Sunday, July 14, 2013

Johnny Manziel's Weekend: No Buddies & No Consciousness

College football is almost back, so I've been getting the itch to start yapping again. All I needed was a push.

Johnny's Weekend Schedule Just Opened Wide Up
More Time to Hang With LeBron?
Muchas gracias, Johnny Football.

It's on the interwebs - Manziel was sent home from the Manning passing academy yesterday, with the Mannings citing a "sickness" as the reason. Of course, this is all quickly followed up with photos of Manziel out with AJ McCarron out at a Thibodaux, LA bar at 2 AM Saturday morning. The insinuations - of course, and I happen to believe them - is that Manziel was hungover/slept through the morning's activities. When he later arrived, Archie asked him to take it on down the road.

Coming from a person who has slept through a number of things - college exam (just once, talked professor into retaking it), college classes (a lot more than one), a weekend work event, autoshop appointments (last week!), on and on... - I can relate. Johnny Manziel and I are not morning people. And that's okay.

As an aside - Johnny didn't employ a safety tactic that has helped me out on a few occasions: the buddy system. You make sure I'm awake, and I'll make sure you're awake. Could of saved him here. Unless of course he did employ the buddy system, but he waived off his buddy Saturday morning and just told him, "Brah, I can't do it, brah. Too hungover to move. Just go without me."

And he got left behind.

Conspiracy theory? Sure why not - perhaps AJ McCarron was his partner in the buddy system. A little more off-field drama for Johnny Football has got to be a good thing for Bama, right? I'm sure Coach Saban would think so. Run with that on the message boards.

But the problem I see in this is that whether he was asked to leave for being hungover or even just late, he should of known that this would become a story. I don't think he did.

He's been doing this long enough now and has had enough spotlight on him, whether it's been in Scooby Doo outfits, winning the Heisman, or pictures of him at NBA games - to know that people notice when he's around, and they take note of it (and then blast those notes onto the Internet, both professional and amateur).

You would think that, after the opportunity to hang out with and learn from possibly the greatest QB of all-time (Peyton, NOT Eli) had been taken away from him, he'd take a minute to relax and reflect - you know, that maybe he did something wrong here. Probably not on purpose, but he definitely did something wrong or irresponsible and let down people who were depending on him.

So, what did Johnny Manziel do after sent home? He went out to the hookah station. At least if Twitter is something we can believe. (And I sure do.)

Screenshot lifted from Deadspin. Hookah!!

Listen, I'm all about a college kid (or anyone, for that matter) living the life that they want to live. As long as they are willing to accept the repercussions of their actions. And maybe it will end up where it doesn't matter, but perhaps somewhere out there is an NFL Scout thinking, "You know, he fouled up here, and went out and did the same thing again. Doesn't seem to learn from his mistakes - will it be the same way on the football field? Can he be coached to perform at a professional level?"

Is Manziel conscious of this? Does he care?

I'm well aware that greater talent gives people a longer leash and more chances, no matter the field of play. And frankly, I'm a Johnny Football fan - I like his style of play and I like how he doesn't try to fit into a conventional personality mold. But I do see warning signs of trouble for him.

It hasn't been posted yet, but I'm working on a piece on why I believe 2014 will be a major letdown for Texas A&M and Johnny Manziel. I'll get to all that at a later time, but Manziel needs to be cautious and conscious of his actions, because if his performance on the field suffers, his critics - and NFL Scouts - will have plenty to point to.

I'm on Twitter, it would behoove you to follow me there. And tell your friends, why dontcha? @harry_long