The ruination of Johnny Football and other young quarterbacks like Robert Griffin III

OK, a Deadspin story only tangentially mentions RGIII, but this is s Redskins fan site. I need the connection to talk about Johnny Manziel for a moment.

The Twitterverse is all up in Manziel's face for skipping the Manning Bros. Passing Camp because he was: sick and dehydrated and had to leave, or hung over and dehydrated and sent home.

Texas A&M quarterback Johnny "Football" Manziel

Drew Magary's rant on Deadspin (America is Ruining Johnny Manziel) scores the media for creating Johnny Football then tearing him down for bailing on a "meaningless voluntary offseason QB camp session" like he was Geno Smith or something.

Mmm, sorry. Johnny Manziel is ruining Johnny Manziel.

Blame the Heisman voters for screwing with the young man's head by granting college football's highest award to a 21-year-old redshirt freshman. Too much too soon is bound to go to anyone's head.

Hog Heaven makes allowances for youthful indiscretion. There is a learning curve for adulthood. The three or four years after high school is the first period of unsupervised living for American young adults. There are things Manziel and everyone else can learn from this.
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You are always being judged by the bosses.

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That's the harshest thing for young people to learn and it always takes them by surprise. Future employers are deciding whether they can trust you with their brand. If you don't have the talent you won't be considered. Everyone is talented at the professional level. Once past that threshold, the bosses pay more attention to every little thing like when you show up for lunch and how you eat your business meal.

Maybe the Manning Camp was a meaningless, voluntary offseason camp for high-schoolers, but Manziel made a commitment to the Mannings. It's the commitment and how Manziel kept it that will pique GM's interest.

Deadspin is wrong that people are making too much of it. Teams will not draft in the first round players, even gifted quarterbacks, who are a risk to the brand. The wound to Manziel's reputation is not fatal, but comes at a bad time.

Every team is researching small signs of future bad behavior the Patriots missed when drafting Aaron Hernandez. Hernandez has yet to be convicted of anything, but it's too much that he was even remotely involved in a capital crime for the Pats who act as if Hernandez never existed. How could they not see a pattern of choices?

We know now that the Jets drafted Mark Sanchez a year too early. Sanchez was a one-year starter at USC. Teams would have been leery of drafting Johnny Football after one season at Texas A&M. This incident adds a new layer of leeriness.

Lets see how well Mr. Football protects the Aggie brand and pulls off another upset of Alabama. This time, Nick Saban will see him coming.

The crowd turned on Donovan McNabb. Could Robert Griffin III be next? 

To make some of his points about the build up and tear down of Manziel, Magary turns to Donovan McNabb and RGIII. McNabb had controversy thrust upon him while winning with the Eagles, including being insulted by his "nutjob wide out" and being accused both of being an affirmative action quarterback by Rush Limbaugh and of not being black enough by the head of the Philadelphia NAACP.

By the end of his career, McNabb was seen as a disingenuous idiot (Magary's words, not mine). You see the same things beginning to happen to Griffin, writes Magary.

Redskins QB Robert Griffin III

RGIII came to Washington with strong family support. It showed in his media moxie. He is rewriting the book on fan relationships, but I do worry. Human nature is what it is. If I as a young man had the accolades that Griffin, Manziel and Tiger Woods received, my head would have exploded.

I don't care about Manziel. I do care about RGIII. I just hope he is a better man than I was at age 23.  

Anthony Brown

About Anthony Brown

Lifelong Redskins fan and blogger about football and life since 2004. Joined MVN's Hog Heaven blog in 2005 and then moved Redskins Hog Heaven to Bolguin Network. Believes that the course of a season is pre-ordained by management decisions made during the offseason. Can occasionally be found on the This Given Sunday blog and he does guest posts.

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