Roy Exum: Let’s Lighten Up On Jameis

Wednesday, January 8, 2014 - by Roy Exum

Put me down as one who viewed Jameis Winston’s remarks following the National Championship victory with pure, unabashed delight early Tuesday morning. But, no, there were immediate detractors who pointed out his poor grammar, his emotional stumbles and his off-the top comments were hardly befitting a Heisman Trophy winner who just won the Most Valuable Player Award.

Please! Let’s all remember this is a kid who, on the night of his 20th birthday, had just guided his Seminole teammates 80 yards on just seven plays in 58 seconds to seal as exciting a comeback as has ever been seen in college football. He hadn’t even caught his breath before ESPN’s Tom Rinaldi cornered him before the awards presentation.

But Dee Dee Bonner, the mother of Alabama’s gifted A.J. McCarron, quickly tweeted, “Am I listening to English?” while The Tide quarterback’s glamour girlfriend Katherine Webb added her two cents, “Jameis Winston needs to learn sign language to communicate because listening to him attempt to speak English is just insulting.”

Oh heavens? You’ll remember that Winston beat out McCarron in the Heisman voting and – within a few minutes – both rants were removed. By the break of dawn Dee Dee (no grammarian herself) was back-pedaling faster than her son in any given first quarter. “Any1 that knows our family knows we R far from racist. My tweet was not in any way meant that way. I sincerely apologize if it offended any1.”

Winston’s comments were perfect. After a scandal-filled year, where a state attorney declines to press rape charges, the star quarterback told Rinaldi, "We are champions together," he gasped before being ushered to the dais to collect his MVP award and kiss the BCS trophy. "And through everything that we went through—through all the haters, through every single thing—we came out victorious."

What in the world is wrong with that? I was hoping Auburn would win, extending a Cinderella string, but the sports lover came out in me when FSU began to click after trailing 21-10 at the half. Winston was incredible on the last drive and did exactly what an All-American is expected to do. We all know he is hardly a Shakespeare on the stage but, after years of listening to college athletes, I thought the redshirt freshman did an awesome job.

* * *

AUBURN RUNNING back Tre Mason broke the SEC’s single-season rushing record late in the game when he darted 37 yards for a go-ahead touchdown with 1:19 remaining in the game to put Auburn ahead by 4.  Mason ran for 195 yards against the stout Seminole defense, carrying the ball 34 times and scoring again on a 12-yard reception. Mason, who had a startling 304 yards rushing on 46 carries in the SEC title game, closed the year with 1,861 yards, topping Jackson’s 1,786-yard performance in 1985 when he won the Heisman Trophy.

After the game, the crest-fallen Mason said. “I’m just upset with myself, I feel like I didn’t cap it off for the Auburn fans. My goal was to come in here and have the biggest turnaround in college football and win the national championship and I feel like … I want to apologize to them because I feel like I let them down.”

* * *

ESPN came out with its “Way Too Early Top 25” on Tuesday following Florida’s State victory and the SEC, which had its string of seven national titles snapped by the Seminoles, had eight teams on the early list.

ESPN promptly picked FSU as the No. 1 team for the 2014 regular season because Winston has a huge number of veteran players returning under Jimbo Fisher. Alabama is No. 2, followed by Oregon, Stanford, and Auburn.

Michigan State Is No. 6, followed by UCLA, Oklahoma, Ohio State, and LSU. Georgia is at No. 11 followed by Baylor, South Carolina, Southern Cal and Wisconsin. Texas A&M is No. 16, followed by North Carolina, Clemson, Washington, and Ole Miss. Iowa is No. 21 with Arizona State, Notre Dame, Central Florida and Florida closing out the list.

* * *

DID YOU KNOW Auburn coach Gus Malzahn, who was just voted as the college Coach of the Year, makes it a point to never say a cuss word. Athletic Director Jay Jacobs told reporters last week that he has “never heard him say a word that would be offensive to anyone, but the thing about it is, what he says, his words and his deeds match up. That develops respect and therefore develops trust.”

Malzahn constantly uses words like “crud,” “crap,” “darn” or “frigging” but, devoutly religious, won’t utter anything worse. And the players say that makes it even worse when he chews somebody out. “It’s way worse,” said center Reese Dismukes. “I would much rather be cussed out, 10 times out of 10, than be yelled at by Coach Malzahn.”

royexum@aol.com



Mental Health Patients Are Crying Out For Help

First and foremost, my heart and prayers go out to all the victims and family in the horrific and brutal Florida school shooting. Hearts and minds of all U.S. citizens will always have a special place for these innocent people who were ruthlessly gunned down. The first conclusion that people want to jump to is gun control and point fingers at our government and law makers who ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Saturday Funnies

It wasn’t lost on me that during Valentine Week, when we most remember those we love, this first story was included in my weekly email. As has become my habit, every Saturday I try to come up with a new edition of The Saturday Funnies because I get some delightful ones that are shared by my friends during the week. We must never waste a giggle. So in keeping with my ... (click for more)

1 Person Killed In Accident Involving 18-Wheeler On Ochs Highway

One person was killed Saturday morning on Ochs Highway. Another person in the same vehicle was taken to the hospital. An 18-wheeler was coming down the mountain, and hit three cars traveling up the mountain. Ochs Highway was closed in both directions, and HAZMAT crews were at the scene. The wreck happened at mid-morning. (click for more)

Hixson Home Destroyed By Fire Early Saturday Morning

A home was destroyed by fire early Saturday morning in Hixson. Around  2:30 a.m. , the Dallas Bay Volunteer Fire Department responded to a possible house fire at  904 Wesley Drive  in Hixson. When the first unit arrived on the scene, they reported the second floor of the home was completely engulfed with fire. Firefighters conducted a defensive ... (click for more)

Cleveland Wins AAA State Mat Title

FRANKLIN, Tenn. – Chattanooga-area wrestling teams didn’t dominate the TSSAA traditional state tournament this weekend like they have in the past, but they were better than average and still had a lot to celebrate. All three teams that won titles in the State Duals here at the Williamson County Agricultural Exposition Park came back to win again this time, including Cleveland ... (click for more)

District 5-3A: Blue Raiders, Mustangs Advance To Boys' Final

CLEVELAND, Tenn. – For the most part, seedings for postseason high school basketball tournaments hold up well. There are upsets, at times. Some mild. Some more stunning. On “Semifinal Saturday” in District 5-3A at Walker Valley High School, three favorites won, including both higher seeded girls’ teams. Second-ranked Bradley Central, unbeaten at 27-0 and the No. ... (click for more)