Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston had the potential for opportunities outside of football.
Buccaneers fans that go back far enough generally aren’t happy when they hear the name Bo Jackson. Right or wrong, he held a grudge against then owner Hugh Culverhouse for causing him to lose his final year of NCAA eligibility. He vowed to never play for the Bucs and that ended the hopes of the star resurrecting this team’s hopes.
However, facts are facts, and the facts are that Bo Jackson was the best modern-day two-sport athlete. Until he suffered a serious knee injury he was dominant in both football and baseball. Jackson was selected to both the Pro Bowl and the baseball all-star game. For those of us familiar with the name Jim Thorpe, he was the modern-day Jim Thorpe. You didn’t have to be a Raiders fan to appreciate the way this man ran the football.
Jameis Winston is another guy that is blessed with a lot of talent, as we have all come to learn. For anyone who didn’t know, he was actually drafted by the Texas Rangers before ever going to FSU. He did not go, obviously, became a two-sport star at FSU and then on to the Bucs.
How serious was he about the potential of playing baseball? Well, he told Joe Bucs Fan that it was more than a fleeting interest. He also had a certain two-sport athlete in mind:
“I was really serious about baseball,” Jameis said. “As a matter of fact, my agency is a baseball agency. They really thought I was going to be a baseball player. But this football thing ended up working out for me. It was a dream of mine to be a NFL quarterback and be a pro baseball player. But the way time has changed that isn’t really allowed any more. Being from Bessemer, Alabama, seeing Bo Jackson and hearing that name around a lot, that was a dream of mine. You never know. Football, the lifespan of this sport is not really guaranteed, so baseball might be there one day.”
So wait, to paraphrase the old ads, “Bo knows Jameis”? Well it turns out that he told Joe he wasn’t really interested in being in two sports at the same time. Winston’s thoughts were more about playing football and then heading into baseball afterwords. But clearly Bo was on his mind, as evidenced by the quote.
Doing what Bo Jackson did is next to impossible. The way the training has evolved, there would simply be too much work to do to stay healthy enough for both sports. To even do one after the other is not realistic. I don’t know about you but I am glad Winston chose football.