Johnny Manziel is a second year quarterback for the Cleveland Browns, whose trouble is off the field and definitely not on it. The 22 year-old Texas native had a bit of a spat involving a water bottle and a fan this past Saturday (May 30) at a golf tournament he was in attendance at. It was described as being about nothing, other than some mild heckling on the assaultee’s part. Manziel also has a career starting simultaneously as a baseball player.
He was at the AT&T Byron Nelson golf tournament with his girlfriend and some friends ,when a teenage fan kept pestering him for an autograph. The young fan was annoyingly persistent to the NFL player, who just wanted to relax and watch the event. Manziel eventually snapped and threw a water bottle in the direction of the fan, hitting the wall behind him. However, the young man did not take the more than subtle hint and proceeded to make an irritating remark that resulted in one of the football star’s friends shoving the young fan. Eventually the police were called in, but nothing came of the incident and the fan who started the commotion did not want to press charges. Former NBA player Charles Barkley commented that his friends should have done more than shove the guy, to put him in his place.
Manziel a first round draft pick by the Browns, has not disappointed anyone. This year he has been working very hard to improve his abilities, and has earned the respect of several of his teammates for his dedication and commitment. After a brief stretch in rehab, he began to work harder to take care of himself, and improve his skills to help his performance on the field. Quarterback Manziel’s trouble off field has not, at least at this time, moved on to the field.
The Cleveland Quarterback is from Tyler, Texas and is a former Texas AM student. Manziel was the first college freshman to win the Heisman Trophy, as well as the Manning and the Davey O’ Brian awards. During his sophomore year in 2012, he totaled his football subdivision (FSB) to about 7,000 yards, and over his first two seasons of play he reached 2,000 rushing yards. He finished both seasons with over 2,100 yards for rushing, and over 7,800 yards for passing. He was the first quarterback in the Texas Aggies history to average 300 yards a game in passing in 2013. From 2012-2013, he led the university in rushing yards. No other player in the NCAA has had a combine total yards of over 5,100 in one complete season.
Manziel was also an avid baseball player in high school, and in 2014 he was drafted in the 28th round as the 837th player to be looked at by the San Diego Padres. New York has nicknamed him Johnny Baseball. Back in 2013, he went to California for a quarterback coach to work with him, and while he was in town he paid a visit to the Padres. Josh Byrnes realized, after talking with him, how much he loved baseball and asked if he wanted the Padres to draft him, Manziel’s response was overwhelmingly filled with excitement, saying an unquestionably yes. When Byrnes was asked if there was any hesitation that he was drafted in the 28th round, Byrnes jokingly said that they just really liked the guy that was in the 27th. According to ESPN stats, it is unlikely that a player at 837 ever gets to play in a MLB game. When he had first started batting practice he was a little excited and the bat went flying, but he did calm down and slam one into the right field wall. The right fielder responded by admitting that he did not realize Manziel played baseball, but after all Texas is big on both sports.
Manziel may have a bit of trouble at the golf course, but on the football field his quarterback career is on the right track, and his baseball career seems to have no trouble either. In June of 2014, he was set to throw the first pitch at an Indians game, but a rain delay caused it not to happen. The closer for the Padres said Manziel was a good sport, and he liked him.
By Katherine Miller-Chichester
ESPN: Padres draft Johnny Manziel 837th
USA Today: Johnny Manziel harassed at golf tournament, no charges filed
Clevelandbrowns.com: Players, Johnny Manziel
CBS Sports: Browns Johnny Manziel throws water bottle at fan
The Dallas Morning News: Charles Barkley blames his punk friends for water bottle incident
Photo courtesy of Erik Drost’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License
Photo 2 by Nathan Rupert’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License