Have you ever eaten a slice of humble pie? If so, is it sweet? Is it unique? I've come across it but I've never been hungry enough to need it, so I wanted to get your take.
"Now here's what you've got to do," said an amped Jimbo Fisher to Jameis Winston that was caught on the ESPN broadcast after Florida State's riveting victory over Notre Dame. "Calm down. Don't give them that over-exuberant look. Act very passive right here and get people back on your side. You understand what I'm telling you? Humble. Humble pie."
Saturday night's highly anticipated game between the Florida State Seminoles and the Notre Dame Fighting Irish was one that would induce great pressure. Jameis Winston and Jimbo Fisher, arguably the most talked-about two figures in sports over the last week, would go up against a Notre Dame team led by and Everett Golson in the heaviest of bouts.
It was a match-up between two historic programs, a game outside of the SEC that had true playoff implications. And as Winston took the field hoping to erase the off-the-field hurrah, Everett Golson was going to strive to reach the top of the college football mountain. And once again, he came oh so close.
Notre Dame was able to strike first on a 1-yard touchdown pass from Golson. Two minutes later, Winston did the same, putting his Seminoles on the board with an 11-yard pass, opening up a primetime spectacle for viewers. With a 31-27 lead in the fourth quarter, a pass interference call on Notre Dame gave Florida State the victory. And as much as you'd like to think this playoff-producing game was all fun and games, there were still moments that reminded us of the recurring off-field issues that Jameis Winston has faced.
From the get-go Saturday, Tallahassee fans went after ESPN. They went after the SEC, the the media, and attacked those who had attacked Winston.
Those that defend him may have a point. But their point to me was unclear, so I tweeted something controversial to feel around for those "defenders" and their response. People began to tweet me saying things like, "You are just jealous of the man's success," and "He hasn't done anything wrong. How's he been arrogant? How has he been ignorant?" That's when I knew the line that I had crossed is invisible to some of those that defend him. There are things he's done and things that he has said that garner that attention, whether the defenders would like to ignore it or not. I'll explain.
First off, being jealous of Winston is about as good of an excuse as the old one you used to use when your mom asked you to clean your room. It's not a real thing; it's not something that would cause the media to attack a very high-profile individual. Instead, it's the actions of Winston and the obvious arrogance and ignorance he's shown in those actions. That's where the criticism comes from.
In August of 2013, Winston was accused of rape, the first high-profile accusation made against him. On April 29th of this year, he stole crab legs from a grocery and was cited and assigned community service hours because of it. That's a crime, his only official crime to date. In the weeks following that, he was accused of stealing a soda from Burger King, he then used major obscenities that were even more questionable in light of the rape accusation; as well as the recent scandal, signing autographs at a time when that raises suspicions.
When you make a mistake in life, you're supposed to learn from it. You see what you did wrong, you learn, and you show improvement. Winston made the mistake, might have learned, and has shown no improvement, committing more acts that only show more of his immaturity. That's the problem with all of this, it's not the media's fault, or anyone for that matter. It's on Jameis.
Four years ago I drove 40 minutes from my house to watch Winston's No. 2 Hueytown team (in class 5A) play No. 9 McAdory in his senior year. ESPN was there and the spectacle was impressive, and Winston was too. Running for 90 yards in the first half and passing for 208 and two touchdowns I was thoroughly impressed with his arm strength, athletic ability, and poise.
The next day I went to watch Auburn play (the year after Cam Newton) and what did I come away with? Winston was going to be as good as Newton. It was obvious. What wasn't were these aforementioned problems.
I knew Newton was being investigated by the NCAA. Looking back, it's funny that the man I compared to Newton because of his play has become a man criticized in the national media similarly to the way Newton was. But Cam went on to the NFL, where he ate a slice of humble pie and he's since shown only to be a great role model in the reshaping of an image.
Jameis Winston can do this. He can. It'll be difficult, it'll be a long road, but he must exit and take that road right here, right now. The clock is ticking and the slice of humble pie is waiting to be eaten.
The question is and the question remains, will Jamies order it?