Johnny "Football" Manziel is tough to figure out. Certainly he's a highly skilled quarterback. He can throw, run, and improvise with the best of them. But some of his "not-so-highly-valued" characteristics have long been in play as well. This was due to his "attitude" or, more properly put, his penchant for partying.
He fell on draft boards coming out of college, but was eventually selected by the Cleveland Browns. This was not exactly the best of teams to throw a rookie onto and expect him to be successful in the brutal world of the NFL.
And now he's back in the news. Not for anything he did on the field but for what he did off it. It seems Johnny Football was videoed having a good time with some champagne and pretty girls.
Well then. Johnny Manziel will turn 23 in a few days. A young man indeed, but not even the purest of Puritans would question his legal right to consume alcohol. And c'mon. He was doing a little private partying with some bubbly and fun company. It's not like he was out and about raping, looting and pillaging. The only thing he blew up was the cork coming out of the bottle. No one would raise an eyebrow if any average citizen did exactly the same thing.
But the Browns and the legions of politically correcters around the country -- in their infinite wisdom -- decided this sort of behavior should not be tolerated. Johnny must be a good little droid and toe the Amish line, dammit.
So instead of starting for the Browns in their game against the Baltimore Ravens, Manziel was demoted to the #3 quarterback on the depth chart. Long time loser Josh McCown would get the nod with Austin Davis as his backup. You remember those guys. Josh came out of powerhouse Sam Houston State and -- surprise -- has yet to find an NFL team he can play competently for, though he has tried for several. Austin Davis? Ever hear of him before? Me neither. But guys from Southern Mississippi typically have a way of flying under the radar.
Nevertheless, McCown would suffer a broken collar bone in the Baltimore game. He's done for the season. Davis tried his best in relief, but it's probably a fair statement to say AD isn't exactly up to speed as an NFL quarterback, particularly when he's thrown in with the rag-tag team the Browns have assembled once again. These guys are not good.
But dammit, they had to punish Johnny for his "outrageous" behavior mentioned above. So he sat on the bench. That raises a couple interesting points.
While Manziel was sitting, he was collecting a full game check. Put yourself in his shoes and ask yourself this question..... Would you rather watch the game from the sidelines and never break a sweat -- or be thrown into the fray to get your brains beat out while collecting the same amount of money? This is punishment? If I'm in that position, I say bring it on. Want to pay me my same salary for not working? Most people would accept that proposition in a heartbeat. Who's punishing who?
The other point is the Browns were faced with a dilemma. They could stand on the ever-present misguided principles the PC zealots keep coming up with -- or they could try to actually -- gasp -- win the damn game. Manziel would have given them a shot. Their chances with the other QBs were pretty much doomed before the game even started. Did I mention they're not good either?
All this because some 23 year old millionaire stud decided to have a good time for a couple hours? Privately. Only a video snoop -- and they're everywhere these days -- would make it public. So what, pray tell, was so wrong with Manziel's actions? Actually, absolutely nothing.
And let's get real. Halls of Fame, particularly the one in Cooperstown, are chock full of drunks and womanizers -- even serial adulterers. But they remain heroes.
One is left to wonder what their fates would have been had they played the same game in modern times with the sensationalists looking for a story -- any story -- dogging them at every turn. Food for thought.
I say let Johnny Manziel be Johnny Manziel. He's a young jock with a lot of money, and likes to party away from the field occasionally. As long as he's giving his all to his job as an NFL QB, then who is anybody else to question what he does in the few hours of his personal life?
And besides that -- he's pretty much all the Browns have these days. They would be wise to ignore the clamoring Crusaders and the centuries old resurgence of their archaic morals -- which has morphed into the modern day PC whiners -- and get about the business of winning a few football games. In the NFL -- there's no style points. Winning is all that matters.
Johnny gives them a chance in at least some games. Maybe not a good one -- but at least a shot. The Browns benching him was no more than the team shooting themselves in the foot -- again.