Over the weekend, Johnny Manziel set off a media frenzy when he showed up and partied in Las Vegas, including attending UFC 173 (see above) as well as a pool party with fellow NFL-er Rob Gronkowski. What was everyone so worked up about? Well, it made people start to wonder whether or not Johnny Football had the focus to be a great quarterback in the NFL or whether partying would cause his downfall.
I decided to debate the only person who is able to match wits with me — and that person is me.
Red = Big Deal; Blue = Not a Big Deal
Me: Thanks for taking time to talk about this.
Me: No problem, happy to do it.
Me: Okay, let's get started. Anyone who thinks that this is not a big deal is blind to the past of Johnny Manziel. One of the questions coming into the draft was Manziel's focus and whether or not he was more wrapped-up in his own celebrity persona than actually playing football. This just is another confirmation that he is not going to cha...
Me: Let me stop you right there. After winning the Heisman Trophy following his 2012 season at Texas A&M, the media scrutiny on him grew exponentially. Yes, he partied. Yes, he had fun. Which is not much different than 99% of other college students. If partying was a big deal that would distract Manziel, than you would have guessed that he would have struggled in his following season. But he didn't. In fact, he put up BETTER statistics. Who's to say he can't succeed in the NFL?
Me: College football is not the NFL. He will be responsible for so much more than what he was before. Quarterbacks need to know everything that is going on. You don't get that point as a rookie unless you are 100% focused. You always hear about the legendary study habits of the great quarterbacks; Manziel doesn't seem to be there.
Me: Even the greats didn't spend every waking moment studying. Manziel even Instagramed a photo responding to haters like you:
Me: Congrats, he remembered to pack his playbook.
Me: Wow, you really are a hater.
Me: I'm not a hater, but when you are in the spotlight of being an NFL quarterback, you need to make sure you don't do things to draw more attention away from football. If people outside of the NFL locker room are asking about his focus, then I'm guessing some of his new teammates may be wondering the same thing. Not to mention, each time something like this happens, his teammates will be fielding questions about it. It will be a distraction.
Me: Only time will tell I guess. If he plays well, all this becomes an afterthought. In the NFL, all that matters is that you produce on the field.
Me: That's the first smart thing you have said.
So what do you think? Is Manziel's life off-the-field going to prevent him from ever being a great NFL quarterback?