Baker Mayfield is unapologetic for planting the OU flag at Ohio Stadium
Baker Mayfield has a unique relationship with Ohio. On one hand, he appears to be the savior of the Cleveland Browns organization, rescuing the franchise from the cellar of the NFL. On the other hand, though, Mayfield did completely disrespect The Ohio State University.
And on its home turf.
In case you’ve forgotten — you probably haven’t — Mayfield planted the OU flag at midfield of The Horseshoe following Oklahoma’s 31-16 victory over the Buckeyes in 2017. He threw for 386 yards and three touchdowns in the victory.
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After the game, he grabbed the OU flag and ran around the statement to the applause of visiting Sooners fans. Planting it right in the heart of Columbus was the icing on the cake.
Two years later, Mayfield has had some time to reflect on his decision to plant that flag at midfield, something he was forced to apologize for shortly after the team’s return to Norman. But Mayfield made it pretty clear that he’s anything from sorry and he has no regrets.
Here’s what Mayfield said on the situation in an interview with GQ Magazine:
…Mayfield says he knew it was a big deal when he heard from the “higher-ups” at Oklahoma that he needed to apologize, which he says was “just jaw-dropping” to him. “I won’t even get into it,” he says. Then he gets into it.
Mayfield begins to recount how he was told that that type of display was not what Oklahoma football was about. As he does, you can see him getting worked up. “Actually we won. That’s what we’re about. I had done so much and worked so hard to play for that school, I was just kinda”—here he pauses to find the words, careful but not too careful—“almost embarrassed for them to tell me to apologize.”
But of course Mayfield did say he was sorry. I begin to ask him how heartfelt that apology actually was, on a scale of 1 to 10, but I can barely get the question out before he answers. “Zero,” he says. He repeats himself forcefully, looking me right in the eye so that I don’t miss the point. “Zero. Absolutely not.”
Then the moment cools and the storm passes. “Which might hurt some Ohio fans’ feelings,” he says. “But I think we’re all good now.”
Cleveland had won exactly one game in the 2016 and 2017 seasons combined, going winless in 2017. Last year, Mayfield got the Browns to a 7-8-1 record.
Ohio State fans may not like Mayfield’s antics from his college days, but if he keeps leading the Browns to victories, they may look the other way on that whole flag-planting incident.