Ex-NFL’er Robert Smith Raises Psychopathic Traits in ESPN Discussion of Heisman-Winning Quarterback Jameis Winston

Posted by admin on January 12, 2014

By any reasonable standard, Florida State University quarterback Jameis Winston had a remarkable 2013-14 football season athletically. Just a redshirt freshman, Winston:

On top of all this, Winston lit up televisions around the country all year long with his enthusiasm, bright smile and charm.

Jameis Winston

(Photo of Jameis Winston thanks to Zennie62 on Flickr)

Off the field, however, Winston faced a serious challenge.

For the last month of the season, the Florida State Attorney’s Office was investigating a complaint of sexual assault against Winston. The investigation made for headline news and called into question not only whether Winston would be eligible to lead the Seminoles in the last games of the season and in a possible national championship game – since, if charges were brought, he would be declared ineligible – and not only whether, despite his stellar performance, he might be denied the Heisman Trophy, but whether he could eventually go to prison.

Ultimately, on December 5, 2013, just days before the ACC championship game and the deadline for Heisman voting, Florida State Attorney Willie Meggs announced, in a widely-publicized and controversial press conference, that the state would not file charges against Winston or anyone else in the case. But for nearly a month, Winston played, and continued to perform at a historically high level, while the cloud of the investigation and a possible felony charge hung over him.

So how did he manage to maintain such a standard on the field despite the pressures of incredibly high expectations combined with being the subject of a high-stakes investigation?

Robert Smith

Robert Smith

Well, Robert Smith, a former NFL running back and frequent guest discussing football on the sports television network ESPN, has a theory. Perhaps Winston exhibits some of the traits of psychopathy.

Outside the Lines (OTL) is a television show on ESPN that examines critical issues related to sports on and off the field. On January 7, 2014, the day after Winston’s MVP performance in the national championship game, the episode of OTL focused on various aspects of his dramatic 2013-14 season.

The podcast with audio of the episode is available here. I couldn’t find a way to embed it so you’ll have to click through to listen or download it.

At the 7:47 mark in the show, a clip is played of a reporter interviewing Florida State’s head football coach, Jimbo Fisher, about Winston’s ability to play consistently well despite the off-the-field stressors. The clip goes like this:

Reporter: “What makes him so good at avoiding clutter and no matter what goes on he’s always the same guy?”

Fisher: “I think he’s very mature. I think he has the ability…he has strength in his beliefs in what he does. And he’s very mature that way. A lot of grown ups can’t do that. He can prioritize and compartmentalize when he has to do certain things and to me that’s a sign…cause it gets back to controlling what you can control at that present time and I think he’s done a very good job of that.”

OTL’s host, Bob Ley, then says to Robert Smith:

“We have seen that, Robert, vividly. Alright. Help us civilians understand how an athlete…this was just not an off-the-field distraction, I mean some people minimized it calling it that. This was perhaps your life and liberty here hanging in the balance…how someone is able to focus like this on a game which is, of course, the focus of what they’re doing right now along with their schoolwork, and put this other stuff aside and excel like this.”

Smith responds:

“Well let me preface this by saying I’m not saying that Jameis Winston is a psychopath, OK? But now that the season’s over I’m going to have a little bit more time to read. There’s a book out there called The Wisdom of Psychopaths and it talks about certain jobs where some of the traits – being task-oriented, being so driven, the ability to focus like a psychopath – helps them perform better whether it’s an airline pilot, a surgeon, and I would certainly argue at the quarterback position having some of those traits, the ability to be so meticulous, to be so detail-oriented, to have such a short memory of failure and to be able to come back and to keep performing – I think that was the trademark of Jameis Winston.”

Then at the end of the segment that includes Smith, Ley says “Robert Smith, thank you so much. Educating us also on psychopaths. We appreciate that.”

Now, like Smith, I also want to emphasize that I am not claiming that Winston is a psychopath. There is not a sufficient basis on which to make such a claim and it would be absolutely irresponsible to do so.

However, Smith’s mention of the topic in relation to this story is interesting from the perspective of someone interested in ponerology on several levels.

So what is the ultimate moral of this story? It is one that can’t be repeated often enough.

It is imperative that we learn about and discuss the influence of conditions like psychopathy. Yet, at the same time, it is just as imperative that we be extremely cautious in labeling any individual as having such a condition. It is a difficult balancing act, but one that is unavoidable in these times, not only when talking about business and politics, but in regards to all areas of society…even the world of sports.

Would others enjoy this post? Let them know.
Share it!

Would you like to help support us in bringing you more news and information like this?
Please consider donating.

Categories: Crime, Television Shows

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

1 Comment »

« | Home | »

One Response to “Ex-NFL’er Robert Smith Raises Psychopathic Traits in ESPN Discussion of Heisman-Winning Quarterback Jameis Winston”

  1. Alisa Says:

    I’ve been saying this all the time, Winston has no conscience and since he got away with rape he continues to commit these actions because Florida State continues to enable him by not making him assume responsibilities for his actions.

Leave a Reply