It's September 9th, 2017, and the Oklahoma Sooners have just wiped the floor with the number five Ohio State Buckeyes in Columbus. It's a big win. It bolsters the Sooners CFP credentials and is the first notch in Baker Mayfield's Heisman belt. As the dejected crowd streams from the Horseshoe, Mayfield takes an Oklahoma flag and, with the pomp of a high school theater kid doing 'Hamlet', spears it Ohio State's 50 yard line. It's an emphatic exclamation point on a signature victory, but little does Mayfield know, in addition to that flag, he's also planting a seed.
So far, this has been Baker Mayfield Experience—a bunch of brash bridge-burning braggadocio that hasn't come back to bite him because, well, nothing comes back to bite you when you're 22 and can throw a football like Zeus hurls lightning bolts. But on Monday night that seed bloomed when former Buckeye Nick Bosa broke out, recording four tackles, two sacks, five QB hits, as well as a forced fumble and fumble recovery in the 49ers 31-3 victory over the Browns. The performance was only a footnote to the Bosa revenge tour, however, which went viral when the rookie defensive end unveiled this custom flag celebration after pressuring Mayfield into one of his 14 incompletions on the night. Look familiar?
Not content to simply echo Mayfield's antics, Bosa then grabbed a 49ers flag and replicated the 2017 celebration to perfection.
When asked about the troll of his troll after the game, Mayfield, who had refused to shake Richard Sherman's hand three hours earlier, was uncharacteristically mum. There were no clapbacks like he had against Rex Ryan two weeks ago, just more glum pouting beneath the brim of a hat pulled lower than Adam Gase's.
The good news for Mayfield, Freddie Kitchens, and the entire Browns organization is that they don't play anybody Mayfield has specifically insulted, offended, or pissed off in another life over the next three weeks. The bad news? They get the Seahawks on 10 days rest, the Patriots, and the Broncos. If Mayfield can't muster anything better than 8/22 for 100 yards and two interceptions in those outings, they could be planting a flag in 2-6.