Just a year ago, nobody had heard of Texas A&M Aggies quarterback Johnny Manziel. The redshirt freshman probably had teammates that didn’t know his name yet.
Now Manziel can’t even go to class. The 20-year-old kid from Tyler, Texas, now takes online classes because he got mauled by Johnny Football-crazed students at every turn.
His family is now involved in a trademark lawsuit, bringing even more attention to the already too-famous Manziel.
The university has to be loving all the media attention Manziel is bringing them, especially because they have about $120,000 invested in the kid. Manziel has launched the program into the clouds in terms of popularity and visibility while Texas A&M has sat back and counted the cash.
There should be more of it coming in with all the hype surrounding Manziel and his team, but Johnny Football won’t see a nickel.
I don’t agree with that at all, but that’s another story.
The story here is that while everyone is talking about Manziel, there’s no way for him to get away from it. Manziel can do nothing but accept his celebrity status, but he’s yet to find out the ramifications that come with it.
Stardom is a risky thing, especially for a quarterback. The signal-caller must be the toughest and best player on his team from a mental standpoint, and stardom can screw with a kid’s mind worse than a hundred final exams.
Manziel now faces the scrutiny of every college football pundit in the land, and ESPN is just waiting for a mistake they can blow out of proportion. The pressure will be immense, unimaginable even. Geno Smith faced that same pressure this year after getting off to a Heisman-worthy start. Matt Barkley faced that pressure this year after an outstanding 2011 season.
Now Manziel faces that pressure in 2013. I’m not saying he can’t handle it because I have no idea if he can or not. I’m simply saying that there is almost no way to put a positive spin on the media monster he’s become.
Unless, of course, you represent Texas A&M.
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