Say Hello to the Bad Guy: Has Johnny Manziel worn out his welcome?

Bad guys are cool, whether some want to admit it or not. Think about it though, some of the best characters we see on TV and movies aren’t the up-keepers of justice and honor. But what makes a bad guy cool and should I feel guilty if I find myself cheering for them? Have the NCAA tell it, my growing affection for Johnny Manziel should be deemed as criminal.

The Attitude Era: the time where Vince McMahon realize the demise of heroes as he once knew it. Fairy tales of Hulk Hogan saving the day was just fairy dust in the ashtrays of grown men who wanted something of more substance. No longer did wrestling fans want fantasy story lines of the 80s and early 90s, they wanted Blurred Lines(minus Miley Cyrus) of scripted reality. But who would they root for if heroes can’t be what they once were? Here’s when the anti-hero steps up without knowing it. Stone Cold Steve Austin was the belligerent wild man corporations hated and what the fans would soon embrace as their leader. McMahon vs Austin defined a generational shift, and it was awesome to witness. The foul language of Stone Cold wasn’t exactly Psalms children should live, by but he was what people wanted. And whether they realize or not that he wasn’t what a hero should be. All this said, there’s a Heisman-winning Texas (A&M) QB that just seems to be destined to walk the path of the Texas Rattle Snake (a nickname for Stone Cold).

Johnny Football is a Rock Star if ever college football had one. This kid has grown men watching his every move for an assortment of reasons. And instead of attempting to keep a low profile, he relishes in it with an accepted cockiness few college athletes have ever done.  Why do I say this is accepted, because he’s the anti-hero for college football fans who despise what the NCAA has become. The phrase “Student-Athlete” as the money-making machine NCAA defines it grinds my gears. That said the insane rules that the NCAA have established are still rules college athletes need to follow in order to play. Despite the fact these “Student-Athletes” can’t profit off their name while universities can make millions of dollars from their athletic contributions. And yes some of them receive scholarships in return which is great. But what about the walk-ons who not only make the team but becomes an integral part of the team’s success? I don’t wanna make this about how players need to get paid because that’s an entire different blog post(Just listen to Jay Bilas for that!). Back to Manziel…well he’s basically like “Forget your rules, you can’t catch me!”

The fact a college athlete has blatantly got away with getting cash for signing his names on stuff is the exact embarrassment I wanted the NCAA to deal with. I haven’t heard 1 person who honestly thinks Manziel is innocent, but I’ve heard a great amount of people who are glad he got off scotch free. Then there’s some who feel he’s a spoiled brat as yet again he gets away with trouble. The attention he’s receiving this summer was comically alarming to me. Almost a polar opposite to the “TebowMania” phase that was just plain comical. It felt like every analyst was putting Manziel on the couch while they examine his personal problems. Sure he needs to mature some more, but who didn’t at the age of 20. The difference is we didn’t win the Heisman trophy as a red-shirt freshman like Manziel did. I’m not an apologist for his actions, but I certainly won’t judge him with an iron fist like I didn’t make stupid mistakes in college.

So after all the noise and a half-game suspension (Ha…Good job NCAA and Texas A&M) Johnny Manziel took his punishment like a man as he came out for the 2nd half of the season opener this past Saturday. And did he go out there and just run the offense without ruffling any feathers, of course not. Johnny Football showed the Rice Owls why he’s the Rock Star I proclaim him to be by taunting back at his opponents whenever they had something to say. Now I agree it went overboard to some extent which is why he didn’t play in the 4th quarter. But hearing analyst talking about it, I would have thought he pulled his pants down at Rice players while shouting “This is what a MAN look like” a la Mike Singletary.

I’ve never been more excited for a college football game than when Roll Tide looks for redemption in College Station on September 14th. Man while typing this I just realized how Nick Saban reminds so much of Vince McMahon and I’ll bet all the money I owe Sallie Mae he’s still swearing in his sleep about losing to Texas A&M at home last season. Seeing how this is also the last season of the BCS system (THANK GOD!), ever negative word I’ve said about it would be rescinded if it can be rigged where Johnny Football meets Nick Saban in the BCS Championship game. Can you guys imagine how epic that game would be?!?! And since they’ll have to wait like 8 months to play the BCS championship game they should partner with WWE and just play the game a day after Wrestlemania. Yes…I’m excited already for this!


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