Nick Bosa recently revealed to reporters that he no longer has any animosity to an old college rival, Baker Mayfield. Too bad.
Team rivalries in the NFL are always great things, and they add an extra layer of suspense at any point when the two squads square off against each other.
Perhaps the only thing better is a personal rivalry. One of these can transcend teams and has just as much depth and drama while the player's own personality is deeply tied to that rivalry.
San Francisco 49ers fans should know this, especially with All-Pro defensive end Nick Bosa bringing aboard an old rivalry from his collegiate days at Ohio State, one that involved former Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield.
Some flag-planting moments helped spark the collegiate rivalry, and that carried over to the NFL when the two players met back in 2019 in a game where then-rookie Bosa teed off against the former Cleveland Browns quarterback, chanting, "Baker, Baker, Baker," en route to a massive performance in which the Niners won big.
Not so fast.
Nick Bosa says his beef with Baker Mayfield is squashed, calls QB 'nice'
Speaking with reporters after practice this week, Bosa was understandably asked about Mayfield and what to expect when the two teams (and players) see each other in Week 11 this Sunday.
Surprisingly, Bosa didn't emphasize any rivalry with Mayfield and seemed to suggest that it was no longer.
"No, I don't," Bosa responded when asked if he had any sort of feelings about Mayfield. "I met him at the Waste Management, and he's nice."
Mayfield has an 0-2 record against San Francisco with zero touchdowns thrown and three interceptions, plus eight sacks taken.
"I've never had anything against him," Bosa continued. "Just a joke as a rookie."
While this is the mature and responsible thing to say, it would have been far more entertaining to see the beef and personal rivalry extend to another level in another year, thereby adding another layer to Sunday's game.
The 49ers and Bucs kick off on Sunday, Nov. 19 at 4:05 p.m. ET from Levi's Stadium.