The Johnny Football Saga
What you’re reading is part of the problem. When Cleveland Browns QB Johnny Manziel farts, somebody reports it. NFL teams started up rookie camps a couple of weeks ago and followed up last week with organized team activities, or OTAs. Manziel, the 22nd overall pick in the NFL draft earlier this month, has been the subject of much controversy and debate throughout his college career and the microscope has been magnified now that he’s part of an NFL team.
Manziel had done and said all the right things in his first 2 weeks as a pro. And then he got 3 days off. Johnny Football took the opportunity to fly to Vegas and hang out poolside with NE Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski and friends for the holiday weekend. Of course, a picture of the party was posted on Twitter. And then a picture of him showering friends with champagne at a nightclub surfaced. Then all hell broke loose. There’s a story on every major sports news outlet. The web comments sections are jammed with opinions. And football players past and present have chimed in with their respective takes.
As far as Manziel’s current coaches are concerned it’s no big deal, "He's been great. He's in the playbook. Now if he was out doing something illegal, we'd have an issue," said Browns QB coach Pettine. "That just comes with the territory of who he is… I know he had his iPad with him. And I know he wasn't using it as a coaster. ... Ultimately, he was in it."
"I didn't talk to him about it. I messed with him about it, though," Browns offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan told USA TODAY Sports. "I just said, 'How come you didn't invite me?' I'm just joking.
"It doesn't bother me. He's been working his tail off. ... He has to realize when he does stuff like that, he's going to get attacked for it."
As for Johnny Football’s take on the situation, “"I don't live my life according to you guys or according to what other people think of me," Manziel told the media Wednesday. "I'm going to live my life to the fullest and continue to be committed to this game and continue to be committed to what I'm doing here. Trying to earn my place in this locker room, with these coaches and this organization…If I want to go out and have some fun and it doesn't hinder what my main goals in life are, then I really don't care what anyone has to say."
The “situation” has been largely diffused by the Browns and apparently ESPN is buying in because they’ve recently published a story about how the story isn’t really a story. Wait, what? That’s part of the problem.