Florida State football fans may have reveled in the winning that came from its association with Jameis Winston. But according to former coach Bobby Bowden, those people weren't as thrilled with their Heisman-winning quarterback as they claimed to be.
Even after a rough ending at Florida State, followed by a quick revival under coach Jimbo Fisher that put Bowden's tenure in the rearview mirror, the former coach has maintained a strong relationship with Florida State, and he remains a popular figure among the fan base.
Bowden also claims to have the pulse of the Seminole fan base under his thumb. Speaking on the Paul Finebaum show, he painted a not-so-nostalgic portrait of how the FSU community reflects on Winston's days at Florida State.
"I think it's a consensus among FSU fans and boosters that he was an embarrassment to the University" - Bobby Bowden on Jameis Winston
— Paul Finebaum (@finebaum) May 12, 2015
Even if Bowden is right, there's no question that the inflammatory comment will spark strong reactions out of Tallahassee. However, as Tomahawk Nation points out, Finebaum is taking the quote slightly out of context to make it more controversial. After saying Winston was an embarrassment, Bowden goes on:
"He won a lot of ball games, probably one of the best football players that ever attended Florida State, but he hurt himself off the field. The good news is that he's young enough to get over that, ya know it, and he's gotta do that. He just can't make those junior high school decisions that he made while he was in college."
In other words, Bowden was acknowledging Winston's past errors while giving him the grace to avoid similar mistakes in the future. That may still ruffle some feathers, but the tone isn't quite as condemning as it might sound upon first pass.
In either case, Bowden is right: Winston can't afford to make the same immature mistakes at the NFL level. Pro teams have a much shorter lease. Ask Johnny Manziel.