Known for his reluctance to accept the fact that even as a Collegiate Athlete at a major Division One program, Johnny Manziel always had the perfect reason to not accept the responsibility that comes with being an adult. He never had to say it. We, the media, said it for him. He is just a college kid. Let him have fun! When Johnny transitions from the college ranks to the pros he will naturally grow out of it. It’s a phase we said. We told ourselves, every kid goes through it. Johnny is just being Johnny. We would go out of our way to come up with every excuse imaginable to not hold this kid accountable for his own actions.
This approach should not necessarily be faulted. After all, Johnny was just playing a game. Johnny realistically was in fact just a college kid. The game of football is something that seems to come so naturally to him. Blessed with intangibles that lead to swift decision making, and precision passing, this QB at times is a true magician in the pocket. This is not about play on the field. It never has been. We know what Manziel can do on the field. The issue has always been about Manziel off the field.
“I believe whenever I made this decision to turn professional it was a time that I decided to really put my college years in the past, and this is a job now. There are guy’s families, coach’s families, and jobs and all kinds of things on the line. Um for me it won’t be a hard thing to kick or a hard deal to do. I’ll be extremely focused at whichever organization I’ll be at, and really trying to pour my heart out and be 24/7 with that team.” – Johnny Manziel
As clips continue to surface of Manziel while clearly intoxicated, one has to now ask the question. Did he just blatantly lie to possibly millions of viewers and most importantly his future bosses? The entire combine process is an interview. Even the casual fan knows and understands this. For a player to claim, basically promise to change and put college behind him as soon as he became a part of a NFL franchise, the least the first round pick could have done was wait a few months before he reverted back to his old ways. Possibly, the partying never stopped. Maybe none of it will ever affect his performance on the field. What he needs to understand is that it is not completely about that.
As an NFL quarterback, especially in the year 2014, the responsibility of being a role model is absolutely not something that is a choice. It comes with the territory. Such powerhouse sponsors as Nike, Gatorade, Adidas, and Under Armor, just to name a few, do not just shell out millions of dollars for just what a player can do on the field. Ask Tiger Woods about that. Mr. Manziel needs to realize that his college days are over. He ended them. He made that decision. He could have gone back to Texas A&M. He could have been a possible two time Heisman winner. In other words, the man had options. Instead he decided to take his talents to the NFL.
Manziel truly needs to reassess the people he chooses to spend his free time with. He needs to understand that his true friends do not want to see him constantly make a mockery of himself. True supporters would not leak pictures. True friends do not leak videos when you are clearly impaired and slurring your speech. You are a rookie Quarterback in the National Football League. The NFL which also stands for Not For Long. This is not college anymore. You are a millionaire. The dorm life is over. Homework is finished. Today, Johnny Manziel you are not an Aggie. You are a Cleveland Brown. Grow up. Respect your teammates. Respect your coaches. Respect your fans. Respect the children who look up to you. Respect your family. Most of all, respect you.