Every once in a while, there comes a player in sports who combines natural ability, a strong work ethic and an incredible ability to lead to make them a true superstar.
College football has found that in Jameis Winston.
The Florida State Seminoles defeated the Miami Hurricanes 41-14 on Saturday, improving to 8-0 and 6-0 in the ACC while keeping them in the national championship contention. Winston didn't have the best game, throwing just one touchdown and two interceptions, but none of that seemed to matter to him.
After the game, Winston had a huge smile on his face and gave all of the credit to his teammates. It's that same smile that we've seen so many times this season. He's made mistakes, his team has made mistakes, but he doesn't get upset. Instead, he picks himself and his teammates up, keeping that positive energy at all times.
The numbers are still great for Winston. He's completing over 70 percent of his passes with 27 total touchdowns and six interceptions, with one of the highest passer ratings in the country. He's in the national spotlight and one of the front-runners in the Heisman Trophy race, and while all of that is great, it just doesn't seem to faze Winston.
It's because he's actually having fun out there.
For those who have played football before, think back to the first year that you played. For me, that came in sixth grade. I wasn't focused on putting up monster stats or upstaging my opponents; it was about helping my team and doing what it took to win because that was what made football so fun.
Something changes in most football players as they get older. Some realize that they can make a living off of it and begin focusing on doing what it takes to make themselves advance to the next level. Others, like myself, realize one day that the game isn't fun anymore, because that spark they remember of being with their teammates and actually having fun has gone away.
For Winston, and what appears to be the entire Florida State football team, that spark is still there.
Yes, they're blowing out opponents. Yes, they're putting up monster stats. But they're also having fun, enjoying wins as a team, and that's what football should be about.
In today's era of football, it's all about who can talk the most smack and back it up with the most touchdowns. Players get in fights, and on some rare occasions, they are completely selfish and can destroy a locker room.
Winston goes against that. You can see it in the way he plays and how the rest of the team responds to him. The energy level they bring is something that few teams have anymore in any sport.
College football needed someone like this. He's bringing back something that's been gone for so long from student athletics. These players are still just college kids, and like myself, they want to enjoy their time instead of spending it all on a sport where they're motivated by screaming and negative reinforcement.
These student athletes spend almost all of their time on a game that 99 percent of them won't make a career, but the players at Florida State don't care. They're having fun, and the rest of the nation is enjoying watching Winston almost single-handedly make college football fun again.
Winston says he's "bringing back the swag" to Florida State, per Jay Mariotti of SportstalkFlorida.com, but I say that he's bringing fun back to a game that we all used to truly love.