My impression of someone who hates Johnny Manziel explaining
“I don’t know. I just don’t like him.”
Oh, they’ll point to his arrest. For Johnny Manziel
haters, his arrest and eventual conviction for producing a false
identification outside a College Station bar last summer is the Ark
of the Covenant against Manziel.
The reason that arrest is so important to people is that it is
one of the few “bad” things Manziel has done. Almost every other
Johnny Manziel story is basically, “Johnny went out drinking and
something interesting happened.”
For example, this last weekend Manziel went to a fraternity
party in Austin, Texas. This is not surprising, as he grew up a
Texas fan and Austin is awesome. I went to a fraternity party in
Austin myself once, and it remains one of the most surreal nights
of my life.
But the difference between me and Johnny Manziel is that Johnny
Manziel is a celebrity. He is a celebrity to an extent not
experienced by a college athlete since Matt Leinart was hanging out
with Jessica Simpson’s ex-husband in Los Angeles all those
years ago. We know Manziel is a celebrity because people take
pictures of him wherever he goes and post those pictures to the
They talk about what he’s wearing, what he’s
drinking, what he may or may not have said and they get mad because
… oh … hmm … because, dammit, he’s not supposed to be
having this much fun. Doesn’t he know he’s supposed to
be miserable? That he’s supposed to have his nose in a book
or a playbook at all times?
Does he not understand that he is supposed to feel our righteous
wrath on his neck?
Well, he does not. He does not care. Johnny Manziel
doesn’t care that he’s not supposed to run around in
the pocket the way he does and he does not care if you think
he’s an a-hole for going to a frat party at Texas, for
getting the UT logo temporarily tattooed on his ribcage, for
hanging out with rappers, for taking classes online, for
complaining about College Station itself, for repeatedly
antagonizing his own fans, for flagrantly violating the law about
the legal drinking age.
And he does this, why? Because he can.
What are they going to do, suspend him? Ask him to transfer? Put
someone else in at quarterback?
Texas A&M can ask him to slow his roll, but it would be
asking for a favor. This is sports, baby. The only thing that ever
really matters in sports is wins and losses, and he’s got the
The man they call Johnny Football spent a fair portion of his
weekend on Twitter, responding to various “haters,” by
essentially pointing at the scoreboard.
Last time I checked double digit win columns and championships
are what matters.
You want to say Manziel wears the black hat, but it’s not
really true. He never harms anyone but himself, and you have to use
a fairly open-ended definition of “harm” if you even want to say
that. He isn’t so much a villain as he is the rich, cocky guy
from every teen movie that has ever been made.
Manziel is a mildly upsetting character who complains about the
spotlight but can’t seem to get enough of it. His case is not
entirely unlike that of some other celebrities whose crimes against
humanity have been minor, but who just have a way of rubbing people
the wrong way.
In case you’re wondering — yes, the Taiwanese already got
hold of Manziel’s frat party drama:
• The San Diego Chargers are considering doing HBO’s “Hard
Knocks” in 2014. That series, produced beautifully by NFL
Films, is popular with fans, but coaches tend to see it as a
nuisance and a distraction. Granted, this is partially because
football coaches see everything as a nuisance and a distraction,
but in this case that doesn’t seem like an unreasonable
position to hold.
The counter-argument has always been that the exposure will help
a franchise’s brand. Coaches and executives have long been
dubious to that, but this time it’s the Chargers’ brass
that is all for it and the players that are balking.
Look at this paragraph from the San Diego Union-Tribune:
“When presented with the possibility of the Chargers being
featured on ‘Hard Knocks,’ safety Eric Weddle jerked
his head back, scrunched his nose and said,
And it’s about time. The communications technology inside
a quarterback’s helmet has not made any significant
advancement since they put radios in them way back in the ’90s.
I’d like to see a Vine feed getting published from inside
Robert Griffin’s helmet, but that may be wishful
• Speaking of RG3, here he is getting an autograph from a
So there’s one autograph we can safely assume won’t
end up on eBay.
This is good to see, too, because it proves Redskins camp
can’t be all bad.
• Here’s a lady who’s just not that into