When Johnny Manziel won the Heisman Trophy in 2012, he followed up his award-winning season with an offseason that made it appear like he had purchased every cool auction item at a charity golf tournament.
Courtside seats for the NBA playoffs? Check. Spring break trip to Cabo? Oh, hell yeah. Care to play a round at Pebble Beach? Don't mind if I do! Sprinkled in were several other moments that served as constant reminders that Manziel was "still just a 20-year-old kid." That is, when Manziel wasn't verbally reminding us himself (see: SEC Media Day).
And it was all documented on Instagram and Twitter!
These things all made Manziel seem a little dangerous, to the extent that he's still answering questions about this stuff during the draft process.
So how will this all go for Jameis Winston next year?
It's generally presumed that the Florida State quarterback, and now reigning Heisman Trophy winner, will be a high pick in the 2015 NFL Draft, assuming he decides to come out and leave college. Winston has amazing skills and an unblemished won-loss record as a starter at Florida State, having won the 2013 BCS national championship.
But his record off the field got its first official blemish a couple of days ago, and the perception of Winston off the field has been marred for quite some time (right or wrong) by the allegations of rape that followed him around for most of the tail end of the 2013 season, allegations that the Tallahassee police department dragged their feet on even investigating for several months after they came to light.
The official blemish of which I speak is the citation Winston received a couple of days ago for shoplifting around 30 bucks worth of crab legs and crawfish from a Publix supermarket in Tallahassee. It was the only item he left the store with, and yet Winston's claim was that he just forgot to pay.
The assumption is that Winston is full of shit, and that may very well be; however, it's been proposed over the past 24 hours that, in taking the food, perhaps he was merely taking advantage of a permanent 100 percent discount for Florida State football players, and by accepting the citation, he was "falling on his sword" to keep the NCAA from sniffing around.
Jameis Winston's 'falling on the sword' 2 protect his teammates & 'higher ups' who knew of this Publix taking care of players for years! #YO
— Marcellus Wiley (@marcelluswiley) May 1, 2014
— Omar Kelly (@OmarKelly) May 1, 2014
Winston was summarily suspended from the baseball team (where he was working on a season where he had a 1.50 ERA), so depending on how you process the "falling on sword" theory, Winston is either the worst teammate (baseball, for getting suspended) or best teammate (football, for protecting their free food golden goose).
How the NFL processes all of this remains to be seen.
One final aside in this matter -- below are the videos for the entire press conferences addressing both of these stories, the Willie Meggs (state's attorney) press conference where he says the state will not pursue rape charges against Winston, and the press conference from this week discussing the Great Crab Leg Caper.
Yes, the Winston crab leg theft citation required a press conference. There was an actual press conference this week where law enforcement addressed whether or not Jameis Winston shoplifted butter to melt for his stolen crabs.
Now, the striking thing about juxtaposing these press conferences? Well, if you muted each of them and just watched, you'd guess the Meggs presser was about stolen crabs and melted butter based on all of the laughing. There are at least five instances of open laughter that I count during Meggs's presser....
1. 5:50 -- Reporter asks if Meggs felt any pressure to get the investigation over before the Heisman ceremony.
2. 10:39 -- Meggs wisecracking to one reporter, "You didn't call me a politician, did you?"
3. 12:30 -- When asked was there a sexual assault, Meggs chuckled and said, "Well, that's why we're here..."
4. 16:25 -- Meggs lamenting to one reporter, "You ask kind of convoluted questions...."
5. 19:28 -- In answering the question as to why the alleged victim was hesitant to say who her boyfriend was (literally five seconds after discussing DNA on the victim's underwear), Meggs quips, "Well, tell us about your girlfriend?"
Belly laughs from the crowd and from others on the dais at these lines. Because alleged sexual assault is hilarious, apparently.
Meanwhile, Major Michael Wood of the Leon County Sheriff's Office discusses crab legs and butter with the gravity of an AMBER Alert:
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Because stolen seafood is serious business.
Florida State opens its football season August 30 in Dallas against Oklahoma State.