Wright Thompson has written an incredible column on the life of Johnny Manziel for ESPN the Magazine.
The story is a fascinating look into the life of a 20-year-old that struggles with demons both internally (anger) and externally (life as a football rock star).
Every angle of Manziel’s life is now under the microscope and yet we learned a lot about last year’s Heisman Trophy winner in Thompson’s piece. Some of the nuggets are funny, and some are serious. But they all help us to better understand who Johnny Football really is.
Here’s what we learned…
- Manziel has a personal assistant. A high school friend dropped out of school to become Manziel’s assistant and manager. He handles media requests and coordinates with bodyguards.
- Johnny saw an alcohol counselor during his Heisman season. Manziel visited with an alcohol counselor during the 2012 season for 6-7 weeks at the request of his parents and head coach Kevin Sumlin.
- His parents wanted to get matching licence plates based on Manziel’s nickname “Johnny F***ing Football.” The plates, JFFMOM and JFFDAD were to be based on his the nickname that began on message boards. Their daughter talked them out of it.
- Johnny needs a police escort to get home after games. After the first game of the season, Manziel ran home from the stadium. By the end of the year, he was driven home by cops.
- Manziel struggles with his anger. He has broken “multiple phones” in anger. His dad adds that he doesn’t like playing golf with Johnny because of his temper and while playing golf in front of Thompson, Manziel threw his golf club in anger after a shot.
- He once broke up with his girlfriend after he learned she ranked high on a list of football girlfriends. Manziel was worried that she was only dating him for the fame.
- Manziel’s father has been banned from Texas A&M message boards twice. Paul Manziel took to the TexAgs message boards to defend his son and got banned. He later used a friend’s login and got banned again.
- Johnny was once snubbed by Tiger Woods when Manziel wanted an autograph. When Manziel was younger, Woods promised to meet him in the clubhouse of a golf course for an autograph. Woods never showed up.
- He got a tattoo even though his mum insisted it went against Texas values. She cried when she found out.
- Manziel’s dad is worried his son will get arrested and ruin his life and career. “It could come unravelled. And when it does, it’s gonna be bad,” said Paul Manziel. “Real bad.”
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