Manziel not ready for prime-time
By Eric Moore, Sports Editor
I’ve never tried to hide my disdain of former Texas A&M (and current Cleveland Browns) quarterback Johnny “Football” Manziel.
One of the main reasons I dislike him so much is because while he was in college, he obliterated my favorite team time and again. Even though I will never be confused with being a fan of Manziel, I will admit that he has some talent.
Whether or not he has as much talent as he thinks he does still remains to be seen, but one thing is for sure: he is not ready for the spotlight.
Following his redshirt freshman season at Texas A&M (the year he won the Heisman Trophy), Manziel was seen out and about partying and basically being a poster-child for what star college athletes are not supposed to do.
While I was a bit irked by that, I wrote it off as a young man enjoying a bit of the spotlight for the first time. I foolishly believed that the experience in the spotlight would make him mature and we would see a different Manziel in the coming years.
Well, we haven’t seen that so far.
On draft night, instead of being grateful that he was even chosen in the first round by the Browns, he sauntered up onto the stage making a hand gesture to let everyone know that he was about to get paid a lot of money.
I guess Manziel didn’t get the memo that all those guys that went before him are getting a lot more money than he is.
Manziel continued his nonchalant attitude all the way up to the beginning of the preseason, by being more interested in having a good time than he is being the future of the Browns.
Then is immaturity came out in full force on Monday Night Football when he gave the one-finger salute to the Washington Redskins bench after throwing an incomplete pass.
Reports are that someone on the bench shouted out to him that he wasn’t in college anymore and that things moved a lot faster in the NFL. I’m sure some colorful language was thrown in as well, but instead of taking it as a rookie getting some heat from an opposing team, he showed them his middle finger as he trotted away.
Evidently he forgot that NFL games are televised, although I don’t know how he could have missed the 20-plus cameras pointed at him at all times.
When he was confronted about it in the postgame interview, he seemed to think it was rather funny.
Don’t get me wrong, I think Manziel is a talented individual — at the college level. I see him much like I saw Tim Tebow. The biggest difference was that Tebow is a class act whether or not the cameras are rolling.
Manziel was used to being able to dominate the game just by walking on the field, but now that he is in a league where the other 21 players on the field are just as talented as he is, he is wilting in the spotlight.
Who knows, maybe he will grow up over the course of this season. Maybe this unwanted attention is just what he needs to gain a little maturity.
Frankly, I just don’t think he has the talent to succeed in the NFL and the more that he is in the spotlight as he is failing, the more immaturity we will see from him, because that is seemingly all he knows how to do well anymore.
(Eric Moore is the sports editor for the Malvern Daily Record. Contact him at 501-337-7523 or email him at email@example.com)