Let’s get something out of the way right at the start. Baker Mayfield’s gesture to the Kansas Jayhawks was reactionary. That doesn’t make it acceptable at all but it wasn’t like Mayfield was just out there offering crude gestures to the Big 12’s cellar dwellers because he came into Lawrence with a massive beef against the Jayhawks.
Saturday’s testosterone induced game within the game started at the coin toss and only escalated from there.
Oh Kansas, what have you done. pic.twitter.com/SAgtVnMQsx
— ESPN (@espn) November 18, 2017
“I’ve never seen a team do that,” Oklahoma head coach Lincoln Riley said about the refusal to shake hands. “That definitely got under our skin.” While it may have irritated Oklahoma just a bit, I think most people took the antics at the coin toss as an attempt to draw some attention to a program that has excelled at playing bad football for nearly a decade. However, the Jayhawks upped the ante in the second quarter with a blatant cheap shot by Hassan Defense.
Kansas wouldn't shake Baker Mayfield's hand, but they did find the time for this cheap shot pic.twitter.com/R6vIhS1dC3
— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) November 18, 2017
Clearly a target on the day, Baker Mayfield didn’t start this pissing contest but he sure finished it. His profanity laced crotch-grabbing statement towards the Jayhawks came after he had thrown his third touchdown pass on the day and put the Sooners in a comfortable 28-3 lead.
Did he go over the top? Of course he did, but Mayfield goes over the top in everything he does. From the level of play he brings to the game each Saturday, to his celebrations, to his Monday media interviews, Baker Mayfield is over the top. Why would we expect his reaction to being targeted for cheap shots to be any different?
Mayfield said that his actions were inexcusable in the post game interviews and then issued the following statement via Twitter.
— Baker Mayfield (@bakermayfield) November 19, 2017
Still waiting to see a similar apology from Kansas for the cheap shot by Defense. Looks like the instigators would rather try and play the role of the victim instead.