When the Hyatt Regency began to fill in Birmingham, Alabama on Wednesday morning, the 1,200 credentialed members of the media were licking their chops preparing to pounce on Johnny Manziel – the cocky 20 year old who clearly doesn’t understand how he’s supposed to be conducting himself after being gifted the Heisman trophy from the college football elites. It was Johnny’s day of reckoning. A day when Johnny wouldn’t be able to hide behind his Twitter account. He would be cornered and forced to account for his egregious actions. Unfortunately, for the media mob, Johnny didn’t play ball.
Johnny’s day would start off with ESPN’s Joe Tessitore, who clearly was excited about his opportunity to grill Mr. Johnny Football. Tessitore did his best to re-enact a Capitol Hill Senate hearing asking Johnny tough and pointed questions. The gotcha moment was with Tessitore asking Manziel if he was hungover at Manning camp, then immediately pressing with the follow up question on whether he drank. It was a moment clearly rehearsed over and over by Tessitore. It would surely succeed in bringing down Manziel. Johnny’s response? Don’t worry about it, Joe.
While Manziel began his day acknowledging mistakes with Tessitore, he would become increasingly casual and increasingly unapologetic.
In answering to the media, Johnny continued to reiterate a few key points. First, he’s 20 years old. He’s intent on doing what average 20 year olds do. Second, the only reason he’ll be changing his behavior is because the season is starting. The season always demands more and free time for recreation is not as abundant. As such, we can infer that if the offseason were to continue for a few more months, well, it’s party on suckas! Lastly, Johnny is going to enjoy life. Clearly, these weren’t the talking points the media was sure they’d receive when the day began.
Johnny Football was introduced to the country during the 2012 football season. While we’ve heard rumors and seen glimpses via Twitter of Johnny Rock Star, the country was formally introduced to him today. He’s cool. He’s confident. He’s bigger than we even think he is.
What’s the problem? Do we prefer him to be Tim Duncan? C’mon folks. This guy is great. He parties with Lebron James, dates super models, sits courtside at NBA Finals games. All the while, defensive coordinators are putting in 18 hour days in June trying to figure out how to stop Johnny Rock Star next season. Who’s the winner in this equation?
Do fans really prefer that Johnny Football walked into Media Days in tears begging forgiveness for oversleeping for the Mannings? If he did, I’d be concerned about the season ahead. Now with Johnny Football fully transforming into Johnny Rock Star, I’m going all in on the Aggies. Look, this isn’t the NFL. In college, you want the baddest man on the field, and right now, Johnny Rock Star is the baddest man on the field.
Also, let’s remember Johnny Manziel didn’t murder a semi-pro football player (still not sure what that means) in an industrial yard. He did a little boozing and gambling and partying. I’d be out on Johnny Football if he caved to the media after such minor offenses. Instead, he’s telling the media exactly what he should. Look, I made some mistakes, but overall, it’s all good. I’m enjoying life and I plan to kick some ass in the SEC West this fall.
Perhaps Johnny realizes what few people realize. You can’t win with the media. If you’re Tim Tebow, the media hates you for circumcising kids in Asia. Stop shoving your religion down our throats Tebow! If you’re Manziel, clearly you’re irresponsible and not a leader! Well, what do you want? They want nothing. They just want to win. The problem is Johnny Manziel is too competitive to be beaten by the media. The media is losing. They’re not losing like when the Aggies scratched by Ole Miss in 2012. No, it’s more like the 70-14 route of South Carolina State last September.
I love the way Johnny Manziel handled himself today. He is his own man. He’s calm, collected, and answered every question. Of course, he’s going to deflect anything specific about drinking alcohol. He’s underage!
If anyone embarrassed themselves today, it was the media. How many times are we going to ask him about sleeping in on Archie Manning?
“Of course I slept through the entire camp. Three Mannings, Zero Heismans. A family of losers.” – Johnny Manziel #WhatHeMeantToSay
— William Wallace (@WillWallaceSEC) July 14, 2013
Rather than push Manziel on actual interesting topics and get to know this fascinating individual more, the media had to engage in a unified effort to get to the bottom of what happened at the Manning camp. Or, the occasion media member would go out on a limb and attempt to get Manziel to compare himself to Tebow or Lebron or Cam Newton. It was absolutely ridiculous. Manziel is Manziel. Is this really as good as the media gets?
While the media members pat each other on the back about a job well done today, Manziel is on a jet riding to LA to attend the ESPY’s. Hilarious is an understatement.
Manziel won today. The media lost. And it wasn’t even close.
None of this is surprising. He’s an undersized, yet gifted athlete with an intense competitive streak. All this kid does is win, and it’s not going to stop.
Excuse me, he broke – no, he shattered – the record yardage numbers of Tim Tebow and Cam Newton last year. He led the Aggies from newcomer of the SEC to the top of the SEC. Sumlin and his players were an after thought at Media Days in 2012. In 2013, they should have booked a separate hotel just for Manziel.
This guy is a rock star. Get off your high horse and enjoy the ride like a normal human being. It’s your loss, if you don’t. Johnny could care less.