I am excited to welcome Brian Spinazzola to WaxCracker.com. Below you will find Brian’s first piece on Johnny Manziel:
WOULD EVERYONE JUST SHUT UP ABOUT JOHNNY MANZIEL ALREADY
Johnny Manziel is a curious phenomenon.
I have been avidly watching sports since the age of 5, and I can’t think of another athlete who has received so much media attention, save for LeBron. And, let’s be honest, a decent amount of the media attention LeBron got was his own fault (cough cough, The Decision).
Johnny Football was most recently in the media because he went to Las Vegas. Over Memorial Day, which is a holiday weekend. He is 21 years old, legally old enough to drink alcohol and gamble. While there, he went to a UFC fight, and attended a pool party with Rob Gronkowski.
Why the hell is this even a story?
If you go to Las Vegas during the spring/summer, on weekends when OTAs and minicamps are not being held, you’ll be able to find a decent number of NFL players there. I’d bet a hundred grand and my left nut that Manziel was not the only player there that weekend. He went to a UFC fight and a pool party. He probably gambled some, and likely got a little bit drunk.
CLEARLY THIS IS FRONT PAGE NEWS.
This became a debating point on ESPN, with phrases like “role model” and “representing the franchise” being thrown around. People are questioning his commitment to football. People are questioning his work ethic. All because he took a vacation on a HOLIDAY WEEKEND.
Did he get arrested while he was in Vegas? No, he didn’t. Did he get a white-girl wasted and do embarrassing things that ended up plastered all over social media? No, he didn’t. Did he show up late to OTAs the next week looking like Courtney Love after a weekend cocaine binge? No, actually he showed up on time and ready for work.
So where’s the story here? Where’s the debate?
Quite frankly, it’s ridiculous. NFL players don’t study their playbooks and watch film every second of every day. What is Manziel supposed to do, hibernate in his house and do nothing but eat, sleep, and breathe football until training camp starts?
If proof emerges of Manziel actually doing something wrong, or if his off-the-field antics start affecting his career JaMarcus Russell style, THEN, by all means, lets talk about this. But until then–and I’m looking at you ESPN–starting a debate about a 21 year old kid going to Vegas in his spare time is dumber than sparking a national debate over the religious beliefs of Tim Tebow.
Oh wait…you guys already did that.
You can follow Spin on Twitter @bSp1n.