- Jared Shanker, ESPN Staff Writer
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Can we get Bobby and the Ol’ Ball Coach back on the sidelines in the Sunshine State? What has happened to this rivalry that a Florida fan -- for a second time -- has asked Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston for an autograph on Gators gear, and then said fan proudly displays the signature with the Heisman winner goading Florida fans with a “37-7” and a “Go Noles” underneath? Over the weekend, a Florida fan asked Winston to sign his Gators shirt. It’s the second time in the last few months a photograph has surfaced of Winston signing a Florida fan’s paraphernalia.
— Brooks York (@begijn) June 14, 2014
Uh, isn’t this supposed to be a rivalry? Sure, Winston is a polarizing figure. He is undefeated as the starting quarterback and took the country by storm en route to a Heisman Trophy and national championship.
But this is Florida-Florida State. This is The Choke at Doak. This is No. 1 vs. No. 2 in 1996 and the 52-20 rematch in the Sugar Bowl for the national title. This is Steve Spurrier (allegedly) ordering his quarterback to throw at Bobby Bowden. There is no begging your heated rival’s quarterback for an autograph.
Maybe you want a little piece of history with Winston’s signature. Fine, you are the one who has to live with yourself as the signature of the quarterback who orchestrated a 30-point beat down rests on your mantel. Still, have some respect for your school’s colors! Do not have him sign on your team’s hat or denigrate the emblem, especially coming off a 37-7 loss and a third loss in four years.
How many FSU fans have Danny Wuerffel or Tim Tebow’s autograph across the spear or on a No. 17 jersey? Florida State fans are laughing at you, Florida. The Seminoles message boards are assuredly eating this up. Credit Winston for having some fun with the Florida fans who are among the autograph-seeking hordes. It certainly is funny to see him take a jab at the Noles’ rival when offered an opportunity. It’s taking a little page out of Spurrier's book, and that is something I can get behind. Don’t you dare ask Winston to sign that next, though.
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771dMichael DiRocco and David M. Hale