Good article. I may not agree with it all, but, good read. I do have one question. Except for the incident w/ the fake ID prior to last season, what has Manziel done that will even lead you to believe that he has done anything that might lead to biting A&M in the kiester? You think he'll miss practices? You think he'll be late for games? Will his tweets lead to him getting suspended (and, yes, I would like to see him stop w/ the tweets). You think he is the only student/player that wants out of College Station? I know I did, especially when it came to the Kampus Kops. If Manziel does something "to bite the Texas A&M football program in its collective kiester", I'll be the first here to eat crow. But, what if this season goes just like last season, or even better. Maybe Manziel will have a chip on his shoulder, maybe Sumlin's playbook will be more wide open for Manziel, maybe all these analysts who say Manziel's draft stock is hurt will lead Manziel to returning to A&M for his Junior year. I think all of this is just as plausible, if not more so, then our program getting bit in the kiester. So, since you threw it out there, what is it you think will happen to get us bit in our "collective kiester"? Comparing Manziel (and then uncomparing) him to Henderson is just a tad disingenuous.
Over the weekend, the website Yardbarker.com reported on its “Rumors & Rants” page that Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel had “reportedly enjoyed himself a little too much Friday night and rolled back into the (Manning Passing Academy) at Nicholls State some time around noon Saturday before getting the boot.” The report went on to state that Manziel was asked to leave the camp by Archie Manning.
Hours later, ESPN’s Chris Mortensen, the Mannings themselves and Manziel’s family all kiboshed the Yardbarker story. Manziel had reportedly left the event due to dehydration, not because he partied too hard, was too hungover, or showed up late for some of Saturday’s scheduled events.
At that point, Aggie Nation rallied ’round their boy. Again. The big bad media was picking on their sweet little Johnny Football, a young man they view as being no different than any other college athlete (aside from the fact that media meanies trail him constantly, of course).
Fair enough. Many of us in the media do go too far and a few of us are honest-to-goodness jerks.
But if Manziel were only guilty of being under the weather, why has he apologized to the Aggies’ coaching staff? ESPN’s Joe Schad reported yesterday afternoon that Manziel not only apologized to his coaches but he is also “being advised to be honest about what led to his much-discussed departure” from the Manning Academy.
According to Schad’s source, Manziel was “very upset” about having to leave the camp and “privately conceded that he needs to continue to mature.”
Would maturation help with dehydration? Who knew?
The bottom line on all things Manziel is this: He is redshirt sophomore who grew up in a wealthy family. Since bursting onto the national sporting stage last fall he’s been handed some of the A-1 coolest opportunities on the planet. Add it up and it’s enough to go to a young man’s head.
And we at MrSEC.com think it has.
Many A&M fans will bristle at that suggestion and head coach Kevin Sumlin will say he’s not worried about any such thing when he meets the press tomorrow in Birmingham. But we don’t see how it’s possible for anyone decked out in maroon and white not to be worried about their QB’s focus. Not to mention just what the heck kind of news he might make next?
Since the end of last football season, Manziel has made news for his courtside NBA seats. He made news when he admitted to being tired of fielding questions from A&M’s compliance department. He made news when a photo of him wearing a fake Texas Longhorn tattoo went viral. He made news when he reportedly shoved an Aggie manager during a spring scrimmage. He made news when he decided to stop using social media. He made news when he soon thereafter returned to using social media. He made news when he tweeted that he “can’t wait to leave” College Station. He made news when he left the Manning Passing Academy early. And then he made news again just yesterday when he pled guilty to a misdemeanor charge of providing a fake ID to a police officer following a fight in 2012.
Manziel is a one-man 24-hour news cycle.
And before anyone blames the press for all of this, remember that this is a kid who has repeatedly used social media to provide photos of himself hanging with celebs and taking part in non-football-related activities. There’s nothing illegal about that, of course. But it’s pretty hard to yell “Leave me alone!” when you’re walking around town in a “Look at me!” sandwich-board.
Still, folks defend him. At this site we received a number of emails demanding that we take down our story from Sunday morning regarding the Yardbarker.com story. The one that everyone from MrSEC.com to ESPN covered. The one we headlined: “Report: Johnny Manziel Gets Booted From Manning Camp.”
We didn’t take it down because there’s nothing incorrect in the post. Someone did — wait for it — report that Johnny Manziel was booted from the Manning camp. We didn’t report it. We simply told you that the SEC’s most visible athlete was the subject of yet another looks-bad story. That whole “report” word in the headline and in the story seemed pretty straight-forward to us.
We also heard from a couple of upset folks yesterday when I dared to suggest that the two stories being put out regarding the Manning Academy might not be too far apart after all. I suggested that it all could “be a matter of semantics as dehydration is typically what causes the feeling of being ‘hungover.’”
Well, it is. And now that Manziel is reportedly apologizing to his coaches and privately conceding that he needs to mature a bit more, it appears even more likely that Manziel’s dehydration was brought on by a fun Friday night in Louisiana.
Here’s our concern. At some point, Manziel’s immaturity is going to bite the Texas A&M football program in its collective kiester.
We said the same thing all last basketball season regarding Ole Miss guard Marshall Henderson. Rebel-backers would hear none of it and now — with Henderson indefinitely suspended due to ongoing issues with marijuana and cocaine — those same UM fans have been forced to eat so much crow they’re belching feathers.
In Manziel’s case, he’s hardly the scofflaw that Henderson appears to be. In fact, last fall, A&M’s quarterback was the feel-good story of college football. The fact that he’s squandered so much goodwill so quickly should worry Aggie coaches and fans.
No, we don’t think Manziel is a bad guy. We just think he’s a kid who has let celebrity go to his head and needs to be protected from himself (and his social media pages). Sumlin and crew appear to be treating Manziel as an adult, which is commendable. Unfortunately Manziel doesn’t seem ready to handle adult responsibilities.
It’s for that reason that we believe Aggie Nation will be let down by Manziel at some point between now and January. Here’s hoping we’re wrong. But if you had to bet the proverbial farm on Johnny Football, would you wager on him buckling down and flying straight for six months? Or would you feel safer betting said farm on him getting himself into trouble at some point?