Tuesday, May 27, 2014

The Unbearable Lightness of Manziel

Two Girls One Brown
Just in case you were living under the delusion that football is like any other sport, and that the times we are living in have not changed completely and irrevocably for the worse, consider the front-page World Wide Lemur story today on Johnny Manziel.

Manziel, the Heisman Trophy QB from Texas A&M and first round draft pick of the Cleveland Browns, went to Las Vegas this last weekend.

He did not miss any team practices. The Browns were off for the Memorial Day weekend.

While he was in Las Vegase, he was not arrested.

He did not get married, demonstrate a drinking or gambling problem, or, do well, anything else of note.

As far as we can tell, he broke no law.

And it made the front page of ESPN, because Manziel dared to share the details of his life with the people who choose to follow him on social media, and because, well, people who go to Vegas do that sort of thing.

No, seriously.

Now, to be clear, it's been a very slow day in sports. And the goings-on of the Cleveland Browns are incredibly relevant to, um, the people who care about the Cleveland Browns. That's at least one of the top 32 teams in the league, right?

But this, of course, is not the problem. You see, only Very Serious People, extreme nerds, men for whom studying NFL defenses is the be-all and end-all of their existence, can succeed at QB.

You know, guys like Russell Wilson, who played baseball in his spare time. Or Peyton Manning, who is filming a commercial while you read this. (Prove me wrong.) Or Tom Brady, who has spent much of his life enjoying his off-season with downright terrifying selfie photos, or Aaron Rodgers and Drew Brees, both of whom also have national television campaigns, or Eli Manning, who shows up on all of the regional New York ads he can muster, or...

Well, you get the point.

You know who never goes to Vegas on his weekend off, and never stops preparing for his job as an NFL QB?

Matt Schaub. And Chad Henne. And Alex Smith, and the vast majority of second and third stringers.

I'm also pretty sure Jason Campbell can study you under the table, and that Brandon Weeden, Colt McCoy, Seneca Wallace, Jake Delhomme and Brady Quinn could shine an apple and rock a clipboard like nobody's business.

To be clear: I have no idea if Manziel can be a good NFL QB. I have no idea if a guy that is his size can stay healthy (Wilson notwithstanding, small generally gets hurt more than big), or if he's got the discipline and mental acuity for the position. I have no idea if anyone on God's green earth can be a consistent and positive QB for the Browns franchise, seeing as how the high-water mark for this franchise is the single good year of Derek Anderson's career.

But what I do know is this.

If you honestly think that he's worthy of 24/7 monitoring, or that a weekend in freaking May is going to be the difference in his preparation, or that you are going to be able to slut-shame him into being the perfect automaton QB...

You might be, well, in desperate need of a life. Or brain...

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