Johnny Manziel: Is The Backlash Fair?By: Toni Matthews-El - August 20, 2014
Johnny “Football” Manziel’s recent behavior has been a gift to every football fan who simply can’t stand the Cleveland Browns quarterback.
His decision to party in Las Vegas was a point of major contention over the summer.
Despite his age and the fact that it the NFL offseason was in full swing, certain observers held an indignant stance regarding Manziel’s trip to Sin City.
The criticism was such that Manziel felt the need to share his playbook on social media in an effort to demonstrate his ability to multitask.
Unfortunately for Johnny Football, the flames were fanned yet again on Monday.
The truth of the matter is that he really has no one else to blame for the new round of haterade but himself.
Late in the third quarter of Monday night’s game versus the Washington Redskins, Manziel raised his middle finger in the direction of his opponents.[timeout]
Johnny Manziel's rough night will be remembered for one moment over anything else… pic.twitter.com/aA0plFfCNj
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) August 19, 2014
The tense match would end with the Browns falling short in a 24-23 loss.
Here’s the thing: The quarterback is supposed to be the leader on the field.
The quarterback sets the tone for the game and the other players often follow. A rookie quarterback is rarely a natural leader. However with the entire NFL and its fans breathing down his neck, a new and highly scrutinized quarterback cannot afford such a “lapse in judgement”.
That was the description used by Manziel to describe his behavior.[timeout]
— TMZ (@TMZ) August 20, 2014
It’s a hard lesson to learn, but Manziel must realize that this is a professional league that is watched around the world.
Even though the words exchanged are often of the R-rated variety, the audience rarely ever hears what is said.
A hand gesture? Yeah, that has staying power.
It is something that is broadcast on television, will hit the front pages of newspapers, and will circulate throughout social media.
A moment like that, if Manziel does not step up his game on the field, could end up as the ONLY proof of his presence in the National Football League.
As such, Manziel must put the criticism of his behavior on the back burner. It’s a fair enough assessment that he behaved poorly.
With the regular season quickly approaching, Manziel is going to have to roll with the punches (and sacks).
He’s going to have to get up, dust himself off, and accept that scrutiny is inevitable. He is not expected to be perfect, but he is expected to be a better man that he showed himself to be on Monday.
If Johnny Football begins to play as well as his supporters believe he is capable of, his “lapse” will be forgiven and forgotten.