Johnny Football, A Cautionary Tale

There is no denying the skill and athleticism Johnny Manziel brings to the football field. What is more impressive than his ability to make something out of nothing in a broken play, is his antics off the field that show how he has really managed to make nothing of something. Touted as the savoir of Cleveland. He was supposed to save the city and bring them a championship they so desperately craved. He was true freshman Hesiman winner. He has a prolific arm. He is creative, athletic and gifted there is no doubt about that. He has also spent the first part of his adult life acting like a child. This peter- pan, never grow up, the rules don’t apply to me mentality has wound him up on the chopping block and could find some trouble to find a team to pick him up. Manziel’s demise was probably the biggest reason Lebron came back because he couldn’t stand whom his city chose to replace him as a sports icon.

Now everyone loves pulling for an underdog but when you look at the Brown’s chronic failed draft picks you can’t help but think they had this coming. These off the field issues are no surprise. In College Station, Manziel was arrested, kicked out of parties for being belligerent, parking tickets, allegedly accepted money for autographs in 2013. Now no one should be shocked when this behavior continued. Manziel needed a 5-star General of a coach and a no nonsense owner to survive in the NFL and what he got was professional equivalent of the parents from a teen mom episode. It took a spoiled man-child with no self-control and gave him money and freedom and Browns reaped what the sowed.

If I am an owner of any team in the NFL, I have to take a pass on Manziel . The NFL struggle with bad images recently and there is no way I would want to be the next headline. Not only has his own team been vehemently announcing his all but official dismissal from the team, but also his marketing agency has dropped him from representation. It’s tough to vouch for a guy who skipped a team meeting at the end of the year when he was supposed to be meeting with team doctors for concussion treatment. The most recent story is the most concerning one between Manziel and his now ex-girl friend. The writing was on the wall for the Browns to read and now the writing is all over the headlines that I am sure coaches and owners are reading everyday.

The NFL in the past 3 years has struggled with a major domestic violence problem. Ray Rice may never get a job in the NFL again. Greg Hardy was poison to his team in Dallas and openly defied players and coaches. The last 2 seasons with Cleveland have been a cautionary tale for the other 31 teams. I do believe in second chances and part of me Manziel has gotten more than his fair share. Overcoming a tough losing season is nothing compared to repair the damaged that an off the field scandal, alleged or not, can cause an organization. To pick up some one like Manziel,

AP Photo/Bob Leverone, File
AP Photo/Bob Leverone, File

would be like throwing a live grenade into a locker room.

The NFL has gone through some very rough years and life outside the locker room is scrutinized more than on the field. Players are held to a higher standard as they should be. They are role models, celebrities and potentially difference makers for their community. They are blessed with a God given gift to play a game for a living and make an incredible sum of money to do so. The way that Manziel has wasted that talent is what upsets me most about what is likely going to be a short career.

Featured image by Jake Roth-USA TODAY