Johnny Football and America’s Love/Hate Relationship

Johnny Manziel

Johnny Football.

A name that will one day be set in stone for one reason or another. Nobody can really seem to get a grasp on this kid and I’m not sure if anybody ever will. Either you are a big Johnny Football fan, a big Johnny Football hater, or a “Holy S**t this kid is a pompous ass but I absolutely love to watch him play” supporter.

One way or another, right now America is talking about number 2 from Texas A&M.

So why can’t we figure out who Johnny Manziel is? Or maybe an even better question: why can’t Johnny Manziel figure out who Johnny Manziel is?

Throughout last season, I never thought that the hype was real. I thought that this guy would just be remembered for his crazy shenanigans against Alabama in rout to pulling off one of the wildest upsets in years, but that he really wasn’t anything special… and then he won the Heisman trophy.

After this offseason, I thought that Johnny Football would be remembered as the first freshman to ever win the Heisman trophy, but that he would have a letdown of a year and totally flop under all of the pressure and scrutiny… and then I watched the Alabama game.

So what is it about Manziel that I, like the rest of the country, can’t seem to piece together?

The answer is that this kid truly has a rare talent: The ability to be the cockiest person in the world, but also have the ability to back it up. Few people can talk the talk and then walk the walk, and he is one of them. That is why America has such a love/hate relationship with #2 and will always be split on this topic. johnny-manziel-1

This came up in my mind yesterday when I was going back and forth in an email chain with fellow 6 Rings writers. One guy said that he loves watching Manziel play and the gimmicks really don’t mean anything as long as he performs off the field. Another guy said how excited he got after that circus-esk play of Manziel’s on Saturday. And then there was the guy who came in and said how he absolutely despises Johnny Football for everything that he is and basically that he hopes his career goes to ruins.

I thought, “wow, I don’t know if I have ever seen such controversy over a player that plays on a team of which nobody is a fan of or against”. I could see this argument happening over Jay Cutler, being a Bears fan and a very big Jay Cutty fan. But, we’re talking about a player on Texas A&M, a school in which almost nobody loves and nobody hates.

So let’s take a look at both sides of the argument…

Why You Probably Love Johnny Football

If you are on the Johnny Manziel bandwagon, it is because of one of two reasons: You enjoy watching him run-around on the field and simply leave defensive coordinators confused, or you enjoy his “I give 0 F**ks mentality” that he carries on and off the field.

Let’s begin with the obvious fact that the man can ball, and nobody can deny that. He’s fast, athletic, has great vision, and his throwing mechanics are incredible for a scrambling quarterback. There is no denying his pure ability to play football. Where as Terrelle Pryor is one extreme, and Russell Wilson is the other, Manziel fits right in the middle. His running ability is not what defines him, but neither is his passing ability. He’s evasive in the pocket, but can be a pocket-passer and make pinpoint throws up the field. If we are talking about straight football playing ability, there is very little reason not to like watching this guy play.

The next reason you may love Johnny is because of his mentality that he really does not give a crap about anything. It’s weird to say that giving zero craps would warrant people to like you, but in Manziel’s case it is 100% true. There are people who will say, “who cares about what he’s doing, I love his demeanor and his will to stand behind his decision” as a nice way to put it. In other words, “this dude is a badass and I love it”.

Why You Probably Hate Johnny Football

You probably hate Manziel for the same reason that people love him: he’s a pompous ass who gives 0 f**ks and it makes you crazy watching him succeed and get praise from the media. It is pretty plain to see why this guy would really piss you off and it doesn’t take me to say it. He literally does what he wants and he gets away with it. At the same time, you hate him because he is on SportsCenter every day either getting torn apart or praised to the heavens above. johnny-manziel-superman

To quote somebody that I know, “I didnt think the media would make me dislike anyone more than Tim Tebow but Johnny takes the cake. At least Tim was genuine hard working guy who loved the game.”

If this were 1980, Johnny “Football” would have never existed and there would be no reason for me to be talking about him at the very moment. Granted, there wouldn’t have been a market for a 19-year-old kid to be writing an internet blog to even think about talking about an overhyped quarterback from Texas.. too much? Alright, let’s move on.

The point here being is that Manziel is the vocal point of just about every news outlet and dinner table country wide (in the families that care about football). He is talked about so damn much because of the tremendous variety in opinion regarding him. People love the fact that he beat Alabama last year, went crazy and decided to win the Heisman trophy. People hate the fact that he let the fame get to him and use it in an obvious way to draw attention to himself while doing illegal things… and that he gets away with it.

But, wherever you land on this spectrum, it is impossible to deny that he has a great deal of talent… and you have to respect that.


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