Sportsmanship can be overrated

Why should Baker Mayfield be sorry for something when he isn't?  Life doesn't obligate people to be classy or sportsmanlike.  It's a choice. That's what makes it the "right" thing to do.

Yeah, I'm saying it.

In case you missed it, the Oklahoma Sooners knocked off the second-ranked team in the country Saturday on the road. Senior quarterback Baker Mayfield, amidst his anything-but-disingenuous excitement, ran with the Sooners' flag all around the "Horseshoe" before pretending to plant it at the 50-yard line.

Needless to say, the Buckeyes nation wasn't thrilled about that. To this I say, "Boo. Hoo." Bear in mind, I have no allegiance to any particular college or university in Oklahoma or any other state. I'm happy when my alma mater does well in anything but it's so rare I can't even pretend to be a fan.

So back to my point, I'm very much in line with the Cam Newton school of thought when it comes to celebrating: "If you don't want me to [celebrate] don't let me in [your endzone.]"

I don't care who you are. If you've competed in sports, at some point in time, you lost to someone or some team. And they may have let you know about it too; rubbed it in your face. You know how you respond? Beat them next time. And if you can't, take your licks and move on. That's life.

And life doesn't obligate people to be good sports. We try to teach it to our youth because it's the "right" thing to do (and it is.) But forcing it doesn't teach anyone anything.

Here's the thing: THIS IS PERFECTLY OK.

Baker Mayfield let it be known many times leading up to this Ohio State game that he hadn't forgotten the Buckeyes singing their fight song following their victory in Norman. And being the fierce competitor he is, Mayfield made the most of what many experts considered an improbable win in Columbus.

Then he apologized Monday. Of his own volition? Doubtful. I would've had more respect for Baker if he doubled down on his flag plant. "I was advised to apologize for my actions in Columbus Saturday. But the truth is, I'm NOT sorry. And I'd do it again."

This is how bitter rivalries are born. And those are what make sports FUN. You think the Yankees and Red Sox are bitter rivals because New York beat Boston more? Of course not! I'm sure at some point early last century, the Yankees won and let the Sawwwwwks have it. And vice versa. Benches cleared. Punches were thrown.

But admit it: You LOVE this. It's not about winning. It's about beating them (Figuratively. The fights are bonus.).

Many of my friends are from Chicago and were afflicted long ago as fans of the Cubs. Being a St. Louis native, I've let these people know countless times how much their franchise stinks and gloated at their team's numerous defeats.

Those same people let me have it when the Cubs' World Series drought finally ended. And as much as it pains me to admit it, this is OK too.

The point is, it's just sports. It's all in good fun. Think of it like professional wrestling. If you want to be the villain, then embrace the "hate." Barry Switzer's Sooners were notoriously hated by the rest of the college football world. He wanted it that way.

And if you're genuinely offended over a banner being falsely planted at the 50-yard-line, with all due respect, please get over yourselves.

Just think: If both teams run the table, they *could* meet again in the college football playoff. At which point, nothing could provide better "bulletin board material" than what Mayfield has blessed you with. Hey, it's possible.

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