I hope you've read the utterly engrossing and trainwrecky Johnny Manziel article that appeared on ESPN recently. It's further insight into the insanity that is...Johnny Football. And since I assume everyone has an opinion, let's hear it. But let me outline some questions and ideas.
DOES THE MANZIEL CONTROVERSY DEMAND SOME KIND OF "LARGER DIALOGUE" ABOUT THE STATE OF COLLEGE FOOTBALL?
Or is this just that rare, insane situation combined with the explosion of social media?
RICH KID COROLLARY
Maybe J Football is simply a spoiled, super athletic kid who doesn't know how to handle controversy or accept "no" as an answer? He's Cartman, he'll do what he wants.
Manziel opened up his life to social media, a social media group that responded by following his every move, and then following moves he may have wished were not followed. That's what he gets for being on Instagram and Twitter, right?
COULD THIS HAVE HAPPENED IN THE BIG TEN?
I just cannot imagine. Many of Manziel's actions reek of arrogance, a trait especially reviled by farmers and good ol' Midwestern folk. You're telling me a University of Michigan player who acted like this...wouldn't have the full boot of the University stomped on his Twitter/etc?
THIS IS KIND OF LIKE VARSITY BLUES, NO?
Kind of. Less endearing, less inspiring. Lots of Texas. Confused celebrity, late night parties.
OTE WRITER THOUGHTS
My first reaction was sympathy. Then I thought about it. There is a distinct chance that his entire family has coddled him, given him every opportunity to succeed, been overprotective, and now are surprised that he has a temper when things don't go his way. Sure, being 20 and living in a fishbowl is kind of a bitch, but at the same time, it doesn't exactly sound like his parents have helped shape him to be any other way. Maybe learning the hard way is necessary at this point.
My first reaction has always been sympathy. And when it comes to the stuff he can't control (of which there is plenty), it still is. But this article is full of first hand and directly recounted examples that make plain the fact that Johnny is extra self centered and immature, even for a kid his age. A ton of what has caused the media firestorm is stuff he can control.
There are too many good choices from the story but I'll pick the one I noted on Twitter...his being upset over the parking ticket came when the cops went to the house and asked whose car it was. He was mad because he knew they knew it was his and felt harrassed. Who feels harrassed when the cops give you a break by asking nicely who owns a car and would they like to move it? The only way you feel that's harrassment is if you thought the cops should know it was your car and keep on driving. A regular person just gets the ticket, 9 times out of 10. And who parks the wrong way on a street? I mean, what? And after all of that you write a post asking people to walk in your shoes? The ones driving a super pricey car your dad bought for you that the cops were willing to let you move without a ticket if you weren't such a brat?
It also makes clear that his family has made it much, much worse by spoiling him and by giving him really effed up behavior to model for years. I mean, their daughter had to explain to them why JFFBDAD/JFFBMOM (Johnny Fuckin' Football Dad/Johnny Fuckin' Football Mom) license plates were a bad idea? Really?
Being young doesn't mean you get a free pass for being a self-centered asshole. That's not how the world works. I really hope he gets his shit together because much like his parents, I don't want his life to turn into a 30 for 30 special in 15 years.