bad sports, good sports

Bad sports, good sports: Jameis Winston shoplifts seafood

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What an amazing thing it must be to be a world class athlete. I grew up imagining myself out on a football field or a baseball field in front of thousands and thousands of people, making big plays and hearing the cheers. The fact that I had no special skill in either sport did not really enter into my thought process, of course. It seemed to me that every kid had the same dreams, and I imagine that many of them did. This is why I find it so unfathomable that so many of the guys who not only have the skill to get them to the pros but are actually good enough to be superstars are so willing to screw up and risk it all. Florida State quarterback and Heisman Trophy winner Jameis Winston is one of these guys.

Last Tuesday, Winston stole three pounds of crab legs from a grocery store in Tallahassee. He didn’t even just subtly pick them up and leave. He actually went to the seafood counter, ordered the crab legs with Old Bay seasoning, so there was preparation that then needed to happen, and then took the package and walked out of the store, avoiding the eyes of a deputy along the way. Winston is maybe the most famous college football player in the country, and he did this near the Florida State campus in a store where he regularly shops, guaranteeing in nearly every way that every person who saw him would likely recognize him. This dude must be some kind of world-class dummy. What could he have possibly been thinking? The security people saw him leave and grabbed him up. He was cited for shoplifting, which, due to some law changes and the amount of the theft, is not something that actually involved an arrest or criminal charges, but merely a citation. His penalty was 20 hours of community service, the details of which were not made public.

The fact that Winston was so willing to let himself get in trouble after the whole mess he was in last year makes it so much worse. In case you missed it, he was investigated last year for a sexual assault that happened on campus at Florida State. He was never formally charged, but that sounds like it was due to a whole lot of misconduct by the Tallahassee Police Department, who failed to follow through on many of the necessary aspects of this kind of investigation, according to the New York Times. I am not personally familiar with all of the details of the investigation, but it sure sounds messy and it seems hard to imagine that Winston did not do anything wrong here. He appears to have gotten out of trouble because of his athletic ability and his celebrity.

Consistent with those events, it appears he is getting off quite easy with this shoplifting incident. He was suspended indefinitely by the Florida State baseball team, for whom he also plays, but that “indefinite” suspension lasted all of four days. He completed all twenty hours of community service between Tuesday and the weekend, and he was back in uniform by Sunday. Wow, I bet he really learned his lesson, huh? Nothing will make a coddled superstar quarterback recognize the consequences of his actions like making sure that he experiences almost no punishment at all. He is sure to toe the line from this point forward.

Bad sports, continued:

2) Is it just me, or are there more bad calls in Major League Baseball then ever, despite the newly expanded presence of replay? Yasiel Puig was called out on Thursday when umpire Tim Welke made an inexplicably atrocious judgment call after Puig had reached first due to a bad throw by a Twins infielder. Check out the video. Ridiculous.

3) It appears that European soccer fans live in the dark ages. Papakouli Diop, a midfielder for Levante in Spain’s La Liga who is originally from Senegal, continues to have ridiculous racist chants directed at him by opposing fans. This time, fans of Atletico Madrid made monkey gestures at him during a match on Sunday. He returned the gestures when time ran out, addressing them head on. What year is this, again?

4) Elbow ligament replacement surgery is so closely associated with former MLB pitcher Tommy John, who underwent the procedure back in the early ’70s, that it is known as “Tommy John Surgery.” John has decided to sell a collage of the MRI pictures from back then for $1295 each to raise money for his charity. Why is this Bad Sports, you ask? Why the hell would someone want a copy of his MRI photos? Seriously.

5) The Los Angeles Clippers and the Golden State Warriors got into some kind of altercation in the locker room area after the end of a game seven that saw the Clippers move on to the next round of the playoffs. Police and arena security had to be called to defuse the situation.

6) Detroit Tigers second baseman Ian Kinsler was so distracted by the conversation he was having with Kansas City Royals first baseman Eric Hosmer on Saturday that he was picked off of first base. Well done.

7) Elena Baltecha, a tennis player from Scotland who was the top-ranked player in Britain for several years last decade, died of liver cancer last week. She was 30 years old.

8) Seantrel Henderson, who is expected to be a high pick in the upcoming NFL Draft, just keeps shooting himself in the foot. He performed poorly at the NFL Combine and reportedly quit during his Pro Day at the University of Miami. Now, it has been revealed that he tested positive for marijuana at the Combine as well. Sounds like this guy does not want to be a professional football player.

Good sports:

1) Following up on last week’s story about Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling and his overt racism, NBA commissioner Adam Silver banned Sterling from league involvement for life, while also fining him $2.5 million. That’s what I call a strong stance. The mayor of Los Angeles says that he believes Sterling will fight the penalties.

2) J.B. Holmes, a golfer who hadn’t won on the PGA Tour since 2008, won the Wells Fargo Championship at Quail Hollow on Sunday. Oh yeah, he had two brain surgeries in 2011. Nice comeback.

Bad sports, good sports appears early each week

Alan Spoll is a software quality assurance director from the suburbs of Philadelphia where he lives with his wonderful wife and children. He has spent his entire life as a passionate fan of the Eagles, Phillies, Sixers, Flyers, and Penn State. Recent Phillies success aside, you will understand his natural negativity. Follow me on Twitter - @DocAlan02
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2 Responses to “Bad sports, good sports: Jameis Winston shoplifts seafood”

  1. Alan

    Wondered the same thing about famous musicians – why get good, get famous, and then get dead? I never had the talent to imagine myself as a famous athlete, but I empathize with your point from a different direction. I wanted to be lead singer/guitarist in a funk/rock/psychadelic band. I still need a band…and talent.

  2. Thanks for the comment. I had similar aspirations to yours, as far as the whole rock star thing goes. It was not to be. I like to think I would not have been stupid enough to blow it if I had been given the opportunity.

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