Last week, I wrote this note on our message board concerning athletes who need a small dose of humility. The point was basically that first impressions are important and some—like Yasiel Puig of the Dodgers and Marshall Henderson at Ole Miss—are missing the boat when it comes to earning the respect of those within their respective sports because of the brash way in which they pursue their lives.
Well, I think we can officially add Johnny Manziel to the list.
The rising sophomore at Texas A&M had a Heisman-caliber season and has matched it with an equally newsworthy offseason. The latest bit of bad behavior came after he was asked to leave the Manning Passing Academy after missing several meetings due to an apparent illness.
Just a hunch, but could the mysterious illness in question have originated where this photo was taken?
Manziel was obviously well enough to enjoy a night out on the town during what amounts to an opportunity to make a good first impression on the NFL’s first family of quarterbacking. Instead, he was told to return home.
There are two reasons this particular transgression is a big deal. First, there is the obvious face-palm reaction to Manziel not being on his best behavior when given the chance to impress any of the plethora of Mannings with significant NFL ties. But how about Manziel doing all of this while he was a counselor at the camp, with responsibilities to younger people who admire the way he plays the game?
The poor example this sets for the next generation of potential Manziels is striking because it shows a lack of maturity from a young man who was already being questioned on the subject of maturity. Consider how he spent his day back in College Station today: pleading guilty to a lesser charge after he was found with a fake ID in the vicinity of a bar fight last June, an offense that nearly got Johnny Football removed from Texas A&M.
This is clearly a guy unconcerned with adjusting his lifestyle in order to maximize his potential. His passing still needs work, which is something most might think a Manning somewhere knows a thing or two about. I’m not sure if Manziel burned his bridges there or not, but if he did, good luck in the league.
Maybe we are being too hard on this guy. After all, he is just a college kid who will make some poor decisions. It’s just that most college kids making poor decisions don’t have millions on the line and a Heisman Trophy reputation on the line.
As someone who was very recently a college student, most people around my age perusing the local establishments would do virtually anything to get what Manziel has, while he has spent countless hours putting it all in jeopardy.