When this mystical, unknown super-athlete called Johnny Football started to emerge, people went to their knees to worship him.
Whether they thought he was the coolest boss on earth, loved how exciting he was to watch or thought it was funny that he had this cute little nickname, Johnny Manziel quickly became an overnight sensation and a household name.
But, it’s not cute anymore.
It’s just plain disturbing.
When he started doing stupid stuff over the offseason — crashing parties, posting tweets and raising hook ‘em horns (a cardinal sin in Aggieland) — it was almost comical.
It’s not funny anymore. It’s sad.
And it’s time everyone stops obsessing over him. At the end of the day, he’s just another cocky, ungrateful, egotistical, morally-challenged athlete who doesn’t know how to handle the fame or criticism that comes with being the superstar that we all made him to be.
At the time when he was skyrocketing into popularity and landing his program back on the map, the celebrity profile he gained was justified.
He was winning big games in the school’s first year in the country’s most elite conference. He won the game’s highest honor, the Heisman Trophy, and took a team with minimal expectations to a prestigious bowl game.
Sure, it was deserved, but unfortunately, he has spoiled every single bit of the praise he earned. Now, he’s showing us time after time, he isn’t worthy of all of that praise. He has neither the maturity level nor the desire or capacity to care.
When evidence emerged that suggested Manziel was selling his autograph for thousands of dollars, a severe violation of college sports rules, the NCAA really came down hard on him. They suspended him from a whole first half in the season opener against Rice.
The fact is, Manziel has yet to learn from any of the idiotic situations in which he’s been involved. Rather, he keeps getting caught in murky water, time and time again, with seemingly no repercussions, a never-ending cycle of debauchery and bad decisions. For some college students — because we forget, this guy’s in college — that sounds like a Friday night. For him it’s practically every passing hour.
Sooner or later, Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin will realize Manziel is a distraction, one that can be detrimental to the team. If that revelation comes too late, it won’t matter if he’s on the field or not, his behavior will be sacrificing wins, not just the team’s PR.
And yet Sumlin hasn’t done much to try and tamper the flame at all. The front office and athletic department in College Station are even more inept. Rather than punish Manziel, they’ve publicized his extracurricular forays and encouraged his rebellious antics to further the Johnny Football brand.
We fans aren’t helping much either because, while we watch this hysteria unfold, we generally only care about one thing: how entertaining can this guy be? Whether it’s on the football field as a player or off the field as a party animal, it’s attention he doesn’t deserve.
The way I see it, he doesn’t care if he breaks the rules or gets ostracized from the college game, or gets his wins and Heisman vacated, as long as he’s at the pro level, making millions and being a celebrity.
Honestly, I don’t even care how good he is anymore. And let’s be clear, he is super-talented. If he had any brains, he’d clean his act up and actually capitalize on the talent God gave him, and do it in a humble way — with integrity.
Until then, I can’t, and won’t, take him seriously.