Jameis Winston’s performance in the Rose Bowl Thursday was iconic for all of the wrong reasons. Not only did the Florida State quarterback implode en route to a thrashing by Oregon, the most disastrous play is now being compared to Mark Sanchez’s infamous “Butt Fumble” from a few years back.
So how did it happen? Bleacher Report credits factors surrounding Winston for what caused the fumble to occur.
“The play itself was not Winston’s fault — tight end Nick O’Leary fell on his route, and Oregon’s eight-man coverage shell did its job,” Bleacher Report argues. “But the way in which it happened was. It was a meme-able, GIF-able, Internet-able moment on par with Mark Sanchez’s butt fumble.”
And what a fumble it was. Jameis, eluding tacklers left and right, manages to break free of the pocket and winds up to throw. However, with his receiver on the ground, Winston pauses. The impact of the sudden stoppage on his body causes him to fall backwards and lose control of the football – a play that in and of itself would not be so dramatic if there were actually a defender or two surrounding him when it happened.
The result was an embarrassing meme that has already gained traffic on Twitter according to Chron. The most creative tweet thus far is a combination of Lance Stephenson’s “kiss” to LeBron James as the prevailing force that knocked Jameis Winston to the ground.
— CBS Sports (@CBSSports) January 2, 2015
But is it worse than the Butt Fumble? If you take away the significance of the game in which each fumble occurred, no. Sanchez, who hit offensive lineman Brandon Moore in the keister with his face, causing the ball to come loose, made his memorable mistake on Thanksgiving in what would turn out to be a meaningless game for the New York Jets against the New England Patriots. The only glaring similarity was that the game was nationally televised as was Winston’s folly.
But ultimately, Jameis’ fumble was worse because not only did it happen in the biggest game of the young Florida State quarterback’s career, it lead to a sideline confrontation with head coach Jimbo Fisher that damaged his reputation among NFL scouts even more. As reported by Inquistr, the altercation was caught on camera with Winston seemingly going at it with his coach – another red flag for NFL GMs who may have been interested in drafting Winston in May.
What do you think? Is the Jameis Winston fumble worse than Mark Sanchez’s Butt Fumble?