The Cleveland Browns started the 2022 season off on the right foot on Sunday by defeating their former quarterback, Baker Mayfield, and his new team, the Carolina Panthers, 26-24.
They did so on the right foot of placekicker Cade York, who knocked down the game-winning field goal from 58 yards out with seconds remaining.
Cade York 🤝 Titanic music pic.twitter.com/6N5Ju62JZr
— Tall6uy (@Tall6uy) September 12, 2022
As a result, the rookie out of Louisiana State University has become a minor celebrity throughout Northeast Ohio.
He was named the AFC Special Teams Player of the Week, which is quite an accomplishment for someone playing in his very first NFL game.
The legend of Cade York grows pic.twitter.com/FBZCZDwg9i
— Football Chopz (@Pchopz_) September 14, 2022
Some small businesses in the area immediately produced some T-shirts with the familiar tourist slogan “I love New York” changed to read “I love Cade York.”
— poyervusamayhq (@poyervusamayhq) September 14, 2022
But through it all, he is keeping himself even-keeled.
York Is Keeping Things In Perspective
The NFL is the most popular pro sport in the nation, and a rookie who quickly achieves stardom in the league can quickly lose his head with all the money, fame, recognition and other perks that come with it.
Football history is littered with young stars who lost their marbles because they couldn’t keep their heads straight after becoming big time.
On the other hand, there are many examples of NFL stars who remained grounded even after getting a monsoon shower of adulation.
It looks like York will be one of the latter rather than the former.
For one thing, he knows that fans, as well as the breaks of the game, are fickle.
“I had a good game, but next week’s a new game,” York said Wednesday. “Cleveland could hate me after next game, so it doesn’t really mean anything.”
The 21-year-old was perfect on Sunday, connecting on all four of his field goal attempts and both of his extra point kicks.
It all added up to the Browns’ first Week 1 win since 2004, which is very welcome news given all that has transpired since the end of last season.
Mayfield asked for a trade after taking issue with a member of the front office reportedly saying the team preferred an “adult” at QB, and shortly afterward, it traded for Deshaun Watson.
For much of the offseason, the Browns’ protracted attempts to trade Mayfield, as well as Watson’s impending suspension, were hanging over the organization.
With Watson out for the first 11 games of the schedule, many were fearing doom and gloom for Cleveland.
There is a long way to go, but there may be a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel, at least for now.
This weekend, York and the Browns will host the New York Jets, a team that got blasted by the Baltimore Ravens in Week 1.
Another win there may allow perpetually frustrated Cleveland fans to even believe that the Browns could be on their way to an unexpected playoff berth this January.