The Big Mac Blog

The rise of Johnny Football to the crash of Johnny Cliche

Johnny Manziel’s day with the Cleveland Browns are over and now he faces an uncertain NFL future.
Johnny Manziel’s day with the Cleveland Browns are over and now he faces an uncertain NFL future. AP

The Johnny Manziel circus has gone from a weekend in Vegas to police choppers looking for him to finally the highly not-funny accusations of assault.

Because he is only 23 the story is not complete but the most recent events surrounding Johnathan Football now have made him just another sports cliché: Young, wealthy athlete reaches the pros and he doesn’t listen, parties, can’t play, parties, gets involved in toxic relationship with a pretty young hot thing and blows it.

It’s called a stereotype for a reason. There are many elements to the Manziel story that are sad, most of all it was all so highly predictable and as such avoidable.

The most recent report in Tales from The Eternally Dumb says that Johnny’s TCU co-ed girlfriend told the police that Johnny appeared to be on drugs and that he hit her and threatened to kill himself and her as well. Johnny denied those accusations that were recently obtained in police report in a case that is considered closed.

According to people at TCU familiar with Manziel’s relationship with the TCU student was that it was volatile, emotionally charged and most recently hostile. It sounded like two young people with more cents than sense.

He said, she said — the end. No charges to be pressed, case closed and the Johnny Manziel story is no longer cute and funny.

Per a story in The Dallas Morning News, Manziel’s father told the paper that he fears for his son’s life and that he if he does not receive help soon he will not see his 24th birthday. Manziel is 23.

The Cleveland Browns have said they will release him as soon as the NFL calendar permits. Manziel’s agent issued a self-serving press release to formally announce that he cut ties with his client.

About the only thing that has not happened is Texas A&M has not renounced his Heisman Trophy and mailed it to his preferred home in Austin.

Everybody who followed John since his days in College Station knew a fall was coming, but the depth and the details of this drop would surprise even the most jaded sports-observing cynic.

There is time, and Manziel likely will be given an opportunity to right his trajectory but nothing in his past says he is capable of executing the type of necessary moves to complete a transformation that will give him a chance at an NFL career. If the NFL collectively blackballs Johnny the way it did former Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice, Manziel’s game could flourish in Canada.

The Canadian Football League’s game is made for guys like Manziel, but it is doubtful his ego and pride would let him go to the land of the Great White North.

From afar he looks like just another first round bust; the NFL is loaded with guys who were great in college and bums in the league. The Browns magically seem to have the market cornered on those players.

Up close, however, Manziel is far from your average first-round dud, which is why the story is so compelling. He won the Heisman Trophy and was one of the most exciting college players in recent memory for his play on the field and his considerable personality off of the field.

Remember when Johnny Manziel was the test case for why student athletes should be paid?

He was so arrogant, cocky and a giant star. Manziel was a tractor beam for cameras, girls and the standard amount of sycophants who come at young prominent jocks like dirt to a vacuum.

There was no way it would last. It was simply a matter of what triggered the fall. Maybe it’s his relationship with alcohol. Maybe it’s just youth. Maybe he’s just dumb.

The saddest part of all is that the fall is likely not complete. There is another ring to Johnny’s Inferno. As long as he has money to burn, he won’t have trouble finding trouble. It does not matter if he plays in Dallas, Buffalo or is the new quarterback of the Los Angeles Rams, Johnny always seems to find an Uber ride to Austin or Vegas.

He had the talent and is good enough that he had a shot to make Johnny Football a part of the NFL complete with T-shirts, hats and all sorts of other junk to buy. Instead, he’s just another Johnny Cliche.

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