BARRY LAMINACK

Hard Knocks: It's become easy to root for Baker Mayfield

Baker Mayfield is becoming a star on Hard Knocks. Joe Robbins/Getty Images

To borrow a phrase from my grandfather:

“DADGUMMIT”!

Dadgummit Hard Knocks! Stop making me like players/coaches that I don't want to like!

In 2015 it was Bill O’Brien.

Last year it was Jameis Winston.

This year?

Baker Mayfield.

Before I watched this season’s Hard Knocks, Training Camp with the Cleveland Browns I wasn’t a big Baker Mayfield guy. Maybe it was because he reminded me (almost too much) of Johnny Manziel, both on and off the field. Maybe I was letting my Aggie fandom, and thus my dislike for OU, cloud my judgment? Whatever the reason, I have never felt invested enough to see him succeed...until now.

I have to admit that after seeing him on Hard Knocks these past few weeks, and getting a peek into what he’s like on and off the field, I’m actually rooting for the guy to succeed. Sure it might be the magic of editing, but to me he's checking all the boxes of a guy you would root for.

Wants to win, no matter what? Check.

Plays the game “the right way”? Check.

Tough, smart and ultra-competitive? Check, check, and check.

So, will this love affair last?

Probably not.

I'm already back to not caring about Jameis Winston, and if you’ve listened to my show at all you know I’m not the biggest fan of Bill O’Brien (especially when it comes to him dealing with reporters).

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go press my orange and white number 6 jersey.

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