Shortly after Johnny Manziel created the most famous alter ego in Cleveland sports history, “Billy” put a sheet up over the front door of his suburban Cleveland home.
Perhaps Johnny Manziel just isn’t good at insulation. He is a Texas kid. What would he know about staying warm when the temperatures dip below freezing on the north shore of Ohio?
Or maybe Manziel wants to hide from TMZ, the tabloid website that posted a grocery-store image of Manziel buying chips and wine following his weekend in Vegas.
As the Browns attempt to add stability to a front office rocked by upheaval since Jimmy Haslam took ownership, Manziel continues to draw attention for living his life outside the lines at FirstEngery Stadium.
A couple of thoughts on Manziel, and the off-the-field coverage he brings upon himself.
He’s a former Heisman winner and the one-time chosen-one savior of the Browns. He just so happens to play the most popular sport in the country, in addition to the position that grabs the biggest spotlight. He also has demons. Like it or not, everything he does is a story.
That’s why WTAM News Radio 1100 published the story about Manziel putting a sheet up over his front door in Avon, Ohio, situated about 25 miles west of Cleveland.
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The start of Manziel’s offseason is even more tumultuous than 2015, a winter which saw the former A&M gunslinger enter rehab for an undisclosed treatment. Reports indicated that Johnny had problems with alcohol abuse, and most wanted to believe he kicked the problem heading into training camp last July.
But a mid-season squabble with his girlfriend where he admitted to drinking, a Dom Perignon rap video, and a trip to Vegas later, and it would seem Johnny didn’t just fall off the wagon, he jumped off, going 180 mph.
His latest venture to Sin City gives credence to the conspiracy theory working around Manziel’s entrance into concussion protocol.
ESPN Cleveland reporter Tony Grossi went on the Dan Patrick show Tuesday, and talked about how more than one source said Manziel went home because he was “disheveled.” Patrick had asked if Manziel was “disheveled and inebriated.”
Mike Pettine shot down these rumors at Sunday’s post-game presser, but maybe he was just protecting the Browns–the team that’s paying him an estimated $7 million to be their coach any longer.
Grossi told Patrick: “I was told he was all disheveled and not in working condition, let’s say, and he was sent home. and that was the last, pretty much the team saw of him until after the weekend.”
Some want Manziel realeased. Others want him to play, blaming the media for everything that’s gone wrong in Manziel’s NFL career.
He may have an NFL future, but his career is on life support. The Browns don’t have to release him, because he’s under contract for two more years. They’ll probably attempt to trade him when the league calendar begins anew this March.
Then we’ll see how many NFL teams want to take on the Manziel headache. It’s been reported that 25 teams would pass on Manziel, so don’t count on there being much of a market.
He’s a talented individual, unfortunately for Cleveland, he’s also flawed. And we’ll never know what Johnny Football could have been.