He was the first freshman to win the Heisman Trophy in college, was drafted in the first round this year by the Cleveland Browns, and likes to party. His ego and personality have made the news more often than his talent and he’s regarded as one of the most polarizing players in the NFL. You either love him or you hate him. Here’s why I believe people have such mixed emotions on Manziel.
1. He’s already been called an alcoholic and he just turned 22
Yesterday Skip Bayless called Johnny Manziel an alcoholic, and an ESPN spokesman defended Bayless’ claims. How many players in the NFL have been called an alcoholic? Sure the league is lousy with child abusers, wife beaters, and murderers, but alcoholics? They’re a rare breed out on the football field. So what if Manziel likes to party a bit too much? He’s 22, a millionaire, and living in Cleveland. Who can blame him? Also, it’s not like he was drinking cheap whiskey and banging a hooker hours before his first start. He essentially missed a Saturday morning injury treatment for his hamstring. This treatment would be for the last game of the season which he knew he wasn’t going to be playing in anyways.
2. We live in a world of internet comment outrage
Especially in recent years, everyone on the internet acts like an old lady at church: they’re offended by everything they don’t like. This leads to massive polarized opinions on all types of issues–Manziel being one of them. The internet is a place where everyone believes their opinions matter, but no one thinks about them long enough to have good ones. We are constantly being beaten down with one topic before completely forgetting about it and moving on to the next story. Manziel is a story that seems to pop up on a regular basis and it fuels the social media fires making him an even more polarized figure.
3. He gets more media attention than most starting quarterbacks in the NFL
The Browns haven’t been in the playoffs since 2002 and haven’t won a playoff game since 1994. More importantly they’ve averaged only 4.5 wins a season for the past 6 seasons. The Browns have been an awful team, and just the sheer fact that Manziel is on their team has given them more media attention this year than the previous six years combined. Need proof? Check out how many more networks picked up the Browns game when Manziel was announced starter.
I’ve always thought that the marketing director of the Cleveland Browns has got to be one of the hardest jobs in marketing. They are called the Browns and their logo is just an orange helmet. Also, their main jersey color is just a weird brownish color. If you were looking for a carpet color that would hide a lot of stains, the Cleveland Browns’ uniform color would be your best choice. Manziel had to have been a welcome addition for the Browns’ marketing department at first, but now I’m sure they’re having some second thoughts.
4. You won’t see him on those awful “No More” commercials.
Hey listen; I don’t need Eli Manning’s dumb silent face to tell me with his eyes not to hit women. I just know that it’s a terrible thing to do. It’s degrading to have people talk down to you like you’ve committed a crime, when you’re just trying to watch some football. Also, it would be so uncomfortable if you had a kid who was asking, “Daddy why is Chris Carter crying?” Then you’d have to try and explain saying, “Well son, you see sometimes daddys hit mommys, and these guys who play violent sports want to tell us about it. You see, they want the people sitting on the couch wearing sweatpants to know that violence is bad.”
Do you honestly think that if Ray Rice had seen one of these commercials that he wouldn’t have violently punched his then fiancée in that elevator? Like right before his fist came forward you think Eli Manning’s confused forehead would have somehow popped in his head and it would’ve suddenly given him a clear conscience? Anyways, Johnny Manziel is too busy partying to be involved in these commercials. You also won’t catch him hitting a woman, unless she accidentally steps in front of some fame seeking douche bag he’s trying to punch at the next night club he attends.
5. In his first start he lost 30-0, threw two interceptions, and had a 27.3 quarterback rating, but he’s still confident that he’s going to be great.
Haters of Manziel would say that this proves that he is a no-talent bust who simply has an inflated ego. Fans of Manziel would argue that he is very young and has to have confidence in his ability to become a better player. While the jury may still be out on Manziel’s ability to play quarterback in the NFL, he certainly makes for a charismatic villain who’s entertaining to watch both on and off the field.