Photo Ops with Lebron and James Harden.
Raging in Austin.
Throwing out the first pitch for the Rangers.
Raging in College Station.
Recognize this life? It’s the fast times of Heisman Trophy winner, and college superstar quarterback, Johnny ‘Football’ Manziel. Over the past 8 months since winning the Heisman, Johnny has been living the life. Partying, jet-setting, celeb lounging, and I’m sure leaving a trail of baby mama’s in his wake (don’t worry Ex-GF Sarah Savage, I’m sure Johnny wrapped up his ‘Jimmy’ every time he cheated on you). Johnny has money (family worth near $50mm), he’s got fame, and he’s got the balls to take advantage of both. He honestly was living the life that you’d imagine ‘Tweeter’, the party animal wide receiver Scott Caan made famous in Varsity Blues, would have lived had he gone onto big-time football fame.
You know what though? I used to have absolutely no problem with any of this. He was just a college frat bro doing all the things, better or worse, that college frat bro’s (with money) do. But what happens when his “frat bro” lifestyle begins to effect his 80 real bro’s on the Aggie Football team?
As an individual, especially during the off-season, he has every right to party like a college kid. Newsflash ESPN and NY TIMES, college kids party. Just because Johnny has cameras on him 24-7 capturing his keg stands, doesn’t mean he’s the first or only star athlete to ‘go-hard’ on a college campus. That is one of the big reasons to go to college instead of becoming an adult, to have the opportunity to party LIKE A KID. Now give that kid some money, and the access that his fame brings, and his jetsetting celeb packed trips are exactly what the majority of dudes would do. And everyone under 30 has no problem with this. In-fact ask any under 30 former college athlete, if they think his off-season lifestyle will this really effect his in-season play? Their answer will almost unanimously be no, assuming he’s also getting in his work in the gym.
Do you realize how easy college life is, especially when you’re a highly conditioned 20 year old? You have 2 hours of class a day, 2 hours in the gym, and THAT’S IT! A 4 hour day! He can party till 3am, wake up at 10am (7 hours sleep by the way), grab a smart water and a bacon egg and cheese, and be fine for class by 10:30. By the time Johnny, or any other 20 year old for that matter, gets to the gym at 3pm they are 100% fine. Anyone who tries to pretend that the majority of time spent at college (ok maybe not at MIT, but at Texas A&M?) is any different than this, is full of shit. The problem is, this is only half of the year and half of his responsibilities.
The other half of the year, Johnny Football has a responsibility to his teammates and the University to live up to his potential on the field. Yes, I said it a responsibility. Let me be clear, he doesn’t owe it to ESPN or to the fans or even to himself (although you’d hope he’d care about his own future), he owes it to the people who’s success and failure depend on his level of commitment (every player and coach enters into this same covenant). His teammates, many of who’m aren’t as naturally gifted or financially blessed as him, need this sport and this team to achieve their personal goals. Whether their goals are just personal pride in winning, graduating college and getting a job, or trying to make it into the NFL, believe it or not the success of Manziel will have an impact on all 3 of those things. The more that team wins, the more positive attention that is brought to the University, the bigger the opportunities that will be afforded to all the people involved with that team.
- More scouts will be at the games, and by default see other stud players (Like RB Ben Malena) who might otherwise go unnoticed.
- More attention will be given to assistant coaches, giving them bigger and better opportunities at career advancement.
- More alumni will get involved with the University giving more career opportunities to non-NFL bound football players
Before the Manning Passing Academy debacle (where Johnny overslept his meetings, supposedly hungover, and was asked to leave), I didn’t think any of Johnny’s actions were that big a deal or had in anyway begun effecting his teammates in anyway. However, since then, Johnny hasn’t pulled things together at all. He’s, if anything, become more cocky and more selfish than ever before. Read his interviews or his tweets and he’s absolutely intolerable. His role in an allegedly paid autograph session almost got himself suspended for the entire season, which would have undoubtedly cost the Aggies any semblance of a chance at BCS Bowl appearance or a National Title. Let’s also make the point that he isn’t a poor kid trying to get a little cash off of his name, he is a millionaire kid born into oil money who doesn’t ever go wanting. If he had been suspended, which if not for his highly lawyered up family more than likely would have happened, it would have been one of the most selfish moments in sports history. But with the season about to start, and the charges all but cleared, Johnny had a chance to put all of this behind him.
Yesterday during the Aggie’s home opener against Rice, Manziel did nothing to rectify his image, putting his arrogance on display at every turn. Jawing with the Rice defense, flashing “Money Money Money” hand gestures after throwing a touch down pass, and catching a 15 yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty after going back to continue a verbal altercation with officials and members of the Rice defense. I don’t care if Johnny actually is remorseful or not, but his actions are effecting his school and his teammates not to mention just annoying the fuck out of everyone watching college football.
Listen I WANT to like Johnny Football. I like that the kid parties like ‘Tweeter’, and is not so uptight or fake as to pretend like he’s not enjoying every aspect of his fame. However, it’s football season now. It’s time to take things seriously, and it’s time to start thinking about your teammates and to a certain extent your future. Don’t you want to be a leader? Don’t you want to win a National Title? Hell, don’t you want to make it to the NFL? Yes you’re rich and will be fine no matter what happens with your football career, but don’t you want to lead those other 79 guys on the Aggie team to futures that probably aren’t as pre-ordained as your own?
Johnny, grow up man. Seriously, just grow up just a bit. Don’t stop partying or banging models and college girls, but just shut your mouth. Learn just a bit of humility, and let go of all your spoiled rich kid frat bro attitude that makes you the most despised player in college football today (less than 8months after being the most liked and electrifying). Cause here’s the thing, being ‘Tweeter’ is only ok when you’re winning… lose once and you’ll lose it all.