September 2, 2013
Johnny Manziel is making quite the name for himself.
Ever since he won the Heisman, the Texas A&M quarterback sophomore’s life has been centered on controversy. It first was swept in parties on campus. His latest adventure could put him in a light that isn’t pretty.
The NCAA suspended Manziel for signing autographs and receiving profits from them. The suspension lasted half a game in the season opener against Rice University. I expected the suspension to not benefit anyone, especially Manziel. I was right from a character standpoint.
Manziel came into the second half and finished with more touchdowns than starting quarterback Matt Joeckel. Manziel threw for 94 yards but recorded three touchdowns. It should’ve been a lesson learned, until he taunted a Rice player and received a flag for it.
What did we learn as fans from these events? We learned Manziel didn’t learn and at heart is still a kid. We also learned the NCAA made one of the worst suspensions in sports history. NCAA officials and fans should be embarrassed because this was a serious allegation that had no punch thanks to a “half-game suspension.”
Charles Barkley said it best in his infamous commercial: I am not a role model. It’s ironic considering his comments on ESPN Radio with Mark Schlereth and Ian Fitzsimmons (via Dallas News):
“I’ve been disappointed that nobody’s put him in check. It’s been a gradual summer of, ‘What more can I do stupid?’ And this hurts me to say this; I’m disappointed Kevin Sumlin ain’t checked him. I know he’s a great player, but they gonna have a bad season, too. There’s no way you can have all these distractions and have successful season.”
Barkley actually makes a good point. It’s the responsibility of the people around Manziel to guide him into becoming a better person off the field. That’s why the controversy has arisen. He doesn’t have the right guidance in his football career, if any at all.
Manziel has earned the respect for being a great college athlete. The latest praising his talents is Ravens QB Joe Flacco.
Flacco told Jim Corbett of USA Today (via For The Win) that Manziel is “quickly becoming his favorite player.” He also said, “Being hated is not a bad thing.”
Flacco also has a good point; many players and teams have used fans’ hatred to their advantage over the years. However, this comes at the expense of a kid who hasn’t grown up yet.
Johnny Manziel could be a great player down the line. But as long as he keeps his off-the-field antics up unsupervised, we might see a sad case of Manziel turning into his own worst enemy.
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