Say whatever about Johnny Manziel, but the guy has no problem putting a target on his back while yearning for the almighty “I told you so” opportunity.
Hence the reason for Johnny Football’s latest buzzworthy quote. The native Texan all but laid the gauntlet down for his home-state Houston Texans, sole proprieters of the top overall pick.
“It would be the worst decision they’ve (the Texans) ever made,” Manziel told The Houston Chronicle. “I’d be in the same division playing against them twice a year. Sorry, but you just turned that chip on my shoulder from a Frito into a Dorito.”
And here I was thinking triple dog dares only happened on TBS on Christmas Eve.
The whole “same division” and “playing against them twice a year” quote comes from Manziel’s assumption the Jacksonville Jaguars would scoop him with the No. 3 pick.
It makes sense John Q. Football would desire to pull off the rare feat of playing all levels of competitive football in his birth state (high school, college and professional). Much like everything else Manziel’s name has been attached to since becoming a household name, it’s simply an unique method to convince the powers that be to feed into the machine that is “Johnny Football.” And similar Manziel’s play on the field, I’m all for it.
In the weeks leading up to the draft, we’ll be bombarded with features – print, digital and TV – on a plethora of NFL-related stories ranging from Michael Sam’s future employer, Teddy Bridgewater’s perfect fit, Jadeveon Clowney’s talent to Manziel’s ability to transfer his erratic and albeit massively entertaining college style of play to the pros.
“I want everybody from the janitor at Reliant Stadium to the front office executive assistant all the way up to (owner) Bob McNair to say, ‘This kid is 100 percent, can’t miss,’” said the Heisman Trophy winner. “‘This is who we want being the face of our program. We want the Texas kid staying in Texas and leading the Texans.’”
The Texans, along with the Falcons, were perhaps the most underachieving squad in the NFL last season. And needless to say, the Matt Schaub era in H-Town reached its expiration date. Houston is in search of a signal caller for a roster with talent already embedded on both sides of the ball.
If I was Manziel, and knowing the team with the top pick features Andre Johnson, Arian Foster – whom he both met at a Rockets game while ironically having better seats than the two All-Pros – DeAndre Hopkins, Brian Cushing and JJ Watt (who wouldn’t be attempting to rip my head off my shoulders twice a year), best believe vocalizing my desire and throwing out the hometown card would sit at the top of my list of priorities as well. Football’s a business, and deep down Football’s treating it as such via unofficial negotiations/elevator pitches to the Texans.
As for the other team in The Lone Star State – the team responsible for taking at least six years off my life – suiting up for the Cowboys ranks as nothing short of an act of a higher football power.
“Me growing up as a Cowboys fan — I was born at halftime of a Cowboys game — that would almost be a folktale in the correct direction,” said Manziel. “We’d have to call that ‘Johnny something else.’ I don’t know what it would be.”
Godspeed, Johnny Blue Star. Godspeed. Going 8-8 and losing to a division rival every Week 17 isn’t fun. Trust.