Posts Tagged ‘sports’

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

Sunday, January 12th, 2014

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

  • Passed for over 4000 yards
  • Threw 40 touchdown passes, the most ever in the Division I Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) by a freshman, setting an Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) record
  • Led his Florida State Seminoles to an undefeated season in which they consistently beat their opponents by astounding margins of victory
  • Became the youngest person ever, and only the second freshman, to win the prestigious Heisman Trophy as college football’s most outstanding player
  • Passed for the game-winning touchdown with just seconds left in the game to help the Seminoles win their first college football national championship since 1999 as he garnered Most Valuable Player honors

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? (more…)

Goalkeeper David James Speculates on Psychopathy in Professional Soccer

Wednesday, February 20th, 2013

From Tiger Woods to Lance Armstrong, we’ve seen numerous examples in recent years of more or less pathological behavior from those in the sports world. Simply displaying unsavory behavior doesn’t mean someone has a condition as fundamental as a personality disorder or psychopathy. But these cases have at least raised questions about the culture of professional sports and the types of characters that sometimes flourish within it.

Enter David James, a British professional soccer goalkeeper.

James, in a column entitled “Psychopaths haunt the Beautiful Game – and I may be one of them” published in The Guardian, writes about these very questions from his perspective.

James says he has been reading a lot about psychopaths lately. Many of us have, which is a reflection of the growing awareness about this and other related conditions – fostered by a recent proliferation of books, films, articles and other works on the subject – that this site exists to help document. And when people first start learning about the subject, it often provokes an epiphany and leads them to start considering and noticing its influence within their life sphere.

Naturally, James began to consider his own arena – that of professional soccer. And, in doing so, he was struck by how many of the traits of psychopaths are common among his colleagues. In his column, he especially raises the issue of how professional sports, despite often involving teams, has become very much focused on glorifying individual participants.

He also looks at: (more…)