NFL 20 years ago, the Browns have been nothing short of a disappointment. Similarly, an exponential number of quarterbacks have taken the reigns since their homecoming in 1999- thirty to be exact (Kenyon, 2018). To make matters worse, only one Quarterback has played a full 16-game season in the past 20 years for Cleveland, Tim Couch.

Browns’ fans have struggled through the past twenty years, witnessing numerous roster changes, head coaches fired mid-year, draft pick busts, players leaving in the off-season, and many other that took a toll on the organization. However, the culture and stigma surrounding the Cleveland Browns has begun to change in the past two years. The media, players, and fans alike are beginning to gain a sense of respect for this new-look team. 

Draft picks including Denzel Ward, Nick Chubb, Baker Mayfield, and Myles Garrett are just part of the reason why the Browns are turning heads. Another reason: trades and off-season acquisitions including the likes of Pro Bowlers Jarvis Landry, Olivier Vernon, and future Hall of Famer Odell Beckham Jr. make the Cleveland Browns an exciting team to watch. However, many media members refuse to accept Cleveland’s recent changes and their view as merely the “Mistake by the Lake” remains prominent. 

Colin Cowherd is one of the more popular faces of sport media, and more specifically as of late, Baker Mayfield; he has gone so far as to say, “I will be shocked if Baker does not finish top 2 in the MVP (voting)” He was also quoted saying, “of course Baker has a shot, because Baker has a better story. This is what MVP’s have become” (Cowherd, 2019). 

Clearly, Cowherd thinks highly of Baker and his story since taking an 0-16 team to 7-8-1 while only starting 13 games and throwing the most passing touchdowns by a quarterback in NFL history. However, he does not want to commit to the Browns becoming a winning and respectable team. 

Fast forward to week 4 of the NFL season, and the 1-2 Cleveland Browns (with their only win coming against a Jets team missing their starting QB) were looking at the 2-1 Baltimore Ravens with a sense of urgency. Consequently, A mere 14% of NFL teams starting 1-3 have made the playoffs since 1990 (Clayton, 2016). 

ESPN broadcasters such as Max Kellerman and Dan Orlovsky voiced how the Browns were desperately striving to replicate the Sean McVay-Rams phenomenon but failing. This comparison could not be more irritating as the Browns’ head coach is 11 years older than Sean McVay, and the reasoning for McVay’s fame is his relative success at such a young age- 33 years old (Kellerman & Orlovsky, 2019). 

False analogies sway viewers to believe un-factual information which is simply not comparable. Similarly, these broadcasters along with others have prematurely written off Freddie Kitchens and the Browns following only a handful of games. 

So, what should NFL consumers believe? The star-stacked Browns with a 2nd year quarterback and 1st year head coach started off slowly, dropping their first game by a margin of 30. Since then, they are 2-1 and are now sitting atop the AFC North, which they have not won since their return to the NFL (Lukas, 2019). 

All things considered, the Cleveland Browns deserve to be respected by the media. Sports broadcasters across American seem eager to see the Browns lose, leaving them to reaffirm their doubts of the Browns being the same old team to viewers. In spite of this fact, the Browns have struggled to begin the season. Though to their defense, 2 of their losses have come at the hands of the 4-0 San Francisco 49ers, and the Los Angeles Rams, 2018 NFC Champions. 

Lastly, multiple defenders including star-studded talent such as Denzel Ward, Greedy Williams, and Morgan Burnett have missed multiple games. All in all, playoffs are still intact for the Browns and hopes for success are still on the table, so do not be too quick to write off this team, as they are loaded with talent on offense and defense. 

References

Clayton, J. (2016, October 4). Ranking 1-3 NFL teams most likely to bounce back. ESPN.com. Retrieved from https://www.espn.com/nfl/insider/story/_/id/17708074/ranking-1-3-nfl-teams-most-likely-turn-2016-playoffs.

Cowherd, C. [The Herd with Colin Cowherd]. (2019, July 26). Baker Mayfield’s MVP odds are due to his story, Colin says to pay Dak before Zeke | NFL | THE HERD [Video File]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ogHKc0zgmu4 

Kellerman, M. & Orlovsky, D. [ESPN]. (2019, September 24). Is Freddie Kitchens failing as the Browns head coach? | Get Up [Video File]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bdkWLJhUXxU

Kenyon, D. (2018, May 10). Cleveland Browns Quarterbacks: Revisiting every starting QB since Tim Couch. Bleacher Report. Retrieved from https://bleacherreport.com/articles/2773955-cleveland-browns-quarterbacks-revisiting-every-starting-qb-since-tim-couch.

Lukas, M. (2019, October 1). Cleveland Browns, AFC North 1st place, say it aloud! Dawg Pound Daily. Retrieved from https://dawgpounddaily.com/2019/10/01/cleveland-browns-afc-north-1st-place-say-it-aloud/.

 

 

 

Super Bowl LIII Recap

By David Dietrich

February 22, 2019

For the second year in a row, I was fortunate enough to be selected to work at the Super Bowl Experience as a member of the BGSU Sport Management Alliance. Last year’s trip was one of the best experiences of my life, and I had very high expectations for this trip. I wanted to take advantage of everything that Atlanta offered and genuinely soak in the experience. For much of last year’s trip, I was shell-shocked by the enormity of the entire spectacle, so I did not take much time to step back and think about how lucky I was. We had a slightly more relaxed schedule this year, so I had some time to literally sit down and soak it in.

I worked at the fan experience on Wednesday and Thursday, helping the guests at some of the attractions. My shifts included the NFL Draft Simulation, Champions Ring Display, and Punt Return Simulation. Each one offered different opportunities for different fans, so I was able to talk to and interact with fans of all ages. Many fans were proudly dressed in Falcons gear, with some Patriots and Rams fans spread throughout. Other popular teams included the Steelers, Panthers, and Saints.

On game day, my official title was “On Location Experience Wayfinder.” I was stationed directly outside of the pre-game party entrance, directing guests to their parties. There were three separate parties, so I had to inform the guests which direction their specific party would be. Unlike last year, this did not occur in the stadium, so we did not get to stay for the game. While this was a letdown, we knew in advance it was unlikely we would work inside the stadium. Fortunately, our credentials allowed us to enter the stadium on Saturday, which was our day off.

SB4

The main entrance to Mercedes-Benz Stadium

Mercedes-Benz Stadium is truly breathtaking, especially when it is prepared to host the biggest event in American sports. We were not allowed on the field, but we could get as close as the first row in the corner of the end zone. After taking a few pictures there, I decided I had enough time to trek to the top row and get the best view of the stadium. I spent about 20 minutes sitting in the top row, soaking in the view. I thought about how blessed I was to be able to be on this trip, sit in the stadium, and be a part of another Super Bowl.

SB2

My panoramic view from the top row of Mercedez-Benz Stadium

There are countless aspects that go into the planning and execution of the Super Bowl, but I particularly wanted to observe the media’s presence throughout the week. Media Day occurred on Monday, which was before we began traveling. I saw some of the highlights online, but they appeared to be the typical question and answer interviews that happen every year. During the week’s festivities, I witnessed several media members actively creating content.

One thing that stood out to me at the Fan Experience was the massive number of reporters. They often walked around with a camera and microphone, looking for interactive events and passionate fans. Some fans were interviewed, others were filmed while they participated in events. A handful of reporters participated in the events themselves, microphone and all. On gameday, I noticed a separate entrance for those with media passes. Security was extremely tight, so I assumed the area was reserved to screen the equipment being brought in by reporters, journalists, or photographers.

My biggest takeaway from the week was how important it is to pay attention to every detail, no matter how big or small. It could be making sure the case surrounding the rings is secure or making sure a local news reporter is able to get a clear shot of the Lombardi Trophy. It could also be taking a picture of a Falcons fan next to a replica jersey or directing a fan to the NFL shop. Our goal was to provide a unique and memorable experience for each fan, so maintaining enthusiasm and positivity were incredibly important during our long shifts.

My personal highlight occurred at Super Bowl Live, an outdoor event that was free to the public. Among the attractions was an interview stage, and I stood in the fourth row while Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield was interviewed by Fox Sports’ Jay Glazer.

SB5

Browns QB Baker Mayfield answering questions from Jay Glazer

I was in awe of the presence of both men, one being my favorite athlete and the other being one of my favorite NFL media members. Witnessing a live media event from a close distance was remarkable, especially considering the people who were involved. This singular event was my favorite part of the week, but the entire experience is something I will never forget.

I would like to thank BGSU and the Sport Management faculty for preparing our group for the trip, we could not have done it without your expertise and support! I would also like to thank Cory Radebaugh and the rest of the Sport Management Alliance for organizing everything, their hard work and dedication made the trip a success! Finally, I would like to thank friends, family, and the community of Bowling Green for supporting me and my classmates, we are grateful for everything you do for us!

National Media Plays Dangerous Game with Motivated Mayfield

By David Dietrich

November 29, 2018

On Sunday, the Cleveland Browns won a road game for the first time since 2015. Rookie quarterback Baker Mayfield was spectacular, finishing with 258 passing yards on 19 completions, four of which led to touchdowns. While the 35-20 defeat of the Cincinnati Bengals and former coach Hue Jackson was noteworthy, Mayfield is receiving backlash from the national media for his postgame actions and comments directed towards former Browns head coach Hue Jackson.

After the Browns’ convincing win over Cincinnati, Hue Jackson sought out his former quarterback for a hug. Mayfield gave Jackson a straight-faced handshake, denying a hug and walking away. When reporters asked Mayfield what happened during the exchange, he mentioned that he “didn’t feel like talking” to him (Cabot, 2018, para. 3). Mayfield defended this by telling reporters that “somebody that was in our locker room asking for us to play for him, goes to a different team we play twice a year” (Cabot, 2018, para. 4). The young quarterback felt betrayed by his former head coach, and perhaps rightfully so.

Since then, national media members, some with NFL experience, have been ripping into the Browns rookie, calling him ‘immature’ (Gamble, 2018, para. 9) and ‘classless’ (Gamble, 2018, para. 18).  One former NFL player who chided Mayfield was ESPN First Take guest Damien Woody. Woody called Mayfield “hypocritical” (Curtis, 2018, para. 2) and told him to “grow up” (Curtis, 2018, para. 1), prompting this response from Mayfield (“Baker rips Hue,” 2018, para. 2):

Mayfield comment

The now-deleted Instagram comment sparked an even bigger response from the national media. The Undefeated’s William Rhoden (2018) wrote that Mayfield “hopefully will wise up or, at the very least, learn some respect” (para. 28). David Hookstead (2018) of The Daily Caller advises Mayfield to “chill out, stop behaving like a petty teenage girl and focus on playing football” (para. 6).  Former NFL safety Ryan Clark appeared on ESPN’s Get Up and told Mayfield “Stop being petty, stop being soft” (Pastrick, 2018, para. 15).

While the Instagram comment may have been unnecessary, it was not completely surprising. Mayfield has been very active on social media in the past, often responding to posts that criticize his actions. He even keeps a list of media members that have “crossed the line,” and uses those names as motivation. His postgame comment about Hue Jackson was his personal take, as he told reporters “Everyone can have their spin on it, but that’s how I feel” (Cabot, 2018, para. 4). With these words, Mayfield acknowledged that different people would have different opinions, but he felt comfortable with his. The NFL is a business, but it is also a highly competitive league. Baker Mayfield is a passionate player, and his competitive comments should not be held against him.

Baker Mayfield

Unlike most NFL quarterbacks, Baker Mayfield is outspoken, fiery, and unabashed. These rare qualities can often be valuable. Whether he is on or off the field, Mayfield does not hold back. His intensity, accuracy, passion, and ability to create have helped him win the Heisman, and Browns general manager John Dorsey believed those qualities could translate to the NFL. In just 8 starts, Mayfield has helped the Browns join the playoff conversation. More importantly, he has restored hope in Cleveland, a city desperate for a winning football team. Baker Mayfield has always been motivated by criticism, and the backlash from the media will only fuel his fire. This week’s media backlash will inevitably lead to more names being added to Baker Mayfield’s personal list. With a motivated Mayfield under center, Browns fans have a list of reasons to believe in their beloved team.

 

References

Baker rips Hue Jackson (again). (2018, November 25). Bleacher Report. Retrieved from https://bleacherreport.com/post/nfl/72e09cd2-6c95-4dac-95d6-8123b382f9bc

Cabot, M. (2018, November 26). Baker Mayfield ‘didn’t feel like talking’ to Hue Jackson postgame after he defected to the Bengals. Cleveland.com. Retrieved from https://www.cleveland.com/browns/2018/11/baker-mayfield-didnt-feel-like-talking-to-hue-jackson-post-game-after-he-defected-to-the-bengals.html

Curtis, C. (2018, November 27). ESPN’s Damien Woody’s beef with Baker Mayfield and his ‘fanboys’ intensifies. USAToday.com. Retrieved from https://ftw.usatoday.com/2018/11/cleveland-browns-baker-mayfield-damien-woody-beef-twitter-video

Gamble, J. (2018, November 27). Baker Mayfield’s classless shots At Hue Jackson. TheShadowLeague.com. Retrieved from https://theshadowleague.com/baker-mayfields-classless-shots-at-hue-jackson/

Hookstead, D. (2018, November 27). Baker Mayfield’s actions are getting out of control. His latest stunt is downright embarrassing. TheDailyCaller.com. Retrieved from https://dailycaller.com/2018/11/27/baker-mayfield-hue-jackson-first-take-comment-instagram/

Pastrick, C. (2018, November 27). Ex-Steeler Ryan Clark goes off on Browns QB Baker Mayfield for ‘being soft.’ TribLive.com. Retrieved from https://triblive.com/sports/nfl/14342239-74/ex-steeler-ryan-clark-goes-off-on-baker-mayfield-for-being-soft

Rhoden, W. (2018, November 27). Who does Baker Mayfield think he is? TheUndefeated.com. Retrieved from https://theundefeated.com/features/who-does-baker-mayfield-think-he-is/