Wilson isn’t Winston, be grateful


Brent Uberty

Photo by Brent Uberty

Photo by Brent Uberty
Photo by Brent Uberty

If you were around Salt Lake City this summer, you’ll remember Utah quarterback Travis Wilson being arrested at a Tim McGraw concert for underage drinking (Wilson turns 21 in December). Here in Utah, the media did a great job of simply covering the situation while leaving it to Twitter trolls to blow the situation out of proportion.
Some people called for a suspension, while others questioned his role on the team, and some claimed he couldn’t be a leader for the Utes.
Now, let’s travel southeast to Tallahassee.
Everyone knows who “Famous Jameis” is. Jameis Winston — starting quarterback for national champion Florida State, 2013 Heisman Trophy winner and future top draft pick — has done nothing but make headlines since busting onto the national stage last season, on and off the football field.
Despite a record-setting campaign in 2013, Winston has made some dumb decisions off the gridiron. He’s been accused of rape, stealing crab legs from a super-market and, the most recent of his problems, standing on a table in the middle of FSU’s student union screaming obscenities.
News broke Wednesday morning that FSU head coach Jimbo Fisher suspended the star signal caller for the first half of the defending national champion’s first showdown with Clemson, a ranked opponent and ACC rival. This is a big game for the Seminoles, as they have not looked good thus far in the title-defending season and could really use a big win to turn things around.
Let me just preface what I’m about to say by stating that both of my parents went to FSU. I grew up watching Seminole football games, and they were the team I represented every Saturday.
With that said, Winston’s suspension is not severe enough. Time and time again, as talented as he is, this guy has given the Florida State coaching staff reason to suspend him, and they are just taking care of it now?
During the rape accusations last season, I tried defending him, saying it wasn’t true and it was all speculation. But with one stupid thing after another, I don’t think I can defend him anymore.
When you compete for a historically great football program, win a national championship and the Heisman all while rewriting the record books, you are held to a higher standard. It doesn’t matter whether the athlete wanted that life or asked for it, because it comes with the territory. If Winston walks around campus, everyone knows who he is. If he walks downtown, people recognize him. Hell, if he walked around pretty much anywhere in the country, I think some people would know who he is.
So why did I bring up Wilson in the beginning? Well, the point I’m trying to make is that the Ute slinger got cited for drinking at a country concert. How many college students do you think were at that concert and intoxicated? Even in Utah, the number is still probably pretty high.
So for those who questioned Wilson’s ability to be a leader before the season, or even if you didn’t, let’s just take a step back and look at the big picture. Wilson did nothing to harm anyone and got arrested for something college kids do on a daily basis. Winston, however, has performed criminal activities and likes to stand on tables and scream like a child.
It seems like a silly question to ask, but if you are the Utes, who would you rather have as your quarterback — Wilson or Winston? I doubt anyone has made that comparison before, and from a talent standpoint alone, I think the answer is rather simple. However, is Winston worth all of the baggage? I don’t think he is, even if they did win it all again this season. FSU may be winning games again, but it’s doing so at the cost of its reputation (not that they had much of a good one in the first place).
So if you’re a Utes fan, first be grateful Wilson is back, healthy and ready to play. Second, be grateful the worst thing Wilson has done off the field is have some fun at a concert.
But most importantly, be grateful that T-Willy is nothing like Mr. Famous Jameis Winston.
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