AL HAMNIK: 'Johnny Football' must grow up before national media buries him

2013-09-03T18:00:00Z 2014-02-04T21:18:16Z AL HAMNIK: 'Johnny Football' must grow up before national media buries himAl Hamnik Times Columnist nwitimes.com
September 03, 2013 6:00 pm  • 

Do we really need another buffoon as a sports celebrity?

If you're a true fan of the games, you can already pick out a handful of these clowns on various teams regardless of the sport.

College. Pro ranks. We're seeing more of them now.

They are obnoxious, self-centered individuals who think the sport revolves around them. And because they're a huge money-maker for their college or pro franchise, their inane behavior is often tolerated.

Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel, last year's Heisman winner, acts more like a 10th-grader than a college sophomore. He's a smart aleck who loves pushing the envelope and acts like the NFL can't wait until he signs and is being marketed.

I hope not. The NFL clown car is filling up fast enough.

Manziel's problem is he just doesn't get it. Maybe it's because he comes from big money -- Texas oil -- and has always been enabled. Maybe he's just plain spoiled.

"Johnny Football" was investigated for allegedly accepting money from memorabilia brokers for signing autographs, a violation of NCAA rules that could have led to a much longer "suspension" than the first half (what a joke) of Saturday's season opener with Rice.

Unfortunately, there wasn't enough evidence to nail Manziel, so he basically walked with a tap on the wrist.

The university called it an "inadvertent" violation of NCAA rules involving autograph signings. That took a lot of courage to enforce -- sitting out the WHOLE first half against an awful team.

To have put himself in such a shady situation was a total disregard for his university and teammates, but Manziel obviously didn't care.

His parents have been quoted in various publications as saying Johnny boy loves to party too much and must become accountable for his actions.

Manziel wasn't allowed to speak to media until last November because coach Kevin Sumlin's ban on freshmen talking to reporters. And Manziel has yet to speak to media this season since SEC media day.

Sumlin said this isn't the right time for his maligned QB to talk, adding he will at some point. Probably when they get their stories straight.

Following Saturday's rout of Rice, there were several questions that needed answering.

After running for a first down the second half, Manziel got up from the tackle and appeared to mimic a signing motion while talking to the defender.

He later drew an unsportsmanlike penalty after a touchdown throw when he again began talking smack to the defense -- pointing to the scoreboard and pretending to count some cash.

Sumlin denied seeing any of Manziel's cheap theatrics, but said he would study the game film.

He'll see it with his own eyes and the truth will hurt.

We still don't know the real story behind Manziel's early departure from the Peyton Manning quarterback camp this summer. One version had him suffering from dehydration, the other had Archie Manning asking him to leave because he had missed sessions due to staying out too late while enjoying the night life.

Manziel has won the Heisman, turns 21 in December, and has suddenly become the most vilified player in college football.

Makes you want to root for Tim Tebow.

This column solely represents the writer's opinion. Reach him at al.hamnik@nwi.com

Copyright 2014 nwitimes.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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