Minutes after a spokesperson said that Oklahoma’s Heisman Trophy winning quarterback Baker Mayfield would be a no-show on Media Day, and after Sooners coach Lincoln Riley took questions explaining why the team thought he was too sick to speak with reporters, guess what?
In an entrance that only Mayfield, arguably the most outspoken and controversial college football player in the country could generate, he walked into the room at the LA Hotel in downtown Los Angeles about 30 minutes into the press conference, took his seat on the podium, and reporters rushed to finally hear what has been ailing him all week.
Apparently, when word got out he wouldn’t show up, that’s what triggered Mayfield’s walk downstairs.
“When I turned on the TV and the first thing was that I was not going to be here and then all of a sudden the first question asked to coach Riley was about me, then I realized this whole thing is not about me,” Mayfield said. “The University of Oklahoma is here to play a playoff game. It’s not about any sickness that I have. We’re here to win a game and that’s what it needs to be about. My teammates don’t need to answer questions on my behalf.”
Mayfield had missed all previous media sessions and skipped all team events leading to Monday’s Rose Bowl in the College Football Semifinal against Oklahoma, although he has continued to practice.
But it was obvious in his voice that he has been ill.
“I’m not dying but I’m not feeling 100 percent right now,” said Mayfield, sounding hoarse. “I’m feeling a bit better. Yesterday I felt great. The best I’ve felt in awhile.”
He said he started feeling sick over Christmas break.
“My mom was pretty worried to send me out here like that,” he said.
Mayfield said other than practice, he’s mostly been in his hotel room. As far as being ready Monday, he said practices have gone well.
“We look pretty good right now, we’re practicing well,” Mayfield said. “We’re settling…