Jameis Winston finally explains his infamous 'Eating a W' speech (and what went wrong)

We've waited over half a decade for this answer.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers v New Orleans Saints
Tampa Bay Buccaneers v New Orleans Saints / Sean Gardner/GettyImages

There are many than a few different mile markers that Tampa Bay Buccaneers fans remember about the Jameis Winston experience, most of which are more positive than we were willing to admit at the time.

Winston's era with the Bucs will probably be remembered like the Star Wars prequels, where we all knew it was actively bad at the time but time has started to heal those wounds. Scars are cool, after all, and Bucs fans are starting to look at the ones Jameis left with a nostalgic smile.

Having Tom Brady deliver a Super Bowl went a long way in helping.

One of the most infamous moments Jameis delivered was back in 2017 when he gave his 'Eat a W' speech before a game in New Orleans and proceeded to mimick eating his own fingers. It was animated, it was awkward, and it has now finally been explained by the man himself.

Jameis Winston finally explains he tried to eat his own fingers

While appearing on Pardon My Take, Winston explained the origins of 'Eating a Dub' and how it was meant to be a powerful message that channeled one of his favorite motivational speeches he'd ever heard.

"We scrapping the bowl today, we're eating up everything. And we're only looking for dubs," Winston explained. "We're eating all the W's in the alphabet soup."

It's not exactly Shakespeare, but then again the intended message Jameis was trying to get across was always clear. The sentiment of the message is pretty good, too, as it's a classic Jameis spin on an old adage that we've heard a billion times before.

Despite how much he's been mocked, there's nothing inherently wrong with the message. But even Jameis admits that the way the message was delivered wasn't his best look.

"So I took the W out of the soup, already had the W ready and prepared. I think it went left when I actually started eating [my fingers]," Winston admitted. "And then proceeded to dap up DeSean Jackson. I think that was the worst person to dap up."

To his credit, Jameis stood by the overall theme of the message calling it powerful more than a few times. He also conceded that it didn't work.

"We didn't win that game," Jameis said.

It's been roughly six years since that happened, even if it feels way more recent. That's what happens when you see something like we all had to witness that day.

Lavonte David talked about the moment back in 2021 and gave what might be the best summation of the entire Jameis Winston experience in Tampa Bay.

"That particular thing didn’t go over well with the rest of the team, and the outcome of that game kind of proved it. It definitely was something that kind of caught me off guard," David said. "We all love Jameis. He meant well."

Because of the positive energy that Jameis sometimes ill-advisedly tried to force down everyone's throat, that whole era can be summed up with the 'At Least You Tried' Bart Simpson meme. An attempt was made to find a franchise quarterback and there were flashes of the guy we all wanted Jameis to be.

The flip side of that coin is moments like the 'Eat a W' speech, which -- for better or worse -- might end up being the lasting image of his tenure with the Buccaneers.

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