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Wed Jul 31, 2013, 02:15 PM

Parents worried Johnny Manziel is out of control and more revelations about Texas A&M QB

This story appears in ESPN The Magazine's Aug. 19 College Football Preview.

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@JManziel2: Bullshit like tonight is a reason why I can't wait to leave college station...whenever it may be


FOUR DAYS AFTER the tweet, Johnny Manziel did what many boys do when they're in trouble. He went home. The farm roads and state highways between College Station and Tyler blurred under the wheels of his black Mercedes-Benz, the one he wanted so badly that his dad finally bought it for him. Paul Manziel didn't want his son to do something stupid to get it for himself. A jagged line marked the back left quarter panel; even before Johnny tweeted that he wanted to leave College Station, someone had keyed his car. When Johnny arrived at his grandmother's house in Tyler on this Wednesday, Paul leaned over and silently ran his finger along the length of the cut, seeing what someone had done. He felt helpless. Building tension from the past week, and from the seven months of scrutiny that preceded it, had left his son on edge and exhausted. Maybe here, outside the siege walls of College Station, Johnny could exhale. He needed space to retake the control he'd lost over both himself and his new persona. Johnny Football is a growling grown-ass beast of a human. Johnathan Manziel is a boy trying to become a man.

Johnny wanted to play golf with his dad, so they unloaded their bags in the sun-baked parking lot of Hollytree Country Club. Paul also had the usual half-dozen items for his son to sign, things given to him by family friends or mailed to the car dealership he runs. People in passing carts waved and smiled. Paul grew up on this course as a kid, the grandson of a Texas oil fortune, which still funds the family. Enough remains to make sure Johnny never wants for anything. "It's not Garth Brooks money," Paul says, laughing, "but it's a lot of money." Still, those piles of cash couldn't make Paul's father pay attention to him. This golf course is where Paul went for peace. It's where he played the club father-son tournament with someone else's father, vowing to be different when his time came. That chance finally arrived, in the form of a baby boy he named Johnathan Paul, and he built a house for the family at Hollytree. The Manziels lived on the 16th hole here before a new job took them to Kerrville, six hours southwest, where Johnny became a Texas high school football legend. This is the last place they were normal.

One of Johnny's former teachers whizzes by in a golf cart and screeches to a halt, giddy. "I have had more fun telling everybody I taught you!" she says.

This is a long story, but a must-read for Manziel followers. Read more at http://espn.go.com/espn/otl/story/_/id/9521439/heisman-winner-johnny-manziel-celebrity-derail-texas-aggies-season-espn-magazine .

Cross-posted in Football Group.

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Reply Parents worried Johnny Manziel is out of control and more revelations about Texas A&M QB (Original post)
TexasTowelie Jul 2013 OP
mbperrin Jul 2013 #1
Ilsa Jul 2013 #3
mbperrin Jul 2013 #4
Ilsa Jul 2013 #5
Ilsa Jul 2013 #2

Response to TexasTowelie (Original post)

Wed Jul 31, 2013, 02:33 PM

1. Looking forward to practice starting tomorrow.

Sure do wish the press would cover any politician like this, beginning with Rand Paul. But they'd rather stick it to a 20 year old young man without the political clout to make them suffer.

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Response to mbperrin (Reply #1)

Wed Jul 31, 2013, 03:36 PM

3. He's 20. He's going to make mistakes.

He doesn't need constant coverage. At the same time, he and his father should disengage from social media, press, etc.

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Response to Ilsa (Reply #3)

Wed Jul 31, 2013, 04:53 PM

4. I agree.

By age 20, I had a divorce and had dropped out of college.

Not at all like the magnificent critter I am now!!!

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Response to mbperrin (Reply #4)

Wed Jul 31, 2013, 11:23 PM

5. Yeah, he crashed a couple of frat parties,

big deal. Now if he was 30 and crashing frat parties, that would be just creepy.

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Response to TexasTowelie (Original post)

Wed Jul 31, 2013, 03:33 PM

2. When I was 20, I worried about letting down

my family and others, too. I can't imagine the stress and expectations placed on him.

Getting his car keyed and being harassed for having an opinion, expressed spontaneously, is just BS. The comments deriding him for his tweet are overreactions. It would be best if he stayed off Twitter and Facebook. There will always be someone wanting to tear him down. He needs to concentrate on his studies, playing football, keeping his cool and his head on straight. Focus on what's important.

I think his father should lie low as well.

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