Been a long time since the last post. Taking a break from the normal political rant and delving into my old hometown football team, the Cleveland Browns...
Since about mid-season 2021, I've percieved a growing sentiment of negativity towards Baker Mayfield. Not all, but for many Browns fans, the simmering negativity has grown into rolling boil of raging hatred
I grew up in Cleveland. Have vivid memories of the outstanding Browns teams that battled in the NFL title game in 1968 and 1969; the heartbreaking playoff loss to the Raiders in 1980, and of course the 3 AFC Championship games in 4 years against the Broncos. I was at the Stadium to witness the crushing loss of "The Drive." I was also furious that the "Browns" packed up and moved to Baltimore, and at the time, glad that Cleveland managed to keep the "Browns" name and records. Now I'm not so sure.
I moved to Austin in 1983, but have remained a Browns fan. Living in Austin also gave me the opportunity to become familiar with a talented local area quarterback named Baker Mayfield. I didn't follow Mayfield closely while he was in High School, but certainly took note of his college career as he bounced from Tech to land in OU. I recall watching the Oklahoma / Ohio State game when Mayfield famously planted the OU flag in Buckeye Stadium. I remember thinking, "That's the kid from Travis !".
When Baker was drafted number 1 overall by the "New Browns," in 2018; I was thrilled that the "kid from Travis" would be playing for the Browns and maybe he could help restore some of the old glory of the once mighty Cleveland Browns. When Baker Mayfield took his first snap as a Cleveland Brown, the Browns had won 2 of their last 47 games and were trailing by 2 touchdowns. Baker lead the Browns to a comeback victory that night, the first win in about a season and a half; and since that game the Browns have been a relevant playoff contender every week right up until the last week of last season. Yet, though Baker was disappointing last year while playing through several injuries, the Browns "sold the farm" to get Deshaun Watson to replace him. Still, the Baker hatred rages on, seeming to grow more intense every day. For some time I found this puzzling. But I believe I've figured it out.
Browns Baker Haters have "Good Team Dysphoria"
See, the original "Cleveland Browns"; the team founded by Mickey McBride, that eventually was sold to Art Modell; were a fantastic franchise. In fact, that franchise is the winningest franchise in the history of the NFL. But that team moved to Baltimore, and is now called "The Ravens." The Expansion Browns, who began in 1999, are actually the losingest franchise in NFL history - and it's not even close. During the time that Baker Mayfield was quarterbacking the Expansion Browns, they were a dead even .500 team; that had some fantastic games, and some frustrating, disappointing games. But - even that whiff of competitive play was enough to evoke the memories of the "Original Browns" in the minds of Browns Baker Haters; creating a mental illness akin to Gender Dysphoria - I'll call it "Good Team Dysphoria."
See, the Expansion Browns are not a good team. In reality, they are the most dismal, hapless, excuse for a football team that has ever existed in NFL History. The ownership, front office, and team management could be used to define the term "shit show." But, the flirtation with success that the Expansion Browns experienced in the past 4 years caused the Baker Haters, to believe they were watching the organization of sustained success that moved to Baltimore, and believe the only thing keeping them from achieving Super Bowl domination was BAKER MAYFIELD. Graphically, it looks something like this:
Hence, much like those who suffer from Gender Dyphoria, the Baker Haters, suffering from Good Team Dysphoria; have come to believe that if only they could rid themselves of one particular aspect of their being - all would be well. But, the reality, for the vast majority, is somthing quite different.
To put it bluntly, even if you think Baker Mayfield is a dick, you're unlikely to turn into a princess just because you managed to get rid of him...