Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise
Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise

It’s never a good sign when a star athlete like Baker Mayfield sees UFOs

Just ask Baker Mayfield.
Just ask Baker Mayfield.
Image: Getty Images

The Cleveland Browns are in some serious trouble.

Late Wednesday night, quarterback Baker Mayfield went on Twitter and posted about a strange sight in the evening sky, which he believed to be an unidentified flying object.

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This is hardly the first time that there have been oddities in the sky over Texas. In 2012, a NASA camera picked up a fireball over the Lone Star State that was “most likely a meteor and about the size of a basketball.”

A little more than two years ago, many Texans saw a fireball in the sky and heard a sonic boom, again believed to be a meteor that came down around Austin.

And then, on Tuesday, Houston photojournalist Gil Gredinger captured video of a streaking object in the sky, which he believed to be a meteor as well, from a camera mounted in his car.

Now, we have whatever Mayfield saw, which authorities will once again want people to believe was a meteor.

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And while Colin Cowherd might make fun of Mayfield, and Tom Brady might then put out there that maybe he’s seen aliens…

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…what happened with Mayfield is no laughing matter for the Browns, who might now want to think about the rich stock of quarterbacks in this year’s draft class.

We already know, after all, what can happen when athletes and UFOs mix.

In 1997, a documentary crew captured the moment when Mets outfielder Bernard Gilkey, in a key moment in a game against Atlanta, was distracted as he saw a flying saucer and had a fly ball bounce off his head.

The Mets had acquired Gilkey in a trade with the Cardinals before the 1996 season, and he was a revelation in his first season in New York, belting a career-high 30 home runs and finishing 14th in the National League MVP vote.

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Then, Gilkey had his close encounter, and his OPS dropped 200 points from 1996 to ’97… and only got worse from there.

The Mets traded a clearly no-longer-the-same Gilkey in the middle of the 1998 season, and his destination, Arizona, could not have been worse. In such close proximity to Area 51, Gilkey had no hope of rebuilding his career without being constantly reminded of the incident, and in June of 2000, he was released. Stops with Boston and Atlanta weren’t much better, as Gilkey never hit more than eight home runs in a season over the final four years of his career — he was done after 2001.

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Maybe the problem for Gilkey was that nobody ever really seemed to believe him about what he’d seen. Thanks to Twitter, Mayfield was able to find fraternity with other folks who’d seen the same thing over Texas that he did. Will that be enough to keep his career on track?

The Browns have to hope so.



Josh Yohe reported that more than a dozen fans in Pittsburgh got the boot from the Penguins’ 4-3 loss to the Flyers on Thursday night for not wearing masks.

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That’s strange, because as of Thursday morning, Penguins team policy regarding fans without masks was simply to Photoshop masks onto their faces.

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Yohe reported, “I was told all [of the ejected fans] were drinking,” which, yeah, it was a Penguins-Flyers game. He proposed not selling alcohol at games right now. That’s a good idea, because there shouldn’t be anyone there to sell alcohol to in the first place.

The coronavirus numbers are tracking down, thankfully, and the vaccine is getting into people’s arms. We really can’t all just wait another couple of months to get it actually under control before going back to our normal course of acting like complete jackasses? Usually, like, yeah, whatever, drunk idiots at a Penguins-Flyers game gonna drunk idiot at a Penguins-Flyers game. But lives are at stake here, and letting people into hockey arenas is just such a stupid and unnecessary risk. Enough already.

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NASA: The average bolt of lightning lasts for about 30 microseconds.

VICTOR HEDMAN: Cool, no problem.

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Somehow, Hedman’s goal to cap Tampa Bay’s comeback from a 2-0 deficit in Chicago wasn’t the most improbable tally of the night in the NHL. That honor belongs to Islanders grinder Matt Martin, who scored from behind the goal line, off the head of Sabres netminder Jonas Johansson.

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It’s that kind of year for Buffalo, which didn’t even get the bonus of having its usual inexplicable hot streak in November because the season didn’t start until January. The Sabres have played 21 games and won only six.



Intentionally missing a free throw is basketball’s version of pulling the goalie or an onside kick. It only happens when a team is desperate late in a game, it hardly ever works as intended, and it regularly goes spectacularly wrong.

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Still, hitting the rim box, or the phlange, or whatever you want to call it, to avoid a violation by striking iron from below, is a new twist on it… that still didn’t work for the Kings because DeAaron Fox’s plan was clearly just “miss,” and nobody knew exactly how he’d miss, and with everyone thinking it was going to be a violation because the ball went under the whole rim until hitting that base.

Enes Kanter grabbed the rebound – he had 21 on the night – to establish clear possession, but the initial call was a violation and had to be overturned on replay, so it’s weird to penalize the Kings for not having gone after what they didn’t think was a live ball.

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Does any of that make sense? No? Good, because if this ever happens again, you’ll get to be just as wide-eyed about the whole thing.

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In the meantime, Sacramento can work on not blowing a five-point lead in the last 3:49 to lose a game like this. Then again, when Damian Lillard scores 44 with seven assists, there’s not a whole lot you can do.



Imagine giving even one thought to what order the NBA All-Star teams were drafted in, for a game that shouldn’t be happening and nobody except Adam Silver even wants to happen.

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Okay, fine, one thought: of course Rudy Gobert was the last pick. And while LeBron James might have blamed that, and Donovan Mitchell going second-to-last, as general ambivalence toward anything having to do with Utah, dating back to the Stockton-Malone era, let’s be real, Gobert is still the Typhoid Mary of basketball.

It’s been almost a year since our Carron Phillips asked how the league would deal with Gobert after returning to action. Now we have the answer.

Sorry to all the other Jesse Spectors for ruining your Google results.