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The Trouble with Johnny Football

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Alma, Jul 30, 2013.

  1. Alma

    Alma Well-Known Member

    From Wright Thompson, who again does as well as any in the CFB realm. Gets excellent access and insight from Manziel's parents, who are clearly concerned for their son.


    An excerpt:

    Both his parents believe he won't return for another season in College Station, and until he leaves, they can give love and support and pray that Johnny Football doesn't completely devour Johnathan Manziel.

    "Yeah," Paul says one evening, driving in his car, "it could come unraveled. And when it does, it's gonna be bad. Real bad."

    He imagines a late-night call, and the cable news ticker, and the next morning's headlines.

    "It's one night away from the phone ringing," he says, "and he's in jail. And you know what he's gonna say? 'It's better than all the pressure I've been under. This is better than that.'"

    I look forward to Drew Magary and Deadspin's relentless sarcasm of a parent's worry.
  2. Steak Snabler

    Steak Snabler Well-Known Member

    Very interesting piece, though I could have done without this line:

    I bet Wright then typed a three-paragraph ode to Pappy O'Daniel, then deleted it.
  3. Boom_70

    Boom_70 Well-Known Member

    "Son of Honey Badger"
  4. Michael_ Gee

    Michael_ Gee Well-Known Member

    Crown and Sprite? Clearly a troubled young man -- with no taste buds, either.
  5. Isn't it sad that Wright has to write something on Johnny Football, as opposed to the other brilliant work he's done, for ESPN to parade him across all of its platforms?
  6. hondo

    hondo Well-Known Member

    And not yet of legal drinking age either (back on my soapbox a bout this). Apparently Wright Thompson relates about a half-dozen examples of JM drinking under-aged, without any comment.

    From the story, we also know this:
    1. JM feels free to tell an aunt to "shut up" in public.
    2. He and his father believe it's hilarious to kick or punch people in the sack.
    3. His parents believe there is some kind of conspiracy theory that Texas A&M is out to "get" the kid who brought the school attention and millions. That someone from Texas A&M leaked the arrest story. That Texas A&M withheld his replica of the Heisman (which most Heisman winners let their schools display).
    4. That his parents were about ready to order vanity license plates with JFF on them (Johnny Fucking Football) before their 17-year-old daughter, apparently the only person in the family with any perspective, tells them that it might be a classless thing for two parents to do.
    5. His father says his son drinks to handle the stress, seemingly more concerned about the stress than the drinking.

    This kid is screwed up. And it doesn't take a long reach to see why.
  7. Boom_70

    Boom_70 Well-Known Member

    Imagine the likes of John David Crow, Bobby Layne , Joe Namath and Ken Stabler
    in this era of college football. They would have been a tweet a minute of their
    late night work.
  8. Alma

    Alma Well-Known Member

    It's Wright Thompson, so there's always lines one can do without.

    But he's in his element writing about college football, a grotesque, ridiculous thing for as long as I've been alive, especially in the South. His style fits it.

    If Manziel became a professional trainwreck, hell, he might be a more valuable person for the insight he gained than if he's a pro quarterback, where all of these traits shown in the story could congeal into an almost-insufferable phony and showboat. Cam Newton certainly is.
  9. Alma

    Alma Well-Known Member

    Just Texans being Texans, my friend.
  10. Dick Whitman

    Dick Whitman Well-Known Member

    It's what people are interested in. It's why Miranda Kerr gets the GQ cover while Chris Heath's brilliant piece on the Ohio wild animals gone wild that won the National Magazine Award is squirreled away inside.

    Fun fact: The first Pulitzer feature winner ran on a the local section front in the Baltimore Sun. Not even A1.
  11. LongTimeListener

    LongTimeListener Well-Known Member

    That was a great story. I didn't know it had gotten that bad down there.

    hondo, it sounded to me like they were talking about Manziel's copy of the Heisman -- as in, there are two versions of it, one for the school and one for the player, but the school may have been taking both on the road for fund-raising stops and such. At least that's how I read it.
  12. Bob Cook

    Bob Cook Active Member

    Johnny Football's spoiled upbringing had a lot of Jeff George in it.
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