Why did suspended Jameis Winston suit up for game? Because he's a kid
Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston suited up for Saturday's game against the Clemson Tigers despite being suspended. His coach's response was classic.
Parents have seen that look. They know that look. It is the look that Florida State head coach Jimbo Fisher made when he confronted his supposedly suspended star quarterback before Saturday night's game against the Clemson Tigers.
Jameis Winston, you see, was not acting very suspended. He was on the field, in full pads, warming up with all the other Florida State quarterbacks. So Fisher went over for a little chat with Winston. No audio has emerged of the conversation (yet), but the video seems to be worth far more than the few words that apparently were spoken.
Fisher's back is to the camera and Winston appears to be talking animatedly before Fisher turns around for the money shot. You can watch it here. It comes at 21 seconds. We'll wait...
Did you see that? Someone's puppy just peed on the carpet. Their son played street hockey with mom's heirloom vase. Or their daughter dyed their hair purple the day before the class picture.
Yes, it's that look precisely.
And you remember: Right, these people are just kids.
Winston was suspended for standing on a table in the middle of campus and yelling an obscene phrase. Perhaps he wouldn't have been suspended at all if he hadn't previously shown a penchant for repeated bad decisionmaking. We can now add Saturday night to that list.
Barrett Sallee of Bleacher Report notes that another Florida State Seminole, Jesus Wilson, dressed in full pads for a game for which he was suspended (against Oklahoma State on Aug. 30). This wasn't a bad decision on Winston's part, he argues, it was a equipment mixup. The pads should never have been in Winston's locker.
Perhaps. But Fisher might beg to differ.
All signs point to Winston needing to learn a few hard lessons. Football can be a great way of doing this – demanding selflessness through teamwork, hard work, and sacrifice for something greater than the individual. But it can also be an enabler. Winston is a national champion, a Heisman trophy winner, and an object of fascination. His table-top stunt set off an avalanche of tweets, for instance.
Didn't we see largely the same thing last year with Texas A&M's Johnny Manziel? Of course we did. At 20 years old, Winston is not yet old enough to drink a beer responsibly, according to the law.
On Saturday, Fisher tried to do something that supposedly is an important part of college: He tried to teach a lesson.
Eventually Winston did go back to the locker room and change into sweats. Fisher's initial look of exasperation, however, suggests that class might have just begun.