Tuesday, September 17, 2013

The sensation that is Johnny Manziel

Let's take some time to talk some college football. Now normally I wouldn't even dream of devoting precious blog space to the mediocre world of college sports, but every now and then something happens that forces me to make an exception. This is one of those occasions.

If you are a rare individual who (for some bizarre unfathomable reason) is not acquainted with this person phenom Johnny Manziel, here's a quick recap: he stormed the world of college football (and subsequently our collective psyches) with his dazzling on-field exploits last season. As a redshirted freshman (i.e. he is technically a sophomore who sat out his first year), he went on to win the Heisman trophy, an award that despite having not much predictive value does a reasonably good job of identifying good college players. All cool? I am feeling bubbly today, so let me throw in a Manziel highlights package for ya:

You will notice this dude has a remarkable ability to escape the vicious clutches of multiple defenders and still throw explosive touchdown passes that leave you salivating for more action. Pretty soon the lore of Johnny took off. He attempted (and I believe succeeded) in getting his nickname trademarked - "Johnny Football". Don't we all wish we were blessed with such an awesome nickname?

Controversy soon followed. There were reports of a previous arrest, grumblings about his off-field temperament, and rumors of diva-like behavior. He was kicked out of the Manning Passing Academy, a summer camp run by legendary Saints QB Archie Manning with cameos from his famous sons, got indirectly called a "turd" by Tom Brady on national television, and was found to have violated NCAA's labyrinthine rules by signing a bunch of sports junk memorabilia for money. All in all sounds like a fantastic offseason. He was suspended for (get this) half an hour for the season opener. For a full glorious thirty minutes, J. Football sat steaming on the Texan A&M bench. Then he got back into the game, picked up right where he left off and started scoring touchdowns left and right.

Here is Mr. Football, flagrantly taunting his opponents after scoring three TDs:

Those whispers about his attitude are now full-blown debates on the perpetual hype machine ESPN. Can Manziel be drafted? Does he have the right mindset? Does he breathe the right way?

To hell with all that, Johnny boy. The man has got stupendous talent and the right kind of princely swagger to go along with it. If he maintains his talent and keeps working on it, he will be immensely successful in the NFL. For delighting us all with your electrifying presence on (and off) the field and for cultivating that inspirational brand of swagger, Johnny Football, I anoint thee the Badass of the Week. 

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