From Money Manziel to “Nothing Extremely, Extremely, Extremely Serious” By John Brecko
I wanted to write this article in 2021 because how hard thing have been for everyone in 2020. I’ll be covering a story that I will be highly critical of, but I want people to be strong as a result. We have all been through a lot in a year that is now behind us, but there is a light at the end of the tunnel and there will be struggles after.
However, if people remain strong throughout hard times, they can always find a way to rise up and be in an even better place than where they were originally. I truly believe that because believing anyone can do that is a more positive way to look at life and the people around you, whether they are your friends, co-workers or even if it is someone you do not particularly care for. Finding a way to hold on to positivity, even through adversity is not always easy, but it makes your obstacles less challenging than they would otherwise be.
With that being said…let’s get to this article, because I believe everything that I write should have an actual topic that I cover or something from the past that I bring up.
Image credit : Bleacher Report
Johnny Manziel is playing football once again. This time, he will play for the Fan Controlled Football League.
The former Heisman trophy nominee has had three chances to make a career in football happen for himself. Starting with the NFL, followed by the CFL and he was last seen on a football roster in the AAF’s Memphis Express (and not as the starter). He would only play in two games for the AAF suspended operations.
Money Manziel showed potential when he played in high school and college. In the span of those five years, he threw 138 touchdown passes and 37 interceptions before being drafted by the Cleveland Browns in 2014.
His NFL career would not last long. He would be released as of March 11, 2016 for “disregarding the Browns’ expectations of players on and off the field”. In his time with the Browns he was fined $12,000 for flipping the bird in a preseason game against the then Washington Redskins (now the Washington Football Team). Videos would surface of him partying in Texas during the Browns’ bye week in the 2015 season. He would miss a scheduled check in on the morning of the last game of that season (to be fair, he did get injured with a concussion in the game prior, but reports showed that he had been seen in Las Vegas). Around the time he was released, he was being investigated for a domestic violence incident with his ex-girlfriend.
Before being drafted in 2014, many people had opinions about Manziel. Some scouts called him “undraftable”. Other scouts called him “a rare competitor”. There was talk about him potentially getting drafted by the Dallas Cowboys. Cowboys Owner, Jerry Jones wanted him to play for the organization, but his son and Cowboys General Manager Stephen Jones talked him out of it. Fomer NFL Coach, Barry Switzer even called Manziel “an arrogant prick” at one point.
Money Manziel clearly had a lot of friends around the National Football League and would clearly get another team to sign him…
Manziel would take a couple years off from playing professional football before signing with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats of the CFL in 2018. However, he would not play as the starting quarterback and would be traded after six weeks to the Montreal Alouettes. He would only play eight games for this team and would throw more touchdowns than interceptions.
To be fair, he did show gradual improvement throughout the season, which many stated was because it took him time to become accustomed to CFL Rules.
However, he would not play in the CFL in 2019 because he violated his agreement with the CFL, which required him to see a doctor, go to therapist sessions weekly and to submit weekly lithium tests which were done to treat bipolar disorder. He was released from the Alouettes and barred from signing with any other CFL team.
In 2019, he would play for the Memphis Express and debuted against the Birmingham Iron was a backup for Brandon Silvers. He would complete three of five passes for 48 yards and run for 20 yards. In the March 30th game against the Orlando Apollos, he suffered a concussion and the league suspended football operations three days later.
As for December 30th, he has signed with the Fan Controlled Football League. This came after him saying that football was “a little bit behind me” and not “at the forefront of my mind” when asked about potentially playing in the XFL in September 2020.
Why? He told ESPN that “I felt it would be fun. It’s going to be something I can get behind without being extremely, extremely, extremely serious”. I hate it to break to the 28-year-old, but this is one of the reasons why millennials are not taken seriously. People tend to take their professions seriously, especially when they are being paid millions of dollars to do what they love.
When you get paid millions to do what you love, your life tends to revolve around that. Even if you do not make a lot of money, many people make that their top priority because you are living out a dream you may have had ever since you were a child.
Going from the National Football League to a Fan Controlled League should feel like a participation trophy for Johnny Manziel, especially since he played in two other professional leagues before that.
There is a reason why Skip Bayless and Shannon Sharpe laughed while reporting this story on “Undisputed”, because if he showed that he had a quality work ethic, maybe he could have been successful despite screwing up sometimes and injuries, but he clearly did not and did not show improvement in his production and was let go.
Again, to be fair to Manziel, he has had quite a few legitimate injuries throughout his career, including multiple concussions. He also has had legitimate mental health issues and your health should always come first, whether it involves mental or physical health. However, he has never made things easier on himself by going out to have a good time or not putting in the work necessary for a professional athletic career.