Cleveland Brown’s quarterback brings a brand new degree of confidence to the NFL franchise

Rob Oller

| The Columbus dispatch

Gone are the days of NFL quarterbacks posing in tights and pinning women’s panties to the wall. Or maybe not. Because … Baker Mayfield.

Long before today’s NFL QBs came out by corporations to sell insurance, the last thing a quarterback thought of playing safe was playing it safe when seeking commercial success.

In 1973, Joe Namath walked off Broadway by appearing in a commercial for Beautymist tights while wearing the product.

“Now I’m not wearing tights. But if Beautymist makes my legs look good, just imagine what they’re going to do for yours, ”Namath said, stretching on the floor in green satin shorts and his No. 12 New York Jets jersey.

Shocking? Not really. Joe Willie had proven himself a wild man even before he put on his bare stockings. And he wasn’t alone. Unlike today, when NFL quarterbacks mostly keep things corporate, a handful of QBs from yesterday brought party-hard vigor that went against the squeaky clean image associated with both the position and the league.

Namath wore full-length fur coats and boldly delivered bulletin board material, most importantly guaranteeing the Jets would beat the Baltimore Colts in Super Bowl III.

Don Meredith sang country songs with the Dallas Cowboys group. Former Fort Worth Star Telegram sports reporter Frank Luksa said of “Dandy” Don, “He wasn’t a defense student, to put it mildly.”

Then there was Oakland Raiders quarterback Ken “Snake” Stabler, whose devilish demeanor made deliciously naughty stories. Stabler recalled in his autobiography that “collecting women’s underwear became an annual training camp rite for many of the raiders. I liked to pin my collection on the walls. “

If Stabler had spent more time in his playbook than his little black book, the Raiders might have won more than one Super Bowl (or maybe not, given the strength of Pittsburgh’s steel curtain). But I like to think that Stabler’s off-field personality – he bragged about studying his playbook in the light of a jukebox – helped shape his success on the field. Gunslingers like him and Mayfield are not at home reading Dostoevsky.

I know what Brown’s fans think: “That’ll all sound good until you remember Johnny Manziel.” Fair enough, the problem with Johnny Football was that he couldn’t play the position at all. A better comparison for Mayfield is Brett Favre or even Jim McMahon, the former Chicago Bears quarterback whose bizarre behavior was added by coach Mike Ditka. With the bears of 1985, opposites absolutely attracted each other.

Ditto Mayfield and Brown’s coach Kevin Stefanski, as humble as his quarterback, are front and center, to the point where a progressive insurance slam-dunk commercial would play a quiet Stefanski in front of boisterous Mayfield.

Here, I offer my admission that on Design Day 2018, I asked Cleveland to pick Wyoming quarterback Josh Allen # 1 overall based on my belief that ankles like Mayfield will not turn into franchise quarterbacks.

Was i wrong Incomplete. The Buffalo Bills are 11-3 this season at Allen, whose numbers this season are better than Mayfield’s. But it’s close. Allen completed 68.7% of his passes for 4,000 yards and 30 touchdowns against nine interceptions. Mayfield’s stats line is 64% for 3,082 yards, with 25 TDs and eight interceptions for the 10-4 Browns.

In the long run, I still think everyone has a better career. But I have to admit that my initial thought – that Mayfield’s behavior is too dispersive to effectively lead the franchise to a Super Bowl title – may have been wrong. It might turn out that Mayfield is the exception to the rule that counterculture quarterbacks don’t last long in an NFL environment where company protocols high value gambling.

Mayfield might be just what Cleveland needed – a quarterback to tear the scar tissue from wounds that the Browns have broken and left without confidence.

The question that arises is how much a blinking neon light personality will affect profits and losses compared to more specific metrics like size, agility, arm strength, and pouch poise.

Mayfield’s size (stated at 6 feet 1 but no more than 6-0) is a hazard, especially when he’s under pressure and his degree of completion drops by nearly 20 points. But he has a strong arm and increasingly seems to have a confidence that claims anything is possible.

How Brown’s fans ultimately see Mayfield depends on how willing they are to live with his mistakes compared to his positive games. If he continues to do crunch time throws to win games, Cleveland will have a celebrity quarterback itself, whose appeal is enhanced by his entertaining personality. If not, his commercials will look like a run in stockings.


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