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JOHNNY ON THE SPOT
ANDY STAPLES
August 05, 2013
JOHNNY MANZIEL IS LEARNING THAT BEING JOHNNY FOOTBALL IS A 24/7 GIG WITH MANY PERKS BUT A FEW PITFALLS TOO. THE ONE HE KEEPS TRIPPING ON IS ACCEPTING THAT EVERYTHING HAS CHANGED
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August 05, 2013

Johnny On The Spot

JOHNNY MANZIEL IS LEARNING THAT BEING JOHNNY FOOTBALL IS A 24/7 GIG WITH MANY PERKS BUT A FEW PITFALLS TOO. THE ONE HE KEEPS TRIPPING ON IS ACCEPTING THAT EVERYTHING HAS CHANGED

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• Buy a house for his parents, Paul and Michelle, who have funded his adventures.

• Get drafted into the NFL.

• See his sister, Meri, who will start college next year, get married.

• Meet Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods, Will Ferrell and Adam Sandler.

• Play St. Andrews.

• Go to Rio de Janeiro.

Manziel figures he can eliminate two items at once by attending a World Cup match in Rio. If he does, he'll try to bring along A&M's former offensive coordinator Kliff Kingsbury, the 33-year-old Texas Tech coach. "Coach Kingsbury and me always talk about moving there together to be deejays," Manziel says. Adds Kingsbury, "Can you think of a better wingman than Johnathan Football in Brazil?"

Does this all sound too frivolous? Instead of partying with rappers, playing golf and imagining beaches, should Manziel have spent the past seven months thinking Deep Football Thoughts about what will happen on Sept. 14, when Alabama defensive coordinator Kirby Smart orders a 255-pound Jack linebacker to zoom into the backfield with the intention of knocking the 6-foot, 210-pound Manziel on his Heisman Trophy--winning butt? Should Manziel have spent all that time figuring out how he'll communicate with his teammates on Nov. 23, when the voices of more than 92,000 clog the dank air at LSU's Tiger Stadium?

Manziel thought about that stuff, too, but it didn't generate any headlines. The golf did. The Finals games did. The time spent with Drake, Wale and Rick Ross did. Ditto for Manziel's appearance alongside his model ex-girlfriend, Sarah Savage, in the video for country singer Granger Smith's "Silverado Bench Seat." After the interview for this story last week, Manziel mentioned that he'd be heading to Austin to visit friends, maybe hit a few frat parties. On Sunday, video emerged of a thrown beverage barely missing Manziel after he was asked to leave a party near the Texas campus. That made headlines, too. "I probably rubbed people the wrong way in some cases," Manziel says, "but at the end of the day, people are mad at me and people are upset at me because I'm doing everything they want to do."

They're upset, too, about his tweeting his desire to leave College Station. The tweet came about, Manziel says, because a city police officer woke Manziel's roommate, Steven Brant, at about midnight to warn that he was going to ticket Manziel's car, which was parked in the wrong direction. Manziel, who was on a fishing trip with teammates near Corpus Christi, says he told the officer on the phone that he had the only set of keys and that he would move the car as soon as he returned in the morning. Manziel was ticketed anyway, and he voiced his displeasure on Twitter. "When it went from zero to 400 retweets," Manziel says, "I knew it was going to be bad." Manziel's attempt at an apology made it worse. He asked his followers to "please walk a day in my shoes." Many of those followers, Manziel quickly learned, would be more than happy to trade places and were turned off by the notion that he considered his jet-setting life difficult.

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