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07/31/2013

The real reason Johnny Manziel can get away with it

121206124020-maziel-high-school-single-image-cutNo one has done more for college football media coverage in any offseason than Johnny Manziel; on behalf of a desperate media for something to talk about in between games - we thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

Sure, we'll hypocritically judge you for your behavior while secretly envying your life, but deep down we love you for the material. The latter is the priority.

He's on the cover of Sports Illustrated with a giant profile piece.

ESPN The Magazine's Wright Thompson is currently being celebrated for this piece on Johnny Football because of some of the "troubling" things said by his dad.

Let's all jump down from our soap box of moral superiority and concern and admit that we simply don't care about this guy if he's not playing football. And that as much as we know because of social media, we really don't know.

No one wants him to get hurt or lead a bad life or experience tragedy, but this concern over Johnny Football has not only jumped the shark but totally insincere.

What will "fix" Johnny Football is playing the game again, which he will when Texas A&M's practice begins shortly. The rest of his "out of control, VH1 Behind the Scenes tragedy lifestyle" will fade and become part of his the Johnny Football lore.

Here is why this is all going to be fine very soon - because on the field no one can touch him.

Manziel may not win another Heisman, or beat Alabama again, or flop in the pros, but he is going to have a great season because it's college football. College football is still a game where a quarterback with quick feet, and a decent arm, can run around and improvise and make plays that can embarrass a defense.

Heisman-johnny-manziel-football_jpeg8-1280x960So much of his best plays came after the first or second option was taken away. Re-watch the Cotton Bowl when Oklahoma routinely just barely missed on tackling him. In college, if a kid is athletic enough he can make something out of nothing for big gains. 

Vince Young did it at Texas.
Akili Smith did it at Oregon.
Todd Reesing did it at Kansas, and he was only approximately 5-foot-3.

The dance around thing usually dies in the NFL because the best athletes are on defense, and the hits are too punishing to think it's a good idea. In college, you can run. In the pros, you better sit "still." 

Manziel may be a this or a that, and he may party too hard, but he is still a dynamic college football player who can get away with it because no one can get a finger on him. As long as that is the case, he's fine, which is what you really care about. 

@MacEngelProf
tengel@star-telegram.com
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Comments

Daniel

Mac, if this kid's name was Pachall, would you still say nothing else matters as long as he plays well (and supplies the press
copy in the off-season)?

James

Johnny football led the SEC in rushing...enough said.

Ringsthething

Good observations Mac.

But, a sophomore slump and season after big head is given to a young person might keep him from having the season you say he otherwise could have thanks to his obvious physical gifts.

Those things can't really be known until he gets going. Should be interesting!

PS How many of us wouldn't have made some mistakes with that much fame and glory at that age?

BKR

Probably the best article I've read on Manziel - who cares, like you said!

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