Nothing on Twitter in the year 2019 should ever surprise anyone, but the latest internet conspiracy that swept across Reddit before making its way to Twitter on Wednesday might just be the most bizarre sports story of the year.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are 2-5, losers of three straight games, and are one of the worst teams in the NFL, yet suddenly might be the most interesting franchise in the NFL as the backdrop of a made-for-Twitter controversy that is beginning to boil.
Yes, this will probably turn out to be one of the biggest fake news stories of the year, but there are users on Reddit who believe the most prominent Jameis Winston super fan account on Twitter is no other than Bucs general manager Jason Licht.
The former no. 1 overall draft pick and Heisman trophy winner has lost 22 of his last 28 starts, and is tied with Baker Mayfield for the league lead in interceptions, so we can assume it might be the ONLY Jameis Winston Super Fan account still active on the website, but you can’t help but wonder the identity of an individual who literally wrote a 400-page book called ‘WINSTON DERANGEMENT SYNDROME: How the Media Causes Us to Overlook the Start of a Hall of Fame NFL Career’.
The anonymous author has been a major troll on Twitter, always intercepting any negative tweets about Winston from prominent NFL pundits, using the handle ‘@Jameis1of1’ to quickly defend Winston by using obscure sabermetrics to prove why Jameis isn’t actually struggling, and even going so far to detail why he’s been one of the best quarterbacks in the league since he was drafted in 2015.
The book is even available for purchase on Amazon for $18.95.
The conspiracy climaxed when two YouTube personalities from ‘Dirty Sports’ made light of the story. Comedians Joe Praino and Andy Ruther made a video presenting ‘evidence’ that the superfan account is actually the Bucs GM Jason Licht, who drafted Winston and who awarded Winston his fifth year option.
Their evidence included somewhat revealing information. They had extremely similar voices after comparing one of Licht’s press conferences to a podcast the anonymous superfan produced. ‘@Jameis1on1’ has never revealed his real identity, refuses to do in-person interviews, and oddly doesn’t live tweet during any game either, when you’d figure he’d be all over Twitter.
Reddit users then discovered an even bigger ‘smoking gun’. Someone tried to sign into the passwords of both Licht and the Winston superfan account. When the passwords were obviously guessed incorrectly, the truth-seekers then went through the token steps for users to recover their passwords. When Twitter asked what phone number they should text the special code to, the hidden numbers with all ******’s revealed both accounts -- Licht's official Twitter and the supposed burner -- contained the same exact numbers at the end, '3' and '8'. Is it just a coincidence that both accounts are using phone numbers with the final 2 digits both the same?
‘@Jameis1of1’ was actively tweeting on Wednesday and didn't shy away from the internet's attempt at an exposure, laughing off the controversy and even agreeing to do an interview with Barstool Big Cat, albeit phone-only, on his popular 'Pardon My Take' podcast. He's also offered to make appearances on other shows like ESPN Radio and Outkick the Coverage w/ Clay Travis.
Even though the laughable story seems way too absurd at first glance to be true, sports fans probably remember former Philadelphia Sixers VP of Basketball Operations Bryan Colangelo torpedoing his career an NBA executive after it was revealed that he was running burner accounts on Twitter that were critical of his own players, including Joel Embiid, Nerlens Noel, and Jahlil Okafor.
Even though Licht’s supposed burner was used for the opposite, as it actually boosted a player up, you couldn’t help but think of Colangelo’s case and how a struggling GM might get so desperate to attempt such a stunt.
Listen to Fox Sports Radio host Clay Travis discuss the bizarre ordeal below: