Another week, another Johnny Manziel story. You just can’t avoid the hijinks and he just can’t escape the hype.
I’m not sure if it’s the dog days of the offseason or everyone’s itch to get back at it, but all of the talk about the Texas A&M quarterback has me wanting to touch on something that I briefly brought up in another article: Rich kid problems.
It was actually a theory that came up while watching Mike Greenberg and Jemele Hill on ESPN’s Mike & Mike.
“Johnny Manziel is in a very fortunate position,” said Hill during SEC media week. “As you mentioned he has well off parents. It allows him to live an atypical life of a college student… this is not how we are used to seeing college kids live and because he’s so unapologetic about it I think it does rub people the wrong way…”
Most people would say that Johnny Football is acting like a normal 20-year-old college kid. Late night drinking, going to and getting kicked out of frat parties and saying way too much in social media. But to break it down that simply is to be totally disillusioned.
You would be hard pressed to find the average college student driving around in a Mercedes Benz, sit front row at the biggest basketball games or playing golf at Pebble Beach—let alone a student athlete. Most can barely barter a tattoo without an NCAA investigation (sorry the Ohio State University).
But those are the spoils that Manziel can afford to enjoy. And he shouldn’t receive backlash for it. Cameras shouldn’t be on him like he was fighting impeachment or cheating the nation out of money.
So, was possibly being drunk and leaving kids disappointed at the Manning Passing Camp that serious? Because being escorted out of a frat party definitely wasn’t.
That’s the way a lot of people felt until all of the stories—old and new—started coming together.
There was the New York Times article about his father promising him a new car if stayed away from alcohol during his last two years of high school — only for the younger Manziel to get busted with alcohol. And later another deal that was made to score him a hot red Camaro for being a “model citizen.”
“We have to keep him focused; Johnny needs incentives,” his mother Michelle Manziel said.
However, the bribes haven’t stopped him from getting arrested for being intoxicated with a fake ID. Things like that probably would have gotten another player reprimanded, but not the first freshman to win the Heisman trophy. It hasn’t even slowed the stride of his attention seeking ways.
Just check him out hanging in the town of his hated rivals, Texas, wearing the jersey of the person who people think he should be more like. And we can only assume he was doing things that critics know Tim Tebow would never do, just to rub their noses in it.
Those veiled shots hurt less but they last much longer.
“At the end of the day, I’m not going for the Miss American pageant,” the quarterback said during media week. “I’m playing football.”
Unfortunately, his life hasn’t been much about football lately. But with the start of the NCAA Football season exactly a month away, we’ll hopefully have no choice but to focus on things other than his spoiled side.
Like he said, “double digit win columns and championships are what matters.”
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Richard Nurse is a columnist for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @blackirishpr.