Johnny Manziel and Robert Griffin III are the last two Heisman Trophy winner. While Manziel is still in college for now and Griffin is in his second year with the Washington Redskins, both Heisman recipients had the start of their seasons in grave danger. Yet on Aug. 28, they both got the news that their seasons will start on time after all -- although Manziel will still have to wait a half.
The NCAA and Texas A&M decided to rule Manziel ineligible for the first half of the Aggies’ opener against Rice on Aug. 31. Considering that Manziel could have been ineligible for multiple games or more for his alleged autograph profiteering, the decision was a big relief for him -- and was laughed off by most everyone else.
On the other hand, the start of Griffin’s season was in doubt due to the injuries he suffered to end last year. However, the Redskins finally ruled on Aug. 28 that Griffin will start their Monday night opener against the Philadelphia Eagles on Sept. 9. Of course, this won’t stop Washington from holding its breath every time Griffin runs with the football -- which will have to be a lot in order to take the Redskins to the next level.
With Manziel, the main concern is whether he can shrug off this last month of controversy and grow up a little. But even if he doesn’t, the Aggies will still take a national title run, and a victory over the Alabama Crimson Tide in their mega hyped Sept. 14 showdown.
In the past, Heisman Trophy winners were usually cursed to irrelevance and failed NFL careers. Griffin has been far from a failure, as the only thing that has derailed him is injuries and his high risk playing style. Unfortunately for him and the Redskins, they have still been big obstacles, and the fear is that they could keep looming large this season and beyond.
Will Manziel’s offseason of scandal curse his chances for a Heisman repeat, to say nothing of the Aggies’ dream season and his own NFL hopes? Although he and Griffin got respective reprieves on Aug. 28, it could well be a different story for one or both of them four months down the road.