Sports fans and the media are a strange bunch, that's for sure.
We want our heroes to be squeaky-clean like Tim Tebow, but when they are, they get
labeled as too boring, too contrived, and too phony.
We want players to act with class and dignity when they get taunted, but when they do,
they aren't tough enough and get criticized for letting others walk all over them.
Johnny Manziel will never be Tim Tebow and is never going to be one who turns the other
cheek. Now, deal with it.
On Saturday, Manziel sat out the first half against Rice because of his suspension by the
NCAA and Texas A & M. When he took the field, it was Johnny Football being Johnny
Football. He beat Rice with his arm and Fred Astaire-like feet. But he was also penalized
for unsportsmanlike conduct for responding to taunts from the opposing team. He made
like he was signing autographs and rubbed his fingers together, which is the universal
sign for money.
And, of course, the United States roster of Johnny Manziel haters came out in full force.
From those getting paid to analyze football to those who don't, Manziel had no class, has to
grow up, and be a leader.
One thing is certain, Manziel is the biggest lightning rod in the history of college football
and there has never been anyone like him. Ever.
After just one year of being a true Aggie, Manziel is the most influential player in the history
of the program. He has made Texas A & M relevant and no longer the red-headed step
child to the Longhorns in the football-crazed state. He's bigger than Tony Romo and has
made his school millions upon millions of dollars. Without Johnny Football, Texas A & M
goes back to being just Texas A & M.
Please save the self-righteous and holier-than-thou rhetoric. Big-time college football is all
about two things and two things only: winning and money. Because of Johnny Manziel, Texas
A & M has won a lot of games and made a ton of money. Kevin Sumlin can pull Manziel
out of a game that's long been decided, but he won't do that against Alabama or Texas, that's
for sure. He knows that Manziel is not only his best player, but his ticket to a mega-million
dollar contract extension or a job in the NFL. Plus, he wouldn't be dumb enough to cost his
employer a shot at making the tens of millions of dollars that go with earning a birth in a
Manziel is a true original and a rock star who walks to the beat of his own drummer.
And I love it.
Manziel is who he is. Is that really such a bad thing? He's a 20-year old kid with a Heisman
Trophy who has made some mistakes. How perfect were you at that age? How perfect are
you now? Were you a finished product as a sophomore in college? Are you a finished product
Manziel is living his life the way he wants to live it. Isn't that how you want to live it, the way
you want to and not by somebody else's design or plan? Do people resent the fact that Manziel
is too carefree, too self-absorbed, and having too much fun? Do they want to see him live with
regret, obsess over his missteps, or pay a steeper price for his mistakes than he really should
have to? Seriously? Worry about the person looking back at you in the mirror instead of
worrying about somebody you don't even know.
All these college sports analysts are getting up on their pedestal and saying, "Johnny Football
has to change." No he doesn't. He is GREAT for college football. Executives at ESPN, Fox,
and CBS love Manziel because he is a ratings magnet. They certainly don't want him to
change because Manziel on their networks means more money in their pockets. Love him
or hate him, he's the biggest thing in college football right now.
And Johnny Manziel is his own man. There is nothing wrong with that. Deal with it.