Baker Mayfield is who he is, and he just learned a long overdue lesson in humility.
In fact, all athletes and sportspersons everywhere the world over got another lesson in humility and sportsmanship and modesty and gamesmanship courtesy of Baker Mayfield. The Heisman Trophy winner and the Oklahoma Sooners suffered a humbling, if not humiliating, loss to the Georgia Bulldogs in the first semifinal college championship game at the Rose Bowl last night.
Baker Mayfield was supposed to win. Oklahoma was supposed to come out on top and beat and best Georgia just because. Mayfield got out to a hot start, but succumbed to Georgia at the bitter end of a classic, come from behind thriller for the “Dawgs”, 54-48 in Double Overtime.
Baker Mayfield is a brash and brazen, braggadocios boy who has a lot of growing up to do. His antics and outbursts all season have earned him a well-deserved reputation and at one point lost him his captainship and almost his career. Earlier this year, he was arrested on a public intoxication and fleeing the scene charge and ordered to undergo 35 hours of community service. And there were other incidents which may have cost other players their scholarships, or more. And during last night’s game, after every early score, Mayfield would run full steam from the end zone with his arms outstretched as if he was soaring above and beyond Georgia’s reach. But not so fast.
Here’s how Sports Illustrated described his behavior: “Mayfield has been known for the emotion he displays during games but avoided controversy during his college finale. When asked about an apparent throat-slashing gesture after the game, he said it wasn’t directed at the Bulldogs. ‘When you get up on a team, you talk about stepping on their throats,’ he said. ‘Obviously, we didn’t do that.’
As Oklahoma’s frenetic star wandered back onto the playing field to congratulate celebrating Bulldog players, Georgia linebacker Davin Bellamy began screaming at him.
HUMBLE YOURSELF! HUMBLE YOURSELF!
Bellamy stood near the spot on the field where the Heisman Trophy winner had aimed his wild, arms-flailing sprints back to the bench after each Oklahoma touchdown earlier in the day, when the Sooners scored on five of their first six possessions and looked like they were about to blow the Bulldogs out of the Rose Bowl. Instead, Georgia outscored Oklahoma 37–17 after halftime.” https://www.si.com/college-football/2018/01/02/baker-mayfield-oklahoma-georgia-rose-bowl-nflIt was a great game but also a sad commentary on how not to lose. Baker Mayfield couldn’t finish and seal the deal against a Georgia team that didn’t know the word quit. Down 17 just before the half, Oklahoma inexpiably squib kicked after a field goal and allowed Georgia to run one play to get into position for a long field goal. And they made it, cutting the lead to 14. Then and there, I said Oklahoma was going to lose and Georgia was going win. Why? Because of Oklahoma’s arrogance. They thought they were too far ahead for Georgia to catch up and assumed that Mayfield would continue to throw touchdown pass after touchdown pass the entire second half. But it wasn’t meant to be.
The lesson Baker Mayfield hopefully learns is that pride still goes before destruction and a haughty spirit before a fall. So let’s let this be a lesson and let’s do what Mayfield didn’t.