Texas A&M QB Johnny Manziel has his supporters and his detractors. Deion Sanders, a Hall of Fame player and television analyst, is a supporter, and he believes he knows why there are detractors.
“I love Johnny Football,” Sanders told Roland Martin Reports. “See, the reason people won’t accept Johnny Football is because Johnny Football has ghetto tendencies. I love Johnny Football.”
Sanders clarified that his statement wasn’t racial in nature.
“Because he was successful, he made it, and he let you all know he made it, and he was cocky, he was flamboyant, and he let you know,” Sanders said.
Sanders quickly backed off his statement.
Whether Sanders meant what he said or not, his assertions tend to be superficial.
No one can deny Manziel has been successful at this point in his career. Manziel even admits he “wears his heart on his sleeve” when he plays.
But those reasons don’t go to the root of the problems for some people as it pertains to Manziel.
In fact, Manziel can be viewed in a manner of different ways.
- The NFL prospect. Due to his style of play, Manziel is a divisive figure. One can easily argue he’s a play-maker with an innate ability to improvise. On the other hand, it’s questionable whether that style of play will translate to the NFL and Manziel can’t defeat teams by winning from the pocket on a consistent basis.
- The collegiate phenom. Manziel’s success as a member of the Texas A&M Aggies speaks for itself. He passed for 7,820 yards, threw 63 touchdowns and ran for 2,169 yards. Manziel was also the first freshman to win the Heisman Trophy. Yet, Manziel as also accused of selling his autograph — and was later cleared. Manziel also complained about how he was treated at Texas A&M and that he “can’t wait to leave College Station” and pleaded that people “walk a day in my shoes.” Those tweets were later deleted, but they can certainly be off-putting.
- The salesman. Manziel already appeared in a McDonald’s commercial. Drake recently wrote a song about Manziel. The Nike gear he wore at his pro day is for sale. Many have wondered: Is Johnny Football in it for the football, or for the money and fame?
For every positive Manziel brings to the table, one can argue there is a negative. He is one of the most popular players to ever play college football. Every step of his life is being documented on television or social media. It makes Manziel both an object of affection and scorn, because everything is being played out in public.
As with most high-profile, public figures, there is no consensus opinion on Manziel — and he’s never tried very hard to form one.