Five Reasons I Can’t Take Colin Cowherd Seriously
Colin Cowherd has a decorated career in sportscasting with both ESPN and most recently Fox Sports since the early 2000s. He started his career as the play-by-play announcer for the San Diego Padres, then a sports director for Vegas, and eventually landing a sportscasting job with ESPN where his show “The Herd” got its beginnings. Eventually parting ways with ESPN to be with Fox Sports, his show of the same name has garnered millions of views due to his critical analysis, rapport with the sports community, and most of all, his hot takes.
Now, I respect Colin Cowherd, and the man has a right to his opinion. But here’s one of his major flaws. When he really believes in something, or at least convinces himself enough to believe in that something, and he is proven wrong time and time again, often times he will double down on what he thinks he’s right on instead of admitting he might have whiffed on a hot take.
This year is no exception. There have been hot takes aplenty that have come out of Colin Cowherd’s mouth to be transferred to the airwaves. But there are five reasons in particular that I cannot take him seriously, especially this year. And it seems to me that I’m not alone on this.
His hatred for Baker Mayfield is almost unending
Now, I know that Baker Mayfield hasn’t lived up to his potential this year, and he’s in the “sophomore slump” as they call it in the football world. But man oh man, has he been critical of him ever since he was the number one draft pick by the Cleveland Browns in 2018.
Baker Mayfield’s rookie year saw him break the record for most touchdowns by a rookie QB, and if it wasn’t for Saquon Barkley’s exceptionally unbelievable rookie year with the 5–11 New York Giants, he would have been Offensive Rookie of the Year. (That would have made Cowherd lose it.)
Cowherd points out Baker’s antics as a sign of “poor-decision making”
His main crux against Baker Mayfield is his “poor decision-making”. The one point he goes to with this is after the 2016 college football season when he got arrested for public intoxication and disorderly conduct with the charges for resisting arrest being dropped.
Now this is where I would agree that yes, this was very much a dumb decision. However, I don’t think that automatically translates to the football field. And that’s where I mainly disagree with him on that point. Making idiotic decisions off the field doesn’t mean you’ll make idiotic decisions as a quarterback on the field. It doesn’t take away from talent. Many people (most recently Antonio Brown) are idiots and divas but are absolute superstars. This is where I believe Cowherd loses the plot with football.
He also points out his antics on the field, particularly two incidents: The time he planted the Oklahoma Sooners flag in the middle of Ohio State’s football field, and the time where he was caught swearing and grabbing his crotch in a game against Kansas. Again, I very much agree that was inappropriate. But Cowherd uses these more as a crutch about why Mayfield is so bad rather than a supporting fact of that argument.
His Love for Sam Darnold is unreal
This might make me dislike Colin Cowherd the most. He will defend Sam Darnold to his dying breath no matter how abysmal he plays. You can look up videos of him calling Darnold, “Thick, trunky, and a man with a Midwest ethos.” (Whatever the hell that means. I’m from the Midwest and never heard this before Colin used the phrase.)
In all honesty, it’s not that I disagree per se with Cowherd on most of the points he will make on Baker Mayfield and how he’s played this year. To tell you the truth, I only really like Baker Mayfield because he made Cowherd look like an idiot his rookie year. But now I’m in defense mode for him because Cowherd will go on the defense for Sam Darnold for doing the same exact things he criticizes him for.
He never blames Sam Darnold, he blames the New York Jets as a whole
Whenever Sam Darnold has a bad game, Cowherd will recognize that. However, there’s always a “but” right next to it whenever he does. He always points to the lack of WR talent (even though Jamison Crowder is pretty good), bad run game (even though they have Le’Veon Bell), bad O-line (can’t argue that), and sometimes he’ll even blame the defense (they’re just shy of a top 5 defense and are the number one rushing defense in the NFL right now). He always has an excuse to bail out Sam Darnold.
This is why I can’t stand him talking about Darnold. When I hear the QB’s name brought up on the show, I immediately change the channel (especially when he tries to throw his name in with Kyler Murray, Lamar Jackson, or Russell Wilson. Ugh.). It’s the same situation when he bashes Baker Mayfield, even if he’s talking about the Browns’ coach Freddie Kitchens or the Browns team in general.
According to the stats collected by Fantasy Pros, they aren’t too different at all. Depending on who you pick as your fantasy QB, Sam Darnold has more fantasy points per game, but Baker Mayfield has more overall points.
The similarity of their stats show how much of a hypocrite Colin Cowherd is
Let’s go head to head here: Darnold vs Mayfield. Darnold’s completion percentage of 63% is better than Mayfield’s at 60%. Better, but not great. Mayfield also has a slightly higher stat of yards per attempt than Darnold. His total yards per game is slightly higher as well, and he’s taken as many sacks as Darnold if not more. (I’m adjusting for when Darnold was out with mono for a month
Am I trying to say Mayfield is better than Darnold this year? No. I’m trying to say is that Colin Cowherd wears rose-colored glasses when Darnold makes the same mistakes that he’d never-endingly bashes Baker for. Like, come on, man. The dude said he was seeing ghosts after throwing four picks against New England. If Baker threw four picks against New England, we wouldn’t ever hear the end of it.
His Old School Way of Thinking Can Blind Him From the Obvious
Just today, Colin Cowherd had a section on the Cowboys saying, “There’s two kinds of people in the world. Those who embrace tech, and those who don’t.” Here’s why that’s laughable coming from him.
He was one of those people that doubted Lamar Jackson and his ability to change the game with his feet. He even compared him to Tim Tebow a few months after he was drafted by the Baltimore Ravens. Well, we all know what happened to Tim Tebow. Looked fantastic the first couple years of his career, and then he just disappeared after he went to the Jets.
Since his first official NFL start, Lamar Jackson is 16–4 in all of his starts (including the playoff loss against the LA Chargers last season). He’s had a perfect passer rating twice, many games with a passer rating above 100, and his trademark is that he can run the ball.
You see, people like Colin Cowherd don’t seem to look at what could be innovative and game changing until it happens in front of their eyes. Even Stephen A. Smith said that Lamar needs to work on his passing. Now that he’s proven himself, he’s become the hot topic of the league, even surpassing Patrick Mahomes. What was once a style of play reserved in college has become palpable in the NFL with people like Lamar Jackson, Kyler Murray, Josh Allen, and Russell Wilson (who’s been playing a similar style for years).
He Believes Character Will Win Football Games
This is another thing that kind of ties up my frustrations with him criticizing Baker Mayfield while giving love to Sam Darnold. It seems like no matter how bad you play, Colin Cowherd will stick up for you if you show sparks of talent and are a likable person.
This could be what it comes down to. Baker’s standoffish “I don’t care what you think of me” attitude is an automatic turnoff for Cowherd, and therefore he’ll boo him until his last dying breath. Meanwhile, Darnold’s got charms, and even after four picks in a game, he’ll garnish praise from Cowherd such as, “He’s got nothing. I don’t wanna hear it.”
This is sort of just a side point, because he seems to think “character” is a great trait in the NFL. Maybe I’m just of a different mindset, but character doesn’t pat your stats or make you a good football player. It makes you a good person, it makes you more likable among your teammates. Maybe that’s what he’s getting at.
But let’s be real here and look at the greats. Terrell Owens (doing college Baker-esque stuff on the grandest stage of them all while Baker was in elementary school), Deion Sanders (the original trash talker and drama queen), Shannon Sharpe, Michael Vick (horrible guy off the field, lights out on the field), and many others I know I missed…they weren’t exactly all stand-up guys while they played. Yes, many of them have matured, but Colin can’t say they had “character” like Sam Darnold. They played and got it done.
He Trusts the Philadelphia Eagles and Dallas Cowboys More than the Minnesota Vikings, two teams the Vikings have beaten this year
I haven’t heard him talk about this recently (I wanted to write this article a long time ago), but I remember the segment around Halloween called “Trick or Treat” where Colin picked which teams were good (treats), and which teams he didn’t like (tricks). The Philadelphia Eagles were 4–4, the Dallas Cowboys were 4–3, and the Minnesota Vikings were 6–2. Guess which team was the trick?
That’s right. The Vikings.
As a Vikings fan, this made my blood boil. The Vikings had beaten the Eagles the previous week 38–20, with Kirk Cousins having a monstrous game with 4 touchdowns and one pick (which wasn’t his fault, ahem). The Vikings would go on to defeat Dallas on the road 28–24 as well.
The Vikings’ record is 8–4, with two of their losses against divisional opponents and the other two against very good teams (Chiefs and Seahawks). And the Cowboys and Eagles’ records? 6–7 and 5–7 respectively.
Also, it should be noted that the Dallas Cowboys lost to the Jets. But hey, Colin would probably call that an honorable loss because Darnold plays for the Jets. Also, the Eagles lost to the Dolphins last week. (The NFC East is trash.) But the Vikings are a trick because we have Kirk Cousins. Smh.
Colin Cowherd is very well respected. I like his show (also like Joy Taylor too) and his hot takes, though sometimes laughable, can be quite entertaining and fascinating. He even admits it himself, he’ll whiff on a lot of things. However, when it comes to opinions he really believes in, he doubles down whenever he is wrong instead of admitting, “You know what? I think I was wrong about Sam Darnold and Lamar Jackson.”
Look, I’m not trying to get flack or attention on this at all. I just feel like Colin has a hard time admitting he’s wrong sometimes. Maybe he does it because he knows the hot takes will get him more attention. I don’t know. But if he could stop blaming Kirk Cousins for the Vikings’ troubles and put more accountability on our defense, that’d be great.
And for the love of God, don’t be so hard on Baker Mayfield if you’re going to shield Sam Darnold from hate at the same time. That makes you look like a hypocrite.