Jameis Winston needs a complete image makeover after his latest misstep lands him with a three-game suspension. The suspension on it’s own as of last week left many things in the air, notably were the questions surrounding Winston and how upfront and forthcoming he was with the Buccaneers. After some rumors about what the suspension may have stemmed from, those rumors were put to bed today and a statement from Winston was released. With the suspension ahead and a very restless crowd of fans ready to ship Winston off, he needs to fix his broken image and he needs to so very fast.
There’s only so much one can do — community service-wise — to instill a great self image and achieve the thankfulness of fans and the community members. Winston has done all that, it’s not enough. Why it’s not enough is simple, in the life of an athlete, your wrong doings will almost undoubtedly always overshadow the good you do and with Winston this is no exception, especially given the details of his incidents. This isn’t an article about those though, it’s about overcoming it from a sports perspective, shallow as that may be it’s all that matters for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Jameis Winston the football player. What Winston must do will have to be done on the gridiron, the very gridiron he will be barred from seeing until week four. So what does Jameis need to do?
The answer is an easy one. Like Ben Roethelisberger, like Kobe Bryant, Jameis must apologize (already done) and he must WIN. QB wins are not a stat, just ask our man Steven Beck. That said, Jameis Winston needs to eat some W’s and he needs to eat a lot of them in order to fix his image. Winston has been judged, he’s been judged hard and he deserves it. What Jameis needs now is some wins and he needs the help of his team, some of which have spoken out in Winston’s defense such as Kwon Alexander, and he needs them to help build a special type of season. If Jameis isn’t able to come back this year and lead this team to the playoffs there’s a great chance that fans will continue to call for his name and with his future contract situation up in the air, that’s the last place a quarterback with off the field issues wants to be. Jason Licht also needs his quarterback to put up some wins now more than ever. Licht’s job is essentially tied to Jameis Winston after all of the legwork Licht and his team did leading up to drafting Jameis. For this most recent issue to surface, albeit it’s a couple years old, it simply isn’t a proud moment for WInston or Licht.
Winning is the ultimate cure-all for sports aches and pains. Winning turned Tampa Bay into a baseball town in 2008. Hockey is the go-to must-see TV sport in town. That’s right, HOCKEY. Why? Because of winning (and maybe a great owner but that’s another debate). Football was life in Tampa Bay in the late 90’s and early 2000’s, because of winning. Jameis Winston needs to win games and he needs to win a lot of them, NOW. Winning won’t erase the stains of Winston’s past, but it will help fans, the front office and the owners look beyond the off-field incidents and remember that in the end, Winston is a winner. That winner from Tallahassee needs to be a winner in Tampa now.
So Jameis Winston, I ask you and I ask you kindly, win.