Colin Cowherd, practitioner of the “EMBRACE DEBATE” model of sport media that’s slowly but surely destroying the soul of ESPN, has a hot sports take on Johnny Manziel.
Here it is:
Let’s spell out this argument in long form, to fully capture its trollishness:
Texas coach Mack Brown didn’t offer Johnny Manziel a scholarship because Johnny Manziel showed signs in high school that he would — after single handedly beating Alabama and winning the Heisman trophy as a freshman — try to capitalise on his fame by selling his autograph for $US7,500 to a talkative broker who was bound to leak the alleged transaction to ESPN.
This would start a full-fledged NCAA investigation that could potentially end in Manziel being declared ineligible.
That’s what Mack Brown saw when he looked into the eyes of 18-year-old Johnny Manziel. That’s why Mack Brown didn’t offer a scholarship to Johnny Manziel, because Mack Brown doesn’t recruit players who would violate NCAA rules after winning the Heisman trophy.
People like Cowherd and Skip Bayless are paid to come up with simple, two-sided talking points that provoke a specific faction of viewers and/or listeners. These debates don’t have to have a relationship with reality, and the people arguing either side don’t have to believe what they’re saying.
When people complain about ESPN, this is more often than not the type of thing they’re complaining about. The network does so much right when it comes to covering sports, but its commitment to this sort of disingenuous trolling undermines everything else they do.
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