I didn't think he would be great, but I did think he had enough physical ability to be a competent NFL quarterback and I said so publicly.
What I did not take into consideration is the fact that the man seemingly has both the impulse control of a child, and is possibly the stupidest quarterback since Ryan Leaf.
Take this recent photo of Mssr. Manziel in Mexico:
|An idiot and his weed|
Here's a guy that had no business being close to Millions of dollars showing us that, in the game of life, some people don't have any ambition at all.
Manziel got paid the big bucks and went off the rails. He's digressed from a QB prospect in the NFL to a never-was who had one good season in college and parlayed it into a multi-Million dollar contract from the Cleveland Browns.
And his career is kaput.
He's never going to play football, at the professional level, again and the chances of him emerging from this as a productive member of society are growing slimmer by the day, much like his frame. He looks less like an NFL quarterback now than he does a frat guy. A dope-smoking, hard-drinking frat guy at that. You don't find many of those playing quarterback for professional football teams.
Unfortunately, we're going to continue to be subjected to Mr. Manziel's antics because the world loves a train-wreck, and Johnny is the best train-wreck to come down the pipe since Lindsey Lohan went off the rails in a cocaine-fueled fireball.
Sure, he says that he's going "totally sober" after this one, last blowout in Mexico but you really don't believe that. His check-in to 'rehab' didn't do any good so I'm curious why we think that a pinkie swear is going to stick where professional help didn't.
Contrary to the tone of this post, I'm not mad at Manziel. I'm neither a fan of aTm or of the Browns, and I certainly didn't (and don't) want him on my team.
But I am a little bit sad, because one the field, when properly coached and motivated, he displayed some incredible skill.
What he has never displayed is a sense that none of this is owed to him. For that I blame his parents, his dad's protestations and pathetic pleas for someone to help Johnny to the contrary.
If anything, Manziel is the poster-boy for all of the wrong ways we treat athletes. He was coddled, and probably passed through, every challenge he faced. He was never forced to face down adversity or overcome a challenge like the rest of us. He was thrown into a world for which he was totally unprepared, full of booze, drugs, women and God knows what else. It's a world that I don't pretend to understand, and honestly have no desire to.
But, it's all he has left.
Because of that I blew it on projecting his career and life goes on no poorer. So did many others. To be fair, many got it right.
Out of all of this the sad thing is there are going to be no repercussions for the paid prognosticators that got it wrong. They won't have to admit blame and, if they're also idiots like Skip Bayless, they can throw their incorrect analysis down the memory hole and pile on shamelessly.
Such is life in the consequence-free land of sports media. Be as wrong as you like, no one will remember.
All I can say is this: I HOPE that I remember, when analyzing prospects, that character matters, a lot. That's why I'm still luke-warm on the future prospects of Laremy Tunsil and others.
Is that fair? I don't know. But since we have no perfect crystal ball it's all we have to go on.