It was the game of the ages. A pair of unbeaten teams. A pair of well-known names. Notre Dame. Florida State. It was like Rocky going up against Appollo Creed.

What suprised America wasn’t the fact that Florida State won barely at home against Notre Dame. It was the conversation that Florida State head coach Jimbo Fisher had with his somewhat embattled QB Jameis Winston. The conversation that they thought was private on the field was picked up by an ABC/ESPN mike after the contest was over.

It was a conversation sort of like an older brother talking to the younger one. “Now here’s what you’ve got to do,” Fisher said into Winston’s ear. “Calm down, don’t give them …  act very passive right here and get people back on your side. Do you understand what I’m telling you? Humble, humble pie. You got me?”

Winston responded “I got you,” to which Fisher replied “Don’t get cranked up” before fireworks drowned out the end of their conversation.

That is what Winston needed to hear and Fisher was the man to utter those words to him. In the heat of a moment where Notre Dame and Florida State played in a game that will be talked about long after our grandchildren send their children off to college, it was a moment for celebration as well as a chance for Winston to re-focus his energy on what is next on his plate.

This has not been Jameis Winston’s year. First the allegations that he raped a student off campus in 2012, as the team was getting ready to play Auburn in the National Championship game (the school and Tallahassee police did investigate and found there was no assualt). Then the issue with the crab legs at a Publix in Tallahassee during baseball season (Winston was suspended and did community service for his actions) reared its head and put him in the spotlight.

Later on, Winston admitted was also suspended for the Clemson game earlier this season for shouting an obscene phrase in the student union. He suited up, thinking that he was going to play before Fisher told him that he would not. And now, the alledged autograph of 3,000 items that claims to have his signature on them, which is a violation of NCAA rules.

As if he has that problem to deal with, he’s got that university disciplinary hearing and possible code of conduct charges relating to allegations of sexual assault against him in December 2012 to deal with.

Jameis Winston is not perfect.

Let me say it again if you didn’t hear it the first time.

Jameis Winston is NOT perfect.

That’s fine. Neither are we. The one without sin should cast the first stone.

College students tend to stupid things at some point and time. Winston’s no exception. There are some that think that the police in Tallahassee tend to look the other way when it comes to a FSU football player. That’s not the case. They did the investigation and found nothing, so there were no charges. Florida State followed their guidelines to the letter and then some. The sytem may not be perfect but in the bigger scheme of things, the system worked. Jameis Winston is allowed to have due process, whether you think he’s the greatest thing to throw a football since the game was created, whether you think he’s scum and deserves to go to hell or whether you have no opinion one way or the other.

For one moment in time, while the garnet and gold crowd cheered and celebrated their win over Notre Dame 25 years after the Irish beat them in South Bend, Jimbo Fisher chose to be an ally for Winston, almost as though he were Jiminy Cricket being the concious of Pinocchio.

EPSN’s Tom Rinaldi asked Fisher what he said to Winston. Fisher’s response? “To understand what he did and just how special he is and the relationship he and I have, the relationship he has with the team and what he represents and to carry himself with class and dignity.”

“The heart and discipline in that room. There’s character, there’s heart, there’s a team full of great kids. It’s a high character program that’s ran the right way on class, on dignity, in the classroom, on the field and off the field and this team shows it.”

Humble pie. You won’t find it on any menu in any restuarant. It doesn’t have any calories and you can’t find it any cookbook. For Jameis Winston, Jimbo Fisher was his guide. He’s still has that university disciplinary hearing to deal with. When that time comes, he needs to be forthcoming, honest and tell his side of the story. He has that right and it can’t be taken from him. Jameis needs Florida State and Florida State needs him.

Jameis Winston heard a voice that he has been familiar with since he set foot on campus in Tallahassee. It’s a voice that he needs to continue to hear. For Jameis, honesty needs to be the best policy.

With a slice of humble pie.

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