Has the media taken it too easy on Baker Mayfield?
This was a question I found myself discussing earlier in the week, and it’s a fascinating question the more I consider it. I spent some time with somebody who I would describe as being incredibly well-educated on any and all matters relating to college football.
We began discussing Mayfield’s on and off the field antics, and if the media had given him a pass. Does the media ignore his actions? Is he getting an easier time because he’s white? Is he being treated fairly? I don’t know the answer to any of those questions for sure, and none of the “experts” at ESPN or Fox Sports do either.
Here’s what I do know for sure. I’ve kept it real on Mayfield ever since I started watching him. The kid has some unreal talent, but he’s got some major problems. Look, I don’t know Baker Mayfield, I’ve never met him, I don’t know anybody in his inner-circle and I only have the information we all have to go on.
So, let’s make sure we’re getting the record crystal clear on how Mayfield should be covered. The positives are that he can play ball with the best of them. He has Manziel-like talent and electricity on the field, he is a complete gamer, he’s fun to watch and he is the best player in America right now. You can dislike him, which I often do, and still agree with all of what I just said.
Now, let’s get to the negatives. He’s way too cocky, there is a video of him getting rocked while trying to resist arrest, he behaves like a spoiled child on the football field and he struggles to control his emotions. Once again, you can love him as a player, and everything I just said is still true.
I have no idea if the majority of the media has been fair to him or not, and I don’t even know if it’d be different if he weren’t white. For example, Jameis Winston won a Heisman the exact same year he was under investigation for rape. I just don’t know how different it’d be.
Finally, it’s going to be up to Mayfield whether or not he wants to be a great NFL player. He has all the talent in the world to make a career for himself. No question about it, but does he have his head screwed on straight? I don’t know. We’ll just have to wait and find out.