Monday, December 21, 2015

The trouble with Johnny

Last month (see previous entry), I was hoping to see the Browns pull off a miracle for the remainder of the season.  Although entering their bye week at 2-8 and possessing the NFL’s worst record, I honestly believe (like any diehard Browns fan) that my team will get people talking despite its dismal performance.  I was, after all, hingeing all my hopes on Mike Pettine’s announcement that Johnny Manziel will be the starting quarterback for the rest of the season.

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Despite Johnny Football’s checkered debut year, he is being groomed as the Browns’ elite quarterback.  He has the stats and the awards to make the franchise optimistic about the future.  Recruited out of high school as a dual-threat quarterback, Manziel’s stint with the Texas A&M Aggies saw him setting numerous records, including becoming the first freshman and fifth player in NCAA history to pass 3,000 yards and rush for 1,000 yards in a season.  He also holds the distinction of being the first freshman to win the Heisman Trophy, the Manning Award, and the Davey O’Brien National Quarterback Award. 

Thus, it is understandable that fans were looking up to Manziel to lead the Browns to victory for the remainder of the season.  But just after a week Pettine made the announcement, a video surfaced of the QB partying during the team’s bye week, prompting the beleaguered head coach to demote Johnny to third stringer. 

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I refuse to believe that Manziel’s erring ways are down to his age. Yes, he had a rocky rookie season, which ended with Manziel entering rehab to get treatment for undisclosed addiction.  But he did clean up his act after the 11-week stint, even issuing a heartfelt apology to fans. But then again, any remorse on his part was overshadowed by a new string of transgressions as the season began.

I guess I am trying to say that Manziel has a lot of cleaning up to do before the Browns can turn to him (if he is still with the team next season) for salvation.  Yes, the Browns are struggling desperately to find success, but sadly, it is time for the team to acknowledge that Johnny isn’t the guy we hoped he was.

Any thoughts about Johnny’s and the Browns’ future? Let me know on Twitter. Jonathan Bunge here, football fan pledging allegiance to the Browns.

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