Johnny Football may be a lost cause

Published 11:46 am Friday, July 1, 2016

The day was Saturday. It was November 11, 2012. Sometimes I find myself doubling back to confirm that date.

My forgetful tendencies aside, the date is not nearly as important as the game that took place on it.

It was one of those football games that you remember for the rest of your life. The ones that you tell your grandchildren about. The ones that remind you why you love the game.

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No. 15 Texas A&M, the newest member of the Southeastern Conference, was squaring off against college football powerhouse  and top-ranked Alabama.

It was a game that I did not particularly care to watch for two reasons. The first is because I absolutely despise Alabama.

The second was because I assumed Texas A&M and their freshman quarterback would get destroyed by  Alabama.
Thinking the game would be over by halftime, I foolishly tuned in to another game.

As I watched that game I remember seeing the score of the A&M-Bama game flash across the top right corner of  my 32-inch Vizio. It turned out my assumption was half accurate. The game had been virtually decided before halftime, but the wrong team was up.

Texas A&M had jumped out to an early 20-0 first quarter lead on the mighty Alabama.
Taken aback, I hurriedly switch the channel and was glued to my seat for what turned out to be one of the most exciting games I had ever seen.

After a epic comeback effort from Bama, Texas A&M emerged victorious 29-24.
The freshman quarterback I had written off was masterful. He was completed 24 of 31 passes for 253 and two touchdowns with no interceptions.He led his team in rushing with 92 yards.

For the entire game he gave one of the best defenses in the nation fits, making them look more like a group of peewee football players with an inept coach.

Time and time again he made a way out of no way, weaving his way through Alabama defenders and throwing tight, accurate spirals to his receivers. After that I knew Johnny Manziel had a chance to be special.

Fast forward almost five years after he became the first freshman to hoist the Heisman trophy in history and the only thing spiraling in Manziel… completely out of control.

His NFL career has been marred by incident after incident. He and trouble just seem to be perfectly compatible.

Whether it is nightclub fights, domestic violence, skipping team meetings, drug problems, or making vulgar gestures on live television, Manziel’s record could soon be longer than the list of records he broke during his illustrious career at Texas A&M.

Now he has managed to yet again find himself in the limelight for the wrong reason.

Yesterday, ESPN reported  Manziel will be suspended four games for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy. This annoucement comes just after Manziel told TMZ that he planned to sober up and fly straight.

Considering, the timeline of these two events Manziel may have very well been informed of his impending decision and took to the media in an effort to ease a bit of the pressure.

Whatever the case, his actions have caused many around him, including his father, Paul Manziel, to fear for his health.

“It’s not a secret that he’s a druggie,” Manziel said to ESPN’s Josina Anderson  in an interview last week. “I don’t know what to say, other than my son is a druggie and he needs help. Hopefully he doesn’t die before he comes to his senses.”

Paul Manziel also said he checked his son into rehab earlier this year, but he “escaped”.
Manziel’s father is not the only one to reach out to Johnny.

Even Hall-of-Famer and NBA analyst Charles Barkley tried to impart wise words to the trouble Manziel, but to no avail.

Now in what seems to be the culmination of years of trouble, Manziel may not only miss four games but the entire season.
Honestly, it may very well be the best thing for him.

I admit I was among the hopeful masses who believed, who prayed he might take a turn for the better. Sadly, Manziel continues to zig where zagging would be more logical.

A fruitful NFL career is becoming more unlikely for him by the day and it should not be his primary concern. If he continues at this rate his life could be at stake.