“You’re in need of a serious attitude adjustment, young man. You’d better get your priorities straight. And watch out with that other crowd you’re running with.” After you read the title of this article, you probably assumed that this was a direct quote from Texas A&M head coach Kevin Sumlin after he pulled out star quarterback Johnny Manziel in the fourth quarter of the Aggies convincing victory over Rice two weeks ago. Well, believe it or not, it is actually a movie quote from the 1993 film Dazed and Confused. In this film, the star quarterback of Lee High School, Randy “Pink” Floyd, is being lectured by his coach just as Manziel was lectured by his coach.
Manziel was having a phenomenal game before he was taken out in the fourth quarter. The sophomore quarterback threw for 94 yards and three touchdowns, so it was not how he played that got him benched but rather how he carried himself on the field. Manziel was constantly taunting Rice defenders by pretending to sign autographs and count money after he would make a big play. Sumlin was fed up with his quarterback’s antics and had to intervene by taking him out of the game.
Anyone who watched ESPN in the last three months is more than familiar with Manziel’s story. After becoming the first freshman in NCAA history to win the Heisman Trophy Award, Manziel had an offseason for the ages which included sitting courtside at NBA games, a wild spring break trip, being dismissed from the Manning Passing Academy for “oversleeping” after a night which many believed he had been out drinking, being kicked out of a University of Texas frat house and most recently, Johnny Football found himself in the middle of an NCAA investigation.
In the beginning of August, the NCAA launched an investigation to see whether or not Manziel had accepted money in exchange for signing autographs. The investigation, which took the better part of a month, came to a conclusion at the end of August when the NCAA determined that there was no evidence Manziel had been paid to sign autographs. Despite the NCAA not finding any evidence and dropping the investigation, Texas A&M still decided to bench Manziel for the first half of their season opener against Rice.
After the offseason that Manziel had, you would think he would just want to focus on football once the season started and refrain from making a worse name for himself. As I mentioned earlier, Manziel did the opposite and could not have been cockier in his season debut. The self-proclaimed, “too frat too care” quarterback was mocking his opponent throughout the entire course of the game, and when he was finally penalized for taunting, he simply just pointed up to the scoreboard (Texas A&M was up by a significant amount at this point). Manziel’s penalty was what did it for Sumlin, which is when he pulled Manziel out and had a talk with his star quarterback.
Manziel had a great game last weekend against Sam Houston State. He threw for three touchdowns and more than 400 yards through the air as well as adding on a rushing touchdown. Arguably, the most important thing to take away from this game is that Manziel appeared to be focused and limited his on-the-field antics. The only headlines Manziel made revolved around his play and not his immature behavior.
In Dazed and Confused when Floyd’s coach told him that he needed to adjust his attitude, the message did not get through to the young quarterback. Floyd made it clear to his coach that his top priority was going on a road trip to get Aerosmith tickets, not focusing on football. Lets hope that the pep talk Manziel received from his coach will have more of an effect on him than that of Floyd’s.
Manziel is playing in arguably the most anticipated game of the regular season this Saturday as Texas A&M is set to face off against reigning BCS champion Alabama.
Last season, Manziel and the Aggies handed Alabama their only loss of the year in what appeared to be a coming out party of sorts for Manziel. This will likely be one of the biggest games of Manziel’s collegiate career, and it will be very interesting to see if it will bring out the cocky and arrogant side of him we saw against Rice two weeks ago.
The spotlight will be shining brightly on Manziel this Saturday and the question remains: Will Manziel finally let his play do the talking for him?
Jon Keller is a writer for rantsports.com. Follow him on twitter @jkell2005.