In case you hadn’t noticed, Johnny Manziel wants to get back into the NFL. He recently stopped by the thomahawk podcast, hosted by former teammates Joe Thomas and Andrew Hawkins. They talked about a number of things, including that infamous trip to Las Vegas back in 2015. You remember the one where he was unable to play in the team’s Week 17 game against Pittsburgh due to a concussion, but was still expected to be with the team to receive treatment.
Manziel told the story behind that trip to Vegas and, spoiler alert, it started with a terrible idea. As he told Thomas and Hawkins:
“I felt like I couldn’t solidify or fix my home life without going out there.”
And by “out there” he means Vegas. So let me stop right there. The old “fix my home life by going to Las Vegas” plan. Works every time….
Las Vegas isn’t the place you go to solidify or fix your home life, it’s the place you go to destroy your home life. I’m not a board-certified psychologist, but I know enough to say that if you believe your solution to a solid or improved home life is a Las Vegas bender, then you have serious, serious problems. Like, man things are horrible at home and in my personal life, but then I jumped a bird to Vegas, got wrecked, destroyed what was left of my liver and lost a bunch of money I didn’t have, and damn, it’s all coming together now…like that? Whatever, carry on, John.
“So I had this reckless, reckless plan. On a Saturday after the walk-through, I’m going to catch a 12 o’clock (commercial flight). So I fly out there, I get there at 2 or 3 or whatever time it is and I’m going to stay there for three hours and I’m going to catch the 10:30 flight back so I can make my mandatory treatment session the next day.”
Go to Vegas for a few hours to fix his home life on a commercial flight? Sounds like a wise strategy to me. What could possibly go wrong? He continues…
“And then I’m like, ‘You know what, that craps table is calling my name, that blackjack table’s calling my name.’ Because the Horseshoe in Cleveland’s corrupted me. So I sit down and the guy ids me. I hand him my ID and he takes a look at the TV right behind me and there’s an announcement, my names on the bottom of the ticker, it’s a Browns something and he’s like, ‘That’s you.’ And I’m like ‘Yeah.’
Yeah, that doesn’t sound like it’s going so well. Obviously it would not be a good look if he was seen in Vegas at that time. At this point, if dude has to make a really, really tough choice. You talk about a freaking fork in the road… So what would you do? Would you, A – head back to Cleveland? Cut your losses short and make sure you get your ass into the facility on time so no one knows you left in the first place. Or B – go to a wig shop, buy a new rug, and shave off facial hair, keep blazing and risk losing not only your job, but your entire career.
John went with option B: “I put it on in two seconds, I shaved all my facial hair but my mustache …it was a blondish, brown mullet.”
Another foolproof plan. Except things don’t go according to plan. Fast-forward a little bit and “I get back to the room that night probably 3 or 4 in the morning, and it’s already 7 a.m. East Coast time. We play at 11. This stuff is already starting to come out. I have to be there at 8, which is in an hour. I’m like, ‘I’m definitely not going to make that.’”
He definitely did not make that. And that was the beginning of the end. Or the end of the beginning. Or the end of the end of Manziel’s time in Cleveland and in the NFL. And now he’s trying to tweet and talk his way back into the league by saying how much he wants to be in the league.
To quote Jim Calhoun, my best advice to him: shut up. Telling stories like this, while it’s interesting to hear, isn’t going to help your cause. What GM is going to listen to that and say, yeah, I want that guy on my team! He finally gets it! Now that’s the Manziel I want to see, a dude coming correct and owning it.!. Nah, what a GM is going to think is man, I never thought this kid was a rocket scientist but I had no idea he was that dumb. He’ll play for free?. This cat could scratch me a check for a mill, and I wouldn’t let him anyone near my scout team much less our actual huddle…
I’m not saying the guy doesn’t deserve another shot. I’m saying he’s going about it all wrong.
You want to work?. You want back into the league?. Here’s some advice.. Stop talking. Stop tweeting. You’re not going to talk or tweet your way into a job. Just some owning some of the dumbest decisions ever, way after the fact, and just wanting to be in the NFL really badly, won’t put you there. If that were the case, every dude wearing a jersey in the stands would be on a sideline right now. Going on a couple of podcasts and trying to say the right thing and rt’ing a few of your followers is not going to get you another shot. If that’s going to happen, you’re going to need to do the actual work. You know, the thing you should have done the first time around, and if you had, you wouldn’t be saying crazy bleep like I’ll play for free!
I know this cat says he’s bipolar… I know he has some addiction issues. And we all have done really, really dumb things, myself included. But I’d be hard-pressed to remember anyone doing anything as dumb as Johnny jumping that bird to Vegas, before the end of the NFL season, to quote, fix his home life.
There are very few things that you can’t own, and apologize for, but that’s one of them. It was that dumb. Good luck getting anyone to forget about that. Especially now that you’re bringing it up.