OPINION: Johnny, be gone
Manziel wants out of College Station. Time to let him.
Published: Tuesday, June 18, 2013
Updated: Tuesday, June 18, 2013 13:06
Eds. Note: This is an opinion column written by a staff member of The Battalion in response to a guest column received Monday afternoon. Read the guest column here.
Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel is, once again, at the center of the sports world’s attention. This time though there’s little sympathy and fewer people on his side. Johnny Football has finally made an uncalculated mistake that will have ramifications.
Late Saturday night Manziel tweeted, “[Expletive] like tonight is a reason why I can’t wait to leave College Station … whenever it may be.”
Monday morning his tweet was the focus of SportsCenter’s centerpiece story. His message also made the front pages of Yahoo!, ESPN and countless other websites.
Being just the latest stunt he has pulled since the last football season ended, Manziel has answered the questions we’ve all wondered. He wants out of College Station and out of Texas A&M en route to what he deems bigger and better things.
It’s time to send Johnny Football down the proverbial one-year hallway in the house that is Texas A&M and straight out the front door.
Manziel’s tweet suggested something happened to make him think this way. He quickly deleted the tweet and responded with, “Don’t ever forget that I love A&M with all of my heart, but please please walk a day in my shoes.”
A day in Manziel’s shoes would equal a lifetime for many of us “regular” people. His affection for the school will not go unnoticed, but with this latest headline it’s time to begin looking at life without the only freshman to win the Heisman Trophy.
For months critics have bantered back-and-forth on Manziel’s NFL status. Because he was redshirted in his first year at A&M, he can declare for the NFL after this coming football season.
He could also stay at A&M for as many as two more years.
So the debate raged on as summer approached. Manziel wouldn’t stay both years, but if his draft stock is less than promising next April then maybe he’ll stay one more year.
Those hopes were all but crushed when he opted to tweet after midnight on a Saturday, which is surely a bad idea in the unwritten Twitter rulebook for people with more than 1,000 followers. Manziel has 368,000.
All of this does not mean that as fans, students and faculty we cannot appreciate what he has done. It is due in large part to Manziel’s Heisman-winning season that the A&M football program is more relevant than it has ever been in more than 100 years of activity.
Coach Kevin Sumlin has the top recruiting class in the nation and he is able to sell those recruits on the fact that they too can win a Heisman Trophy wearing the Maroon and White.
University President R. Bowen Loftin and the A&M marketing team is using this success to promote the school academically and applications are at an all-time high.
A&M will begin construction several months from now on a $430 million renovation to Kyle Field. The new stadium will feature statues surrounding the walkways and one can believe Manziel may have one of his own someday.
His accomplishments are noted but no matter the outcome of the promising 2013 season it is time to watch Manziel ride off into the sunset. Johnny Football wants out and as a selfish observer, I want him out as well.
I want to know if he can succeed in his second season, trying to live up to the hype. From there I want to see if he can be the latest Aggie taken in the NFL draft. I’m interested to see what Manziel can do as a professional quarterback.
But most importantly I want to see how Kevin Sumlin and the other 100 players on the Texas A&M roster prove that all of this wasn’t just the Johnny Manziel show and that A&M as a program can contend for years to come.