Just Let the Media Hype Johnny Football
For whatever reason, Johnny Manziel cannot do anything under the radar. Unlike his counterparts in Blake Bortles and Teddy Bridgewater – a posse, cameras, and excitement seem to follow the athlete on a regular basis.
The latest “episode” regarding Manziel centered around the quarterback’s weekend in Las Vegas. There he spent time with superstar Rob Gronkowski, and more importantly, a few bottles of champagne and bikini-clad co-eds. All of which is rather acceptable for a twenty-one year-old (provided he is not partaking in illegal activities), but of course the national and local media is beating this story to death.
Ever since the signal caller from Texas A&M was chosen twenty-second overall, he has been scrutinized by talking heads across multiple media. Additionally, many want to cover his actions on the field (and were upset when they were denied access to non-contact rookie minicamp – let that sink in). As far as off-the-field activities are concerned, if Manziel blows his nose – a reporter with a microphone will be there to dissect it.
As a result, I have a clear message to those who support the orange and brown; just accept that everything this kid does will be overanalyzed and talked about ad nauseam. While some can perceive this as a negative (taking away from the overall team), the Cleveland Browns are garnering national attention in a positive way – it’s been awhile since that’s been the case. So long as he is not putting himself in real danger (there are multiple examples – vehicular accidents, weapon charges, or domestic incidents are a few) – I have no problem with a kid having a little fun before his rookie season begins.
The other aspect is that Manziel curbs this a bit when the season commences. For all of his actions, he has shown passion and desire for football. I believe the athlete will understand how to behave once he has to routinely perform on national television. The quarterback knows that although Gronkowski, Matt Stafford, and Mark Sanchez like to let loose in the spring and summer; they are just another employee come autumn.
Therefore Browns fans, just enjoy the ride. The Mothership, Fox Sports, and CBS are a few networks who choose to debate the Vegas Memorial Day Weekend trip by Johnny Football. Personally, I’m glad the Browns are being mentioned – if he can be a solid quarterback not only will Browns’ fans look the other way regarding his antics, they will be excited to embrace him. He is the top selling rookie jersey and shirts with his likeness are going like hotcakes. Simply put, there’s no getting around the attention, and Cleveland fans finally have a unique, exciting individual to root for. Of course it all will come down to Sundays in the fall – but perhaps his personality can separate himself from his twenty predecessors.