That Amazing Browns Win

September 26, 2018

It seems like everyone was a Cleveland Browns fan on Thursday night after Baker Mayfield made his NFL debut and led his team to its first win in 635 days.

From LeBron James to Robert Griffin III to the Cleveland Police Department, Browns fans were buzzing about the death of the streak and the birth of a new star in Cleveland after the 21-17 win. Much has been made about the fact that Mayfield came in and won the game in his first outing as quarterback in the NFL. How could this happen to a newbie; a rookie? Actually, Mayfield's progression has been steady. He started organized team activities as a third-teamer and was backup by the time minicamp arrived. The coaches say he practiced well and played solid through preseason. The one thing he had not done before Thursday was play with starters against starters. But he was ready and handled it. He said himself, “I felt ready. I knew my chance would come.”

He had another challenge. Succeed when the opposing team has had a week to prepare. Mayfield felt that he had the same time to prepare, to study and recognize the opponent, to prepare himself mentally and physically. He knew the game was coming. He just didn’t know what his role would be.

“I am not surprised by what he did in the game,” Coach Hue Jackson said. “I think a lot of people are. I do not think his teammates are. I do not think the coaches are. I think we knew that once he got his opportunity, he would go in there and nail it. That is what he did.”

Baker is working harder than ever. He has the starting quarterback position now, and he’s not taking anything for granted. He says he’s not assuming anything.

Good stuff. Actually, I think there are at least five important take-aways from that win and Mayfield that apply to all of life:

  • No matter how long you’ve been losing, if you make the right changes, you can win. You have to take a risk sometimes.
  • Everyone is with you when you win. You can’t afford to predict your future or let your sense of worth be determined by the emotions and comments of the peanut gallery.
  • Prepare, prepare, prepare. You never know when your opportunity will come. Abraham Lincoln said, “I will get ready and perhaps my chance will come.” It did. It usually does. The unprepared miss it and feel unlucky and deprived. Actually, they are unprepared.
  • People who look for excuses always find them. People who refuse excuses eventually win.
  • If you want to keep winning, you have to keep preparing.

We all are created to win. But we have to work at it.

Go Browns.