Dear Jameis “Jaboo” Winston,
You are really good at playing quarterback. You put your team first. You make good decisions. You inspire people. You win every time. However, in real life you do the opposite of all of those things. I don’t think you’ll wake up one day and ever wish you were better at football. I do think you’ll wake up one day and wish you were better at life. That’ll be a sad day for you I think.
Jaboo, you are not a role model to my kids. But it’s cool. I don’t need you to be. I don’t want you to be. (Mainly, because I’m pretty awesome myself.) But I will need to explain to my 12 year old daughter why you are not starting Saturday. Not cool, Jameis. That’s kind of sad actually. You see, I can’t teach my kids how to read a nickel defense or a two-deep zone. But I am teaching them about how to love people. And because of that, at some point my kids are going to wonder why we cheer for you. They understand that life is more awesome than football. They will intuit that being good at football doesn’t mean you get a pass for being bad at life. They’ll read that quicker than you can spot a safety blitz.
My son made a pinewood derby car- garnet and gold- with your number on it. That car did not win, by the way. He’s going to ask me why I’m not wearing your jersey any more on game day. And I’ll tell him why. And he’ll get one of my many lessons about how to be awesome at life.
Personally, I thought the crab leg thing was funny. That never bothered me. I had a buddy in college that worked at a restaurant and he brought me free stuff all the time. It was cool to have a hook-up like that when I was a kid. And I couldn’t even throw a football! He just liked me because I was pretty awesome. So I give you a pass there.
Here’s the crazy thing though about all of this. I’ll watch you play football on Saturdays because I’m a Nole and you’re awesome at it. But my life will not change one bit because of you. But if roles reversed and you could watch me play life for a season, your life might just change because of me. After these first two games this year I might even argue that I’m better at life than you are at football. I put my team first. I make good decisions. I inspire people. (Strikes Heisman pose…)
I’m putting an autographed T-shirt in the mail to you. That might be an NCAA violation. But let’s be honest, neither of us care too much about that.
See you in the third quarter, bro.
P.S. Jaboo, the screenshot at the top was a text exchange I had with my daughter. She texted me right as I was looking for a picture to accompany my letter! Told you, man, I’m pretty awesome. (Strikes Heisman pose…)