It’s cool if you’re not part of the experience…my intellectual/theological musings. For those who might have to endure my thinking in person, it’s not so easy…I know; I’m sorry. I love you all!
For some reason, things are always deeper than they need to be for me. But, maybe they are as deep as they really are? Hmmm…Yet, sitting here watching this BCS National Championship Game between the Auburn Tigers and Florida State Seminoles I can’t help but consider why I’m compelled to root for Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston.
I mean, I always have to have a reason for why I’m doing something. Everything just has to have meaning. #MercyLord. Yet, I have no horse in this race. So, why indeed do I care?
I read friends postings saying they could never root for the Seminoles because the ‘Noles were a rival team to their school. And, in a sense I guess it should/could matter to me. I mean, I graduated from the University of Maryland and the Terrapins are in the ACC with the ‘Noles. Yet, I am not inspired to any allegiance to the University of Maryland. So, I’m not drawn to support Auburn. However, I’m not even moved to allegiance for the ACC. So, that doesn’t move me to support FSU.
I just ended a Vestry Meeting early because a member of my board attended Florida State! I can dig it…she was also an athlete there. So, I can understand and happily oblige. Then, some have considered rooting for Florida State because they’re from Florida. That too makes sense: support the home State. Yet, although I live in Florida I am from the Virgin Islands. We have no professional team. So….?
I used to loosely follow sports. I follow it even less now. I’m not a rabid fan. So, it’s not even my interest in Jameis Winston’s skill set. Frankly, I don’t know what his skill set is. This is the first time I’m seeing him play…and even still, I am writing this blog post as the game is playing. So, that tells you how much attention I’m paying to Jameis’ play. (I just had to stop to watch this FSU Kickoff TD return…sorry, I’m back.)
So, why do I cheer for Jameis Winston?
I’ll be honest: I thought I was cheering for him because I “always support the Black quarterback.” #TomJoyner Then, I realized both teams have Black quarterbacks. This is ¡no bueno!
Yet, I realize why: and it’s all connected…connected to Society and to Faith.
I remember when “the cloud” surrounded Jameis Winston after the false allegations of sexual assault. I watch ESPN daily…bout the only news, besides Jon Stewart’s Daily Show, that matters these days. And, one commentator (it was probably Ray Lewis) asked the question: when will it be enough? What will Jameis Winston have to do in order to shake the cloud of something for which he was never even charged?
And, that beloved is the cost of being a Black male. It seems there is nothing you can do to shake the stigma of Black male identity. Even when you’ve been wrongly accused, the stain of the crime continues to follow. How much must be done…how long must we endure in order to clear the stain of someone else’s false impressions of our character and worth?
Yet, despite the image some wanted to cast upon Jameis Winston’s character you couldn’t help but be drawn to his character. You couldn’t help but see a certain depth of spirit within him. People wondered: how does Jameis Winston remain upbeat?
So despite the drama that crossed over from ESPN and reached the national network evening news, Jameis Winston was vindicated and there was no basis to charge him with a crime. Yet, despite his astounding numbers, there was question as to whether even false allegations would prevent him from claiming NCAA Football’s highest individual honor. He went on and one the Heisman Trophy. Jameis Winston is the Heisman Trophy winner (“who had to face sexual assault allegations”). And that question remains: what more must he do to not have those false allegations brought up every time?
Even as he approached the BCS National Championship Game, people wanted to challenge his character and mettle. Yet, his spirits remained high.
We flash to the game – which is now over, and Jameis Winston faced an adversity many thought would break him. Yet as his coach, Jimbo Fisher said it best: “Jameis Winston struggled for three quarters…” But in the fourth quarter he played big.
And when he finished shining, he was still smiling. So they asked: who helps you stay in such high spirits? Jameis Winston’s response: no one but God Almighty.
There: it is…that’s why I rooted for Jameis Winston and I’m happy he won. Because despite all the turmoil and adversity, he still stayed strong. And it wasn’t that strength upon which America’s “rugged individualism” is built. It wasn’t the strength of that typical one who becomes callused in their very soul…those who’ve forgotten what it is to feel and to love.
So, I cheer for Jameis Winston. Because he had the strength to persevere not just in bodily achievement, but first in spirit. And by his perseverance in spirit he was able to conquer the giants (and Tigers) in his way.
What are the tigers in your way? There will always be haters. But, how will you respond to those haters? When the vampires come to suck your blood, will the cross you bear actually protect you? Or will it cause you to buckle under the pressure and fall in the face of those who plot against you?
Jameis Winston stood strong. He held his faith and kept his joy, knowing the realm of the spirit to be greater. So, stand strong young brother! Take courage and keep your joy. Your name is clear, where it matters. Who cares what the haters say?