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The Lookout | April 20, 2018

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Manziel is NFL’s ‘Affluenza Kid’

Manziel is NFL’s ‘Affluenza Kid’
The Lookout

Rich Schenck
Sports Editor

The “Johnny Football” circus continues to be a round-the-clock drama and we can’t change the channel. We just happen to be the unwilling studio audience.

Let’s face it. Johnny Manziel, the much-hyped Cleveland Browns quarterback, needs serious help. His agent, Erik Burkhardt smartly dumped him recently. And his father, Paul, used the power of The Dallas Morning News as a plea for help.

“I truly believe if they can’t get him help, he won’t live to see his 24th birthday,” Paul Manziel is quoted as saying.

That is the kind of bombshell that has undoubtedly snapped his detractors (me being one of them) into the reality this isn’t just about a hard partying kid.

Manziel has been involved in multiple incidents relating to domestic violence. He ran off to Vegas the weekend he was supposed to undergo concussion protocol. And he has avoided putting in serious work with the Browns like it was the plague.

Asking the question, “Who is responsible?” is a like sticking your hand in the garbage disposal. You know you really shouldn’t, but sometimes you just have to.

Is it Texas A&M Coach Kevin Sumlin’s fault for enabling all of the “Johnny Football” hype? Is it the Manziel family wealth and lack of grounding their son? Is it the Browns’ fault they didn’t keep a tighter leash on their draft pick?

All of these are possible. But as a man, it’s on Johnny.

Sports history has been littered with cases of young millionaire athletes struggling to adjust to the big lights and big money.

Manziel is a special case because it’s been in his life for years, before he strapped up for Texas A&M.

The talk should not be about whether or not Dallas Cowboys’ owner Jerry Jones is going to sign Manziel. The talk should not be about Manziel’s chance to become a superstar in the NFL, like he was in college.

The talk needs to be about how anyone with any influence on this kid’s life can reach him and get him help. Johnny Manziel is on a path to being an NFL bust, and just another sad statistic.

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