For Pete's Sake

Baker Mayfield’s alleged handshake snub riles up 49ers, invokes memory of KU game

It serves an athlete well to have a short memory. If he or she has a bad game/performance, it’s best to forget it ever happened.

For instance, Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield will want to let Monday night’s 31-3 loss to San Francisco slip from his memory.

Mayfield completed just 8 of 22 passes for 100 yards with two interceptions. That’s a passer rating of 13.4.

San Francisco was motivated to make Mayfield’s life miserable after he snubbed 49ers cornerback Richard Sherman in a pregame handshake at the coin toss. NFL.com columnist Michael Silver wrote it was a “topic of discussion among the Niners before, during and after the game.”

“What’s amazing, and annoying, was him not shaking hands at the beginning,” Sherman told Silver. “That’s some college (stuff). It’s ridiculous. We’re all trying to get psyched up, but shaking hands with your opponent — that’s NFL etiquette. And when you pull bush league stuff, that’s disrespectful to the game. And believe me, that’s gonna get us fired up.”

Sherman is right: that is some college, um, stuff. Kansas refused to shake hands with the Oklahoma players at the coin toss in 2017 when Mayfield was quarterback.

“They kind of set the tone with how they were feeling with the coin toss,” Mayfield said in 2017.

Perhaps Mayfield remembered that and was trying to motivate the Browns. But that was a game to forget and not just because the Sooners rolled to a 41-3 win.

Mayfield was caught off guard by KU’s snub and seemed fired up about what the Jayhawks had done. That game also featured a cheap shot by the Jayhawks, and Mayfield mocked the fans and later grabbed his crotch while looking at the Jayhawks’ bench.

While talking about Mayfield after Monday’s game, Sherman contrasted Mayfield with Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes.

“Respect the game,” Sherman told Silver. “You can have rivals, but pay your respect in that moment — especially when you’re young.

“He hasn’t earned anything in this league. How many games has he won? He’s acting like he was the MVP last year. If Mahomes did that, it would be one thing. But he would never do that, because he has too much respect for the game.

“And when you see a guy who doesn’t? You humble him every chance you get. Because eventually, he will have respect for the league — or he’ll be out of it.”

San Francisco rookie Nick Bosa did his best to humble Mayfield. Bosa had five quarterback hits and two sacks. After one sack, Bosa mimicked planting a flag, a clear reference to Mayfield planting the OU flag at midfield after a win over Ohio State.

After the game, Mayfield said of Bosa’s celebration: “I didn’t know that until I was informed before I got up here. Good for him. Good play.”

UPDATE: ESPN’s Jake Trotter shared this video that shows Mayfield greeting the 49ers:

What’s not known is if there was another handshake after the coin toss that Mayfield skipped, leaving Sherman feeling peeved.

The post-flip video surfaced later and Mayfield did skip out of that one:

That’s more video from before and after a coin flip than you’ll probably ever see.

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