This is the story of one man, one legend, and one football pass that ended in tragedy. Editor’s note: The author of this story wishes to remain anonymous.
We all know who Jameis Winston is at this point in time, but on the day that I first met him - the day that leaves me presently in a state agony and shame - he was merely an unproven freshman being followed by a large media hype storm.
I remember when I saw him for the first time. It was a beautiful Florida day, I had been exercising a lot, and the sun was shining bright inside Doak Campbell Stadium. Being aware of the potential cool story I could have to brag about to my potential children, I decided to interact with the mythical football star.
He was on the field practicing routes with one of the receivers and I was standing in the first row of the student section awkwardly lurking. Jameis threw a pass and connected with his target and as they celebrated the imaginary touchdown they had scored, I threw an imaginary flag for excessive celebration. Smooth.
I whistled at them and then told Jameis to throw me the ball. “This was my chance”, I thought, “This will be the ultimate story.” Jameis looked at me and then shruggingly asked, “Are you going to catch it?”
Now, I played 8 years of tackle football in my life, and that is the reason I have such a respect and appreciation for talented football players. But that was also the reason I was so confident that I would bring in “the rock” so to say.
“I got this Jaboo” I said and smiled in an egotistical way.
Jameis wound up, threw me the ball, and everything slipped into slow motion. The ball spun in a perfect spiral, its accuracy was dead on, and the trajectory couldn’t have been more precise. I raised my hands to catch the gloried treasure but sadly the beauty was too strong.
In a moment of climax, the god-given power of his pass was too great for my body and soul to endure and the ball bounced off my hands and into my nightmares.
It’s been 10 months since that day and I still feel crushed. I’ve lost all confidence in my ability to hold or catch things and my life is slipping through my fingers. I can’t pick up a single object without dropping it. My roommates have to spoon-feed me and dressing my self is a constant struggle.
After this last semester I hope I’ll be ready to move on with my life, but the shame is too great for me to deal with still. I guess that when I tell my kids about this story in the future, it will just have to end at, “Jameis Winston threw me a pass once.”