Buzz: Winston is the anti-Manziel

Published Sep. 3, 2013 1:00 a.m. ET

The Jameis Winston Era officially started Monday night in Pittsburgh, where the Florida State redshirt freshman quarterback eviscerated Pitt in a 41-13 Seminoles win.

In his college debut, Winston, the former five-star recruit, lived up to the immense hype that followed him into Heinz Field as he completed 25-of-27 passes for 356 yards and four touchdowns while running for another score.

And just one year after Johnny Football became the first freshman to win the Heisman trophy, Famous Jameis, as he’s been dubbed, already has some wondering if he could become the next.

But unlike Manziel, who spent his season debut Saturday taunting his opponents and mocking his own autograph scandal, there’s little fear that the “Famous Jameis” persona will become bigger than Winston, the football player.

Winston promised as much during preseason camp, when he vowed not to get “Manziel Disease”, and inasmuch as one can tell after one game, Winston is staying humble — something Manziel, who is giving the media the silent treatment these days, is no longer even good at pretending to do.

“It’s Monday Night Football,” Winston told reporters after the game, sounding almost wide-eyed. “We come in and play Monday Night Football in a pro stadium? I was so pumped for that.”

Winston is everything fans love about Johnny Manziel without all the stuff fans hate about Johnny Manziel. He’s flashy on the field and personable off the field, but without the caked-on pretentiousness and smarmy exterior. He is goofy and likeable and everything Manziel is as a player, but he’s the playing the role of good guy while Johnny Manziel and the Aggies turn heel.


Jameis Winston is fresh and exciting and easy to root for, while Johnny Football becomes tougher and tougher to support by the minute, and I hope with everything in me that Winston can keep it up, because he makes for a welcome distraction from the noise.

Now, for some links:

• Winston actually said he'd have gone to Texas if he had gotten an offer. Thankfully for FSU, he didn’t.

• Winston's girlfriend was feeling confident and took to Twitter to brag that her man is better than Johnny Football.

• Joakim Noah's sister is stealing the spotlight as a model.

• Speaking of sports and models, Kate Upton was on the cover of the Vanity Fair 100th anniversary edition:

• Jen Bielema is fitting right in at Arkansas:

• Ever wanted to visualize all 32 NFL quarterbacks as their team name? Sure you have.

• LeBron James' mom might be dating a rapper named Lambo.

• Mike Fisher, hero, got bit while saving Carrie Underwood from a chipmunk:

• Mark Sanchez took in the fun at Electric Zoo before the final day of the controversial festival was canceled.

• The New York Daily News hammered Rex Ryan for going to Georgia-Clemson — even though he was going to see his son play.

• Like Carrie Underwood, Maria Sharapova also encountered a dangerous animal over the holiday weekend:

• A New Jersey racetrack is offering a series of free play NFL and NCAA football contests while it awaits the OK for bettors to wager on sports in the state.

• Rutgers football set a school record in its season opener last week — and not a good one.

• An Alabama high school game ended with coaches brawling:

• Bobby Hull. Take Me Out to the Ballgame. Wrigley. Go:

• Another small-college athlete was killed over the weekend.

• Could Alex Ovechkin head to the KHL?

• Here’s Carmelo Anthony not really catching a fish barehanded:

• Steve Alford and UCLA land a prime recruit — from Indiana.

• Dave Duerson's brother has an interesting take on the NFL concussion settlement.

• JaVale McGee beats a little kid pop-a-shot, talks smack:

• Here’s a guy deadlifting 975 pounds:

Tommy Hutton is getting frustrated with calling Miami Marlins games.

• It’s not all sad news, though, as former Marlins look back on the Bartman game 10 years later.

• When you root for the Houston Astros, you need something to keep your spirits up:

• The lesson here is that if you cry enough about not getting your way, someone will eventually fix it for you:

• Sam Mellinger of the Kansas City Star remembers Tommy Morrison.

• The Milwaukee Brewers reunited a family and a mystery fan whose story made the rounds earlier this season.

• Tiger Woods and his daughter matched at the final round of the Deutsche Bank Championship:

• This Nebraska fan’s Darth Husker mask is actually pretty cool:

• The US 40-and-over hockey team is calling its win at the Maccabi Games the 'Schmiracle on Ice.'

• Vanderbilt coach James Franklin cleared the air after a sick player returned to the field in its opener.

• A Gainesville, Fla., man set a Guinness World Record by bowling 12 strikes in 60 seconds.

• Floyd Mayweather would like to remind you that Floyd Mayweather has lots and lots of money: