There’s nothing left to say about Johnny Football - the ESPN radio broadcasters have moved on from covering his off-season exploits to discussing how he shouldn’t be a story, but the very act of telling us that we should be over it and treat it as a non-story actually qualifies it as a story, in a weird way. Thus is the beast of major sports media, I guess. So here’s an unoriginal quote:
“Johnny is in the wilderness of his own bad decisions right now”
From the Wright Thompson ESPN Magazine article, which has everyone buzzing and rightfully so, because it’s incredible. But as for Johnny...he’s in something right now, but is it really a wilderness of his own bad decisions? I think he’s more on a desert island than a wilderness, his cool, cocky, and entitled plane derailed by the American sports media & its audience on Twitter. Who’s fault is it? Johnny’s? The hype machine’s/ the media’s ? You and me, for eating this stuff up by the spoonful? It’s so grey I can’t see 3 feet in front of me, but I can tell you no one is getting off scott free.
As for John Manziel, he’s actually so normal it’s strange. We are used to two extremes: the boring good-guy, or the guy who actually gets in trouble. The boring good guy extreme is Manziel’s Heisman frater Tim Tebow. The guy who actually gets in trouble extreme is someone like the Honey Badger, or another SEC Heisman frater Cam Newton, whose entire Auburn career was encircled by doubters and people claiming him and his dad broke the rules. Johnny Football lies somewhere in the vague middle of good guy and bad guy. To me, that’s what makes this great. It’s tough when the story doesn’t run according to the narrative we already have in our heads.
Wait...so he’s 6 feet tall and white? And he’s the fastest guy on the field?
And he parties like we think college football studs should?! Sweet!
But he keeps getting exposed for it? Kid needs to grow up
He’s courtside at cool sporting events? Money had to come from somewhere...where there’s smoke, there’s fire, right?
Oh...there’s no fire.. just a ton of oil, and subsequently a ton of money that the Manziels can throw around like pigskins in training camp.
Love Johnny Football! Oh, he’s a jerk? Shoot. Well, he needs to learn.
And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. The narrative is like nothing we’ve ever seen before, at least not in the Sportscenter/Deadspin/Twitter era. The second coming of Johnny Football will have it infinitely more easy than the first installment, because the first one has hit us without any sort of immunities built up.
We’ll remember Johnny Manziel based on last season + this season. It’s become such that A&M needs to have a great record and JF needs to be pretty spectacular to keep the myth going. I wouldn’t say he needs to repeat as Heisman winner, but he needs to turn in another gem of a campaign simply so that the media and hype beasts don’t turn against him. Personally I’m rooting for him to dominate, not beacuse I particularly like him or A&M, but because in my eyes it’s the better of only two outcomes: the myth gets bigger and better and we all enjoy another hit, or it’s a trainwreck and we come crashing down.
I’ve read about too many trainwrecks lately, literally (Spain) and figuratively (Arod), to take on another one this fall. Let’s go #2!! (Besides, who wants to see Alabama win? No one...except Big).