Memorial Day. Its a time to remember the brave men and women of our great country that have served, are currently serving, and will serve in the future. It’s a day to reflect on all of things that we Americans take for granted but are only allowed to have because of the sacrifice of those brave individuals.
Many people celebrate this holiday by opening up the pool, firing up the grill, and hanging out with friends and family. Like everyone else, a certain 21-year-old went to a pool party. A pool party that just happened to be in Las Vegas. Unfortunately, this 21-year-old’s name is Johnny Manziel, rookie quarterback of the Cleveland Browns, and he has cameras pointed in his direction 24/7.
As soon as the media outlets got their hands on this tidbit of information, the “Johnny Football is an irresponsible kid” narrative dominated the broadcasts. Keep in mind, this is all happening during the NBA Conference Finals, the NHL Playoffs, and a slew of baseball highlights. Yet with all of these actual sporting events happening, Johnny Manziel is all over the screen.
Heath Evans of NFL Network basically threw a temper tantrum over the fact that Manziel left Cleveland for a weekend in Las Vegas. He claimed that Peyton Manning and Tom Brady weren’t partying in Vegas. They weren’t flaunting their social life over Twitter.
So I’m supposed to believe that these fellas spend all of their free time studying film and figuring out ways to beat opponents? To me that is ludicrous! The fact of the matter is that athletes are people too. They have friends and families. They have social lives. Are they just supposed to sit inside alone everyday and flip through their playbook? I say no.
Manziel isn’t even the first player to have a highly publicized social life, but he’s the only one we have a problem with. Heath’s golden boy, Tom Brady, was shown enjoying himself at the Kentucky Derby just a few weeks ago.
Let’s not forget that before Manziel, the biggest “party animal” in the league was Rob Gronkowski. Lost in all the Manziel hysteria this weekend was the fact that Rob Gronkowski was at the same party! Do people freak out when Gronk is Vegas or doing the worm on stage at a night club? No. So why is it any different with Manziel?
I think the answer to my question is a simple one. Brady is arguably the best quarterback to play the game and Gronk (when healthy) is the most dominant player in the tight end spot today. Both of these guys have earned their stripes and certainly deserve some slack to enjoy themselves. However, couldn’t I argue that Gronk, a player that is constantly injured, should be spending his offseason training his body to be more resistant to injury?
News flash people: he is. And Manziel is putting his work in at the Browns’ mini-camp. All last week the story was all about how quiet Manziel was and how much hard work he was putting in. Seriously people, after a long week of work don’t we all need to blow off some steam? Work hard, play hard. As long as Johnny keeps the work part first and the play part second, I don’t think Cleveland has anything to worry about.