A Very American Coup By Michael – Louis Ingram, Editor-in-Chief...
Johnny Be Good
The SEC had Tim Tebow.
Plus, Cam Newton.
But now, they have Johnny Manziel.
And, I must confess, Manziel is good but not great.
Besides, he is only 5’11 and not your typical three-step drop quarterback.
But despite all of that, he still is the only freshman to win the Heisman in the history of college football.
Some, however, believe Manziel’s Heisman win over Norte Dame’s linebacker Manti Te’o was simply the SEC flexing its political muscles, especially when you consider fact that the Aggies lost two games in the regular season against Florida and LSU with Manziel under center.
But after seeing Alabama annihilated the Fighting Irish 42-14 in the BSC National Championship game on Monday night, many college football fans wished “Johnny Football” and the Aggies of Texas A&M had been given another opportunity to face BAMA.
Along with Manziel’s Heisman Trophy, he also became the fourth FBS quarterback to have 20 touchdowns passing and 20 touchdowns rushing in the same season.
The other 20-20 quarterbacks were Auburn’s Cam Newton (Panthers) and Florida’s Tim Tebow (Jets), who like Manziel are Heisman winners from the SEC, and Nevada’s Colin Kaepernick (49ers).
With all of these accomplishments so early in his college career, it’s hard for Manziel not to be overwhelmed by them.
The New College Celebrity
We have seen evidence of this in pictures of him surrounded by blondes and Dom Perignon at Avenue Nightclub in Houston, images of him flashing cash at Winstar Casino in Oklahoma, and photos of him sitting court-side at the Miami Heat-Dallas Mavericks game, which caused NBA commentator Steve Kerr to question how the young freshman could afford such expensive seats.
Despite these PR mistakes, Johnny Football’s flashiness has been celebrated as simply a college kid having a good time.
Therefore, “Johnny Football” cockiness, remains me of Anthony Michael Hall‘s character Johnny Walker in the movie Johnny Be Good, which was made in 1988.
One, however, has to wonder if Manziel’s was Black, whether sports reporters would have called him a Thug if these types of images would have surfaced on the Internet.
Regardless of the negative press, Johnny Football is still the new celebrity of college football. Plus, he is no church boy like the beloved Tim Tebow, which some find refreshing.
But sadly, some sports writers have, unfortunately, quickly starting to call him the “greatest college football player ever.”
First of all, this is the SEC country.
And as much as the state of Texas wants to make Manziel the best player in the SEC, let’s put history in its proper perspective.
Let’s not forget, this is the same conference that produced Reggie White (Tennessee), Emmitt Smith (Florida), Cornelius Bennett (Alabama), Champ Bailey (Georgia), Patrick Willis (Ole Miss), Derrick Thomas (Alabama) and Mark Ingram (Alabama), who won a Heisman trophy in 2009, and ended his Alabama career with over 4,000 total yards and 42 touchdowns.
Therefore, let’s not allow them to high-jack history for the sake of Johnny “Football.”
Yeah, it’s a new era of college football, according to a few college analysts, where Johnny Manziel has become the Eminem of the NCAA with a cool nickname.
Plus, I know the SEC is happy the Aggies, who left the Big 12 last year, are part of the conference now.
This was made evident after Manziel’s threw a 33-yard TD pass to Ryan Swope with four minutes left in the third quarter in the Cotton Bowl against Oklahoma and the crowd started chanting “S-E-C!, S-E-C!”
Remember the greats
With that said, Johnny Football’s talent can not be compared to Auburn’s Bo Jackson, who won the Heisman in 1985, while rushing for 4,303 yards and 43 touchdowns in his career at Auburn.
Nor can his athleticism or his freshman season be compared to the great Herschel Walker’s, who led Georgia to an undefeated season and a national championship in 1980 as a freshman.
Matter of fact, even though, Manziel has already established himself as a living legend in the state of Texas by winning the Heisman Trophy as a freshman, defeating top-ranked Alabama in Tuscaloosa in November, and dancing and scrambling for a total of over 500 yards and four touchdowns in the 41-13 Cotton Bowl victory against the 11th ranked Oklahoma Sooners, he still isn’t the best quarterback in the history of SEC.
As I stated previously, this is the SEC not Texas.
QB’s from the SEC
So, while many have proclaimed Manizel the “greatest football player ever,” let’s remember Archie Manning (Ole Miss), Joe Namath (Alabama), Eli Manning (Ole Miss), Auburn’s Pat Sullivan, who won the Heisman in 1961, Florida’s Dan Wuerffel, who won a Heisman and a National Title in 1996,Florida’s Steve Spurrier, who won the Heisman in 1966, and Tennesee’s Peyton Manning, who threw for 11, 201 yards, while being the all-time winningest SEC QB with a 39 and 5 record.
Yeah, I know that Manziel may become the only player since Ohio State’s Archie Griffin to win multiple Heismans, but let’s not put him in the category of a Peyton Manning yet.
Seriously, it is way too early for this type of talk.
Manziel, himself, it seems, hasn’t let all the hype go to his head.
Why? Because he says he wants to get better this off-season, by hitting the weight room, and going to California to workout with quarterback guru George Whitfield, who worked with both Cam Newton and Andrew Luck in order to improve his flawed mechanics and footwork.
If Manziel does all of this, his legend will continue to grow and he could possibly walk away with the Heisman Trophy again next year.
But until then, the legend of Johnny Football remains one of the biggest stories in college football folklore.