At SportsEpreneur, we like to pay attention to the sports media.
- The disingenuous behavior of the mainstream media: here’s an article and podcast on the topic.
- The good we can find in the sports world
- And other stories that pique our interest for whatever reason, like this Baker Mayfield story.
The polarizing Baker Mayfield gave the media what they wanted. We digest and offer our takes and conclusion.
“Blows my mind. Some people overthink it. That’s where people go wrong. They forget you’ve gotta win.”
With that quote, the mass media and social media took sides—mostly on the side of the outrage that is all too common nowadays. Outrage, in this case, that one NFL quarterback would call out another team and another quarterback so openly. It’s one thing to think these things, but it’s another thing to actually put this comment out there.
Now, there are many other ways to analyze Baker’s quote. It could mean a lot of different things, and Baker himself insists he meant something else. But I want to talk about the media’s reaction, for now, so that means sticking with the idea that he did mean to call out the New York Giants for drafting Daniel Jones.
But I don’t have just one take on this topic; I have three.
Why is anyone surprised?
Baker Mayfield does this type of stuff. Says and does what he wants. Remember him planting the Oklahoma University flag on Ohio Stadium’s turf after their big win over the Buckeyes in 2017? It’s refreshing in some respects and annoying in others, but hey, Baker leads by doing stuff like that, and his team responds positively.
Don’t we want players saying how they feel? These people in many ways are here to entertain us and inspire us, so telling us what they think and how they feel is part of their job—that’s the whole point of reading interviews like the one in GQ. And if none of them ever said anything that ruffled a few feathers, football wouldn’t be as interesting. Not boring, but less interesting. So when a player takes a stand and opens his mouth, how about we not all jump down his throat about it?
Baker, stop worrying about what other teams are doing. Just go play football.
You’re one year into your career, and while you’ve shown some stuff, don’t get too big for your britches. We see this in business a lot. A salesperson gets some deals, an executive gets a promotion, an associate has a good day, and all of a sudden they develop an enormous ego. Take the small win, enjoy it, but keep going.
The conclusion to this polarizing Baker Mayfield story
Ultimately, it’s fascinating to watch stories like this play out in our current media landscape. But instead of seeing it as “I can’t believe he said that,” try noticing what everyone’s agenda is. Baker Mayfield, for example, loves polarizing attention. He seems to crave it personally, and he knows that as many people hate on him, that many people will love him, too. It’s part of his brand.
The sports media world loves dust-ups like this, too. I mean look, now everyone’s watching, everyone’s talking, and it isn’t even the regular season, yet.
Any time you see the sports world get all up in arms about the latest issue (and often the issue is really a non-issue, honestly), pay attention to agendas. Pay attention to objectives; what is each person’s objective, what are they doing to meet that objective, and is it working? Is it genuine?
I know this–it’s another reason why we, a marketing company and business consultant, spend so much of our time paying attention to the sports world.