There was a moment this week that inspired this list. It wasn’t the partying, the blondes, or the champagne. It was the bird. The moment that Johnny Manziel raised his middle finger to the Redskins bench, something inside me snapped. It was that last shred of hope I had that Johnny could settle into being a NFL quarterback that a team could thoroughly respect. That middle finger brought every ridiculous thing he had ever done rush through my mind like a slideshow set to hyper speed. So, here’s that slideshow in list form, because it’s all gone to hell now Brown’s fans.
1. The Bird
The Browns were playing the Redskins in a preseason game when Johnny flipped the bird to the entire Redskins bench in front of America. I made that sound dramatic, but I really just want you to understand the context here. The reason for the gesture was that “words were exchanged.” Washington’s safety Ryan Clark said that some of the ‘Skins players were telling Manziel that he’s not in College anymore and they the players are faster than he is. Sounds pretty tame for such a public response. You have to imagine that Manziel has probably played victim to an enormous amount of chirping over the past few years. You don’t become a star silently. Either something harsher was said, or Johnny wears some sensitive pants (Drake’s rubbing off on him?).
2. The Bathroom Picture
Now, this is one of those allegedly showing Johnny photos. It could be him, it could be a stranger. The photo in question shows a man, who strongly resembles Johnny, rolling an American $20 dollar bill into a cylinder. The rolled up bill is the well known tool to get cocaine into your system. So, we know athletes do coke, even if we don’t usually see photographic evidence. But if this photo is Manziel it’s pretty damn stupid. Why he (stranger or possibly Johnny) didn’t go into a stall for some privacy is beyond me. It’s not like he’s America’s Football Golden Boy or anything. It’s not like he isn’t recognized anywhere or anything.. Oh wait.
The whole autographs for money scandal was fun. The official ruling from the NCAA was that Johnny signed a stack of autographs but wasn’t aware that they were going to be sold for money. So, the NCAA suspended him for 30 minutes of a game with their version of a smack on the back of the hand. There was some talk around the idea that he had possibly bought some new rims with said money but no evidence was found. It became pretty clear that Johnny had probably known and some money had been exchanged. The ridiculous thing about this story was the kid knows the NCAA’s rules (yes, they are stupid) and still did it-and comes from a wealthy family. This kid wasn’t surviving on the dollar store version of Kraft Dinner.
4. The Draft
Drafting Johnny was one of the most talked about topics leading up to the 2014 draft . He fell to 22 when he was expected to be a top pick. When the Browns traded up to grab him he walked on stage and flashed his money sign. Johnny had became well known for this in college, but after the autograph scandal it took on some added meaning. Couple this with the “come get me” text he sent the Brown’s head office and the whole drafting Johnny moment becomes ridiculous.
5. Every Drunken Party Photo of His Life
This would be an exhaustive list. There’s usually a giant bottle, a blonde and a nightclub. There’s the ESPY after party with Drake, there’s the champagne shower moment, the party at Bieber’s place. It really can be an exhaustive list. I think one of my favourite photos has to be Johnny drinking a big ol’ bottle on an inflatable swan. I couldn’t post the photo of him with Biebs and Mayweather– too much douche.
With the news today that he will not be the starting quarterback for the Browns in game 1 you have to wonder if the Browns are trying to tame him. I have a feeling the middle finger is not the last ridiculous moment that we will see from Johnny.
Have your own favourite ridiculous Johnny moment?
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Photo credit: USA Today, Deadspin, ESPN, bleacher report.