After last weekend’s bizarre showing, more and more people seem to be off the Johnny Manziel bandwagon. The exodus started in the offseason when he was seen and often photographed doing immature, obnoxious things and really reached a flood when the allegations came out regarding the possibility that he had signed autographs for money.
The Buckeye Ninja’s official policy on players being rewarded financially for, well, anything is that if someone wants to pay a teenager to play football or basketball for a particular school, a fool and his money are soon parted. We certainly don’t clutch pearls – in fact we don’t have pearls to clutch – when word comes out that a college student may have sold something he or she owned.
Because we aren’t dirty pinko commies. As Shooter McGavin might say, FREE MARKET BABAY! *double pistols*
That’s not to say the universities don’t have an interest in setting some kinds of boundaries in order to maintain a semblance of competitive balance – not at all. Just that their current position does not sufficiently compensate the young men who work very hard and whose efforts bring in significantly more money than they will ever see.
To make a long story short, it was bullshit when Terrelle Pryor, DeVier Posey, et. al. got punished by the NCAA, and it’s bullshit when anyone else gets punished for the same or a similar thing. A.J. Green, for example.
So we are very inclined to be on the side of young Mr. Football. When he is playing well there are only a handful of players who can do what he does, and the fact that he’s so young makes it when more impressive.*
But watching the highlights from Saturday afternoon we can’t help thinking, damn, what a douche.
*-The most impressive football I’ve ever seen was put forth by Michael Vick in a game I watched in Atlanta in 2003. He made a few plays that made me swear. In appreciation. Manziel is capable of making similar plays and has on occasion. His performance against Louisiana Tech last season was a thing of beauty.
At the same time it’s hard to get too down on the kid. He’s 20 years old. When we were 20 we were still figuring out how to prioritize between paying our share of our bills, going to class, working, and paying for alcohol. If we’d had a Heisman trophy we’d have been a massive douche too.