THE BIBLE states at Proverbs 16:18, Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall. This was the first thing I thought of when my Florida State Seminoles lost the Rose Bowl on January 1. Don’t get me wrong. I love it when they win. Being national champs is great.
Unfortunately, my team had become a winning team of losers.
The people who run the organization have lost sight of what team sports is about. It’s about camaraderie, it’s about building up young people to be gracious winners, and to treat others with respect.
I’m not sure the Seminoles of today can say they have accomplished any of those three goals.
I fell in love with the Seminoles when Bobbie Bowden was the coach. For over thirty years, he instilled pride and a sense of admiration for his team. Not only because they won, but because of how they acted off the field as well.
Unfortunately, the Seminoles of today are not even close to the team Coach Bowden helped form. We have a quarterback who has a sense of entitlement. He’s been accused of sexual assault, he’s been arrested for shoplifting, and he was benched for a game after yelling lewd comments at women in the middle of his school’s campus.
I understand Mr. Winston is young. He’s only twenty and has a lot of room to grow up. Unfortunately, I don’t think my team is helping him do that. The people who are in charge of the FSU sports program need to teach these young people that it is a privilege to play sports, not an entitlement. No matter how good you are.
I do not care so much what I am to others as I care what I am to myself. – Michel de Montaigne
Too many athletes think they are the most important player on their team just because of their gift to toss a ball or block a tackle. They act like the team would be lost without them. Coaches and administrators need to teach these egotistical youngsters that without the other members; they would be lying on their backs staring up at the sky.
Leaders of these programs need to insist that their players follow the rules – both on and off the field. If you don’t, you’re off the team. Or at least sitting on the sidelines for several games.
Winning cannot be what is most important. These players must set good examples for others.
In the end, we must as leaders, of not only our own families, but in the academic world, teach these gifted younger people how to handle their new found popularity with grace and humility.
That was another reason I didn’t mind Oregon winning over the Seminoles. Even with all the awards and accolades he has received, Quarterback Marcus Mariota, the 2014 Heisman Trophy winner, has never lost track of the fact that he is just one person in a larger pond. He just happens to be able to play football.
It’s nice to know there are still others out there who have respect not only for others, but the game as well.
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Kathryn, thank you for highlighting what I consider the current dysfunctional football culture at FSU. Partly due to the tolerance of Winston’s behavior, my husband and I, University of Central Florida alums, cheered on the Ducks over the Seminoles. Like you said, “Winning cannot be what is most important. These players must set good examples for others”.
Thank you for commenting, Sandy. It would be nice to see a change in the sports community in these colleges so that others who come along can set that example the younger people need so much.