Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Commentary | Should Bucs pick Mariota or Winston? Throw a dart and pray


Marcus or Jameis? Jameis or Marcus? (Greg or Lovie? Oops, sorry.)

I understand your bewilderment and your pain.

You are a Tampa Bay Buccaneers fan caught in a twisted web of intrigue: With the first pick in the 2015 NFL Draft does you favorite team select Marcus Mariota or Jameis Winston, or is there a JaMarc available?

Those 70 losses in the Bucs past 100 games have left you disoriented.

Jameis or Marcus? Marcus or Jameis?

It has consumed you so bad your wife left you three weeks ago and you haven't noticed. You got fired from your job, but thought you had another one because you are doing all this work for Lovie to help him make the right choice.

This is harder than choosing the right toothpaste.

You could've taken the easy route, could've called Greg Schiano and asked him whom he would pick and chosen the other one.

It makes sense: Schiano traded LeGarrette Blount for Jeff Demps.

You called Eric Holder, and the attorney general said not to let Jameis go to a red state, but Florida changes colors like seasons and Katherine Harris is not available to solve the problem.

One night, you thought you had it figured out.

With reams of charts piling up in your bedroom, you got it: Jameis is the guy.

Then the phone rings. It's your wife wondering when you are going to return to the planet. You still can't remember her name, but it doesn't matter.

If the Bucs pick Jameis, flashes of midnight phone calls and police blotters race through your mind. This isn't good even if Ybor City is going to be renamed Jameis City and a 10 p.m. curfew goes into effect when the Bucs are home.

Then you hear Jameis is coming only if he can bring Jimbo Fisher as his legal counsel and only if the Tallahassee Police Department replaces the Tampa Police Department.

Fear overwhelms your good intentions: There is

the sexual-assault charge, the other women who claimed something similar and disappeared, the obscenity-laced tirade by Jameis in the FSU student union, the thousands of dollars of damage caused by the BB gun fight and the fear it wrought among the citizens of Tallahassee, the referee he pushed out of the way, getting kicked out of practice, the rap song describing females as sexual objects. Should we go on?

OK, burn all those passing charts, make sure your coffee is not laced with arsenic and say goodbye to Jameis.

But then there is Marcus.

Critics describe him as a man of the cloth in shoulder pads, that he is more suited to run a church confession booth than an NFL offense.

They say he is too nice, noting that he cried after a game; that he is "short" despite his 6-5 frame, that he is a system quarterback using a description that has never been clearly defined.

It hits you: Josh McCown is the nicest of guys. He cried after a game the Bucs lost. Panic sets in. But Russell Wilson cried Sunday, and Mariota is more Russell-like than McCown-like.

So you go back to Jameis, and then you read those stories about his bad boy behavior and hear there might be others yet to be told. He walked into the Rose Bowl and gave the marijuana sign in front of all those television cameras and you think this will never stop.

So it's back to Marcus.

How can he be short at 6-5? How can his arm be so weak? He is an exceptional athlete. Look at Wilson. Coach Dungy, the Pope of Dale Mabry, says Marcus would be another Aaron Rodgers.

Jimbo says Jameis is great, and why wouldn't he after signing a new contract making him one of the richest college football coaches thanks to the 21-year-old.

Mark Dominik says he would chose Marcus, but the former Bucs GM is still wiping the blood off his clothes for giving Eric Wright all that money despite an unsavory background.

You find that dartboard in the room where your kids used to live.

There is a picture of Marcus and a picture of Jameis. You put on a blindfold, take a dart and throw it. This is the best way.

Let Lovie handle this problem. He is getting paid in real dollars, and your imaginary job won't pay for a cup of coffee.

This choice is easy. All you have to do is remember your wife's name.

Alan Dell, Herald sports writer, can be reached at 941-745-7056. Follow him on Twitter @ADellSports.