Not 35 hours after Texas A&M won the Cotton Bowl, decidedly handing the Oklahoma Sooners a solid loss, Johnny Manziel is number six on Google hot trending topics on January 6, but it’s not for offensive brilliance on the football field—rather it’s for being photographed in a trendy 21-to-enter Dallas bar, Avenu, with a fired-up sparkler in his mouth and flashing cash at an Oklahoma casino the day after.
The Manziel trending item follows the NHL negotiations, the NFL playoffs, the NFL playoff schedule, the NFL schedule, and the Alaska earthquake, but ranked ahead of Jets coach Rex Ryan’s tattoo and the Fiesta Bowl. It’s not a good situation for young Manziel. One Examiner.com writer who covers the OU Sooners was first up with his story. It won't be found on aggieathletics.com, though,
On the arguably sleaziest, but effective, internet sports site, TMZ sports, their photographers definitely got their man, live on camera. Sadly, Manziel is clutching what is identified by TMZ as a bottle of Dom Perignon in his left hand. The young Heisman trophy winner was featured in four photos on the site. Some posters commented that the under-age Manziel was accompanied by his father as a supervising adult.
You might immediately want to credit TMZ as the super-snoopy media watchdogs waiting to embarrass, but then the Dallas Morning News picked it up, and then just four hours ago, USA Today posted Manziel’s own Instagram photo with a fist full of dollars at an Oklahoma casino, where it’s legal to gamble if you’re over 18.
USA Today notes:
“This weekend, Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel posted an Instagram photo of himself holding a fanned handful of cash, tagged with the caption “casino ballin.” After the posting created the requisite moral rumblings, Manziel, who had led his Texas A&M Aggies to a decisive Cotton Bowl victory the night before, deleted the photo. He posted a follow-up tweet: “Nothing illegal about being 18+ in a casino and winning money...KEEP HATING!”
There’s a big difference between real, solid quality journalism and the buzz on internet as a category of media, to be sure, but everyone wants to be first with the hottest news, and if something is even an hour old on the internet, it’s old news.
But now, for some internet media mavens and ravens, Manziel is roadkill for the pummeling, and sadly he’s added to some of that himself, it seems. It hasn’t even been 48 hours since Manziel was photographed with the Cotton Bowl trophy and his teammates surrounding Aggie Head Coach Kevin Sumlin in a victory picture.
It’s really not all that embarrassing for Aggies or the university. It’s going to be labeled “good bull,” just wait and see. It’s been much worse than a cacophony of clatter and clucking sounds from Boomer Sooners. Back in the day, many among the “good ol’ Ags” would treat the entire Aggie football team to a visit to LaGrange, Texas, and that was the stuff that was turned into a Broadway play and a movie starring, among others, Dolly Parton, Burt Reynolds, and the late award-winning actor, Charles Durning, who “danced a little sidestep.” Watch the video and remember.
Boys will be boys, and men will be men, but there’s no doubt about two things. Come tomorrow, Head Coach Kevin Sumlin is going to be pummeled with questions from some curious journalists, and Aggie marketing wizards are going to have a lot of spinning to do. Who knows? Maybe they’ll turn the spotlight, quickly, onto the Texas A&M women’s basketball team and men’s basketball team, at last.
Gig ‘em Johnny, and let the Internet buzzers have their field day. Don’t let it happen again. You're a little past the 24-hour window that the coach gives the team to celebrate a victory. Shut down your social media accounts and keep on playing like a champion. It will all be over tomorrow, just like everything else that isn’t positive about A&M. With a high-dollar team in place to handle things just like this, it will be: Buzz. Buzz. Spin. Spin. Heisman Trophy. Heisman Trophy. Heisman Trophy.
And it's like the t-shirt says, available for ordering on the aggieathletics.com web site, "No Heisman without the MAN." It is what is and what it is, is, football is king at Texas A&M. Always has been, always will be. And, just wait until next year. The bulldozers of improvement are now forming a line at the north of Kyle Field.