Don't Hate Johnny Manziel, Embrace Him

By Erik Sargent

Has an athlete ever seen a decline in their reputation after accomplishing so much faster than Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel?

Going into the 2012, virtually nobody in the college football world outside of College Station had heard of Manziel. He wasn’t completely unheard of in the recruiting world during his high school days and did have some solid offers, but many didn’t recruit him as a quarterback.

Teams were concerned about his size and throwing ability, but there was no question about his athleticism. What would go on to happen during the 2012 season was something out of a movie.

After winning the starting job in summer camp, Manziel went out and put up one of the most exciting seasons of any college player, with a legendary performance on the road at Alabama and ultimately ended up winning the Heisman Trophy, becoming the first freshman to do so.

All those accomplishments seem like a thing of the past now. All people are talking about is the off the field stuff. Hanging out with Drake, sitting court-side at NBA games, throwing out the first pitch at MLB games, partying, and most recently getting kicked out of the Manning Passing Academy.

The uproar caused by the lifestyle Manziel chooses to live is absolutely ridiculous. He is a twenty-year-old kid, the star quarterback at a major college football power, and he won the Heisman Trophy. He is literally living the dream of every single college male who even semi-follows sports. Not one person could look you in the eye and say they wouldn’t live the Manziel lifestyle in a heartbeat.

So why is there such a concern for how he lives, and why do people want Manziel to slow down?

Manziel is experiencing what athletes around the world are being forced to transition into that athletes in previous years didn’t: falling victim to the power of Twitter.

Twitter allows everyone to know what Manziel is up to at every single moment. If he is at a bar, someone will tweet it. If he does something anywhere, the whole country knows in a matter of seconds.

It’s not fair in anyway that someone should have to go through this, but it’s the nature of the beast when you’re the quarterback of an SEC program.

Jealousy causes many people to lash out at Manziel, as well as just the need for something to complain about. It’s easy for rival schools to target him and label him as a problem, when in reality he is doing nothing wrong at all.

Johnny Manziel should not stop what he is doing, because he is doing absolutely nothing wrong. He is living the dream life that everyone wishes they had. You can’t expect a kid to be locked in a film room 24/7, never socializing or having fun. That isn’t realistic. There have been thousands of college kids who lived just like him; you just didn’t have Twitter to know about it.

Embrace what we have in Johnny Manziel. He is a phenomenal talent, he is entertaining to watch and he is what makes college football exciting.  It’s his world right now, and we’re all just living in it.

Erik Sargent is a college football writer for Follow him on Twitter @Erik_Sargent, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.

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