Johnny Manziel is perhaps the biggest game in college football today. Last year, the Texas A&M quarterback became the first freshman to ever win the coveted Heisman Trophy, and he is expected to be even better when he takes the field for the Aggies this year. However Johnny Manziel has made headlines for all the wrong reasons lately, and as a result is under quite a bit of scrutiny from the sporting world, even getting himself dubbed the ‘Kardashian of football.’
Taking part in the activities that many teenagers also partake in, Manziel has recently taken a vacation to Mexico, flaunted the cash he won at the casino, and partied late into the night. Behavior that isn’t that abnormal for a teenager. However the man who has been to the NBA Finals, thrown out a first pitch at an MLB game, and been allowed to take all of his classes online to avoid the distraction of campus, has recently taken to Twitter to ask people to ‘walk a day in his shoes.’
Seemingly struggling to find the balance of wanting to be a superstar in the spotlight, and hating it when people talk negatively about him, the quarterback is forming a love hate relationship with the media. He loves being the superstar that took the nation by storm last year, however the microscope that comes with that isn’t as desirable, as he is learning.
Taking to Twitter last weekend to express his desire to leave college and join the real world, Manziel Tweeted that “Bull**** like tonight is a reason why I can’t wait to leave College Station … whenever it may be.” He later took down that Tweet and replaced it with another that reads “Don’t ever forget that I love A&M with all of my heart, but please please walk a day in my shoes.”
The comments made by Manziel drew the ire of many in the media, who are beginning to view him as a spoiled child who can not figure out how to be a superstar the right way. USA Today’s David Climer went as far as to call Manziel ‘the Kardashian of football’ in the following statement.
“Let me be the first to say that I love watching the guy play quarterback for Texas A&M. But let me also say I’m starting to consider him the most spoiled brat in intercollegiate athletics. He’s becoming the Kardashian of college football.”
This situation is nothing new to the college football world. A young player coming off of a breakout season, that has no idea how to get out of his own way and avoid negative media attention. Maurice Clarett and Mike Williams come to mind as recent examples of behavior similar to Manziel. The ‘Kardashian of football’ story has not worked out well in the past when looking at the future careers of Clarett and Williams, a concerning omen for the path that Manziel appears to be headed down.
At the end of the day, it is easy for us to forget that Manziel is only a sophomore in college, a teenager. The world asks our superstars to be on a platform and held to higher standards than anyone else in society. He is struggling to adjust to this new found stardom, but who can blame him for it? The man is not even able to buy a drink at a bar yet, and he is already being critiqued for his behavior.
Johnny ‘the Kardashian of football’ Manziel may be struggling to adjust to the spotlight right now, but he has plenty of time left in his collegiate career to learn how to better approach the media and stardom before he takes his talents to the professional level. If he can adapt to the pressures that come with being a superstar, he has the talent to be a legend at A&M.
Follow me on Twitter @CharlieGille
Senior Sports Editor
The Guardian Express