When you’ve become villainized as Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel has been by the media during the offseason, you have two choices.
You can try to be squeaky clean, showing humility and little emotion on the field.
Or you can go into full “F-You Mode” and embrace the villain label.
In Saturday’s season opener, Johnny Football showed he was choosing the later – and I love it.
He acted like he was signing autographs for the Rice players. He rubbed his fingers like he was asking for cash after throwing a touchdown. He pointed at the scoreboard when the Owls were heckling him.
It was awesome to watch.
My feelings aren’t because I’m an Alabama fan and wish bad things on Manziel. Heck, if anything, I have a ton of respect for A&M and Manziel for marching into Tuscaloosa last year and beating the Tide.
I loved watching his taunting and arrogance because that’s who Manziel is. It was Johnny Football being the real Johnny Football.
At this point, there’s nothing Manziel can do to win over the media. Most have decided that he’s a punk and will find every single reason to criticize him.
So if there is no hope of cleaning up your image completely, why not embrace the villain role?
It’s what the Patriots did when 2007 when they went undefeated in the regular season. That was the same year they were busted for “Spygate.” Instead of trying to make amends with the media and public, they ran up the score on everyone and were accused by opposing players of delivering a handful of cheap shots throughout the season.
Instead of being villainized, ESPN and most of the media praised the Patriots for their record season. Of course, that was to be expected since ESPN has been kissing New England’s butt since Tom Brady took over.
Same with the Miami Heat and the Detroit Pistons back in the day. They embraced the villain roles and people considered them quality entertainment.
ESPN was the ringleader of the Manziel hate parade, acting like his antics were the worst thing to ever happen in a football game.
The biggest BS commentary came from Lou Holtz and Mark May on ESPN’s college football scoreboard show.
Let’s remember, May was pretty much a thug during his college and pro career. Check out this lovely incident he had in college when he was arrested for trying to start a riot.
As for Holtz, he doesn’t have much room to talk either. He’s pissed Manziel is wearing a visor? How about the way your coaching career ended, Lou? Remember this epic brawl during the game?
Look, we all know Manziel is a spoiled brat. We didn’t need Wright Thompson’s article to know that.
So if you’re Manziel, why not be yourself? Take the route of stars from the WWE and UFC – embrace the hate. Revel in it.
A&M head coach Kevin Sumlin is going to try and get Manziel’s behavior under control. And it may very well work – for a game or two.
But ultimately, we’ll start seeing the real Johnny Football again this season. The one that’s supremely cocky and not afraid to talk trash and troll the national media.
Johnny Villain has arrived – and I for one am enjoying it.
• Sure Bama won 35-10, but I am a bit nervous about the Tide beating A&M in two weeks. The defense and special teams were dominant, but the offensive line was horrible. If Bama can’t run the ball and protect AJ McCarron, then it is in trouble.
• Cullman High School, a school I covered for two years when I was sports editor of the paper there, was in a massive brawl following its season-opening football game. Honestly, I knew some of the coaches involved…so I can’t say I’m too surprised by this.
• What type of porn is your state into? This somewhat SFW graphic has the details.
• Apparently there is a polish woman who is striving to have sex with 100,000 men. 100,000! Even James Bond is disgusted.
• Before he was cooking meth with Mr. White, Jesse Pinkman was a contestant on The Price is Right.
• At long last, the Chicago Bears realized what all their fans have known all along – J’Marcus Webb was a horrible offensive tackle. After nearly getting Jay Cutler killed the past few years, the Bears finally cut that fat bastard. Good riddance!
Bear Down and Keep the Faith!