Sunday, August 24, 2014

ESPN's Paul Finebaum lacking evidence against Florida State's Jameis Winston

Paul Finebaum, ESPN's pompous and vacuous, Alabama-based radio show host concluded an interview with Keith Olbermann regarding Florida State quarterback, and reigning Heisman winner, Jameis Winston.

The focus of conversation is whether Winston will have a "sophomore slump" in 2014, which is an informal way of stating a decline in productivity as a second-year starter. Finebaum deliberately rants about everything except Winston's expectations for the 2014-2015 college football season.


As a high school English teacher, my students know the fundamentals of properly administering and organizing their thoughts when expressing a position, or "argument." They know to voice the opinion, or as we like to call it a "claim," by validating their thoughts with evidence to reinforce their opinion. A lack of evidence to support the claim is considered fallacious.

They must also explain their evidence, which is what teachers call "commentary." Commentary and evidence is severely lacking in Finebaum's claim.

Olbermann asks Finebaum, "Is there an expectation that he (Winston) won't be able to repeat anything like his Heisman season?"

Finebaum dodges the question by answering, and I paraphrase, he's not sure how anyone puts stealing crab legs from a grocery store behind them.

I recently went to Publix and accidentally forgot to pay for an item, and it didn't dawn on me until I got home. Embarrassingly, I turned around and admitted to my fault - paying for the item and apologizing. My life hasn't changed and I still enter the same Publix for my groceries.

Where is Finebaum's evidence proving Winston will be affected by his shoplifting incident, and what does it have to do with expectations?

Finebaum follows his opinion by stating, "I thought Johnny Manziel last year was a head case after his (2013) Heisman season. Winston has taken it to a different level."

Different level? How's so? Manziel was allegedly hungover at the Manning Camp last summer and was then purportedly told to leave. The former Texas A&M and current Cleveland Browns quarterback was consistently in the news for his random tweets and destructive behavior.

Winston has stayed out of the negative news since the theft. Worse than Manziel? Where's the evidence to support this claim (opinion)?

"(Winston's) still very brash. He's very arrogant," continues Finebaum. Once again, where? Other than talking his teammates up, the lofty expectations Winston has placed on himself and the preseason ranked No. 1 Seminoles, where is said arrogance?

"He has been talking a lot of trash." Prove it. The red herring logical fallacy can be seen painted across this entire interview. Finebaum has yet to answer Olbermann's question.

The interview concludes with Finebaum laughing while declaring, "Lying. Cheating." Although Louisville Head Coach Bobby Petrino was loosely mentioned due to Florida State traveling to Louisville this season, the attention was and is mainly on Winston.

Most "journalists" exercise sensationalism to exploit a story by making it seem bigger than it is through assuming the worst possible scenario. By Finebaum's claim and lack of evidence with no commentary, I'll assume he means Winston and the Seminole's cheated in defeating the Auburn Tigers during the 2013 BCS National Championship game.

If Finebaum can somehow prove deceit, it would make him credible - something the show host has been lacking his entire career.

The Seminoles play Oklahoma State August 30th at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

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