It barely seems appropriate to even comment on Johnny Manziel in terms of a game anymore. The former Heisman Trophy winner is facing much more serious issues than getting a chance to ever play football again.
Manziel will be fortunate to not spend time in a cage at some point.
And his fast-living ways certainly don’t bode well for his staying power as a living, breathing human being.
Contrast the fall of Johnny Football with the rise of Seattle Seahawks receiver Doug Baldwin, and researchers could do an incredible case study on the effects of struggle versus privilege.
Baldwin just signed a four-year extension with Seattle, making him one of the top seven receivers in the NFL in terms of salary.
Not too shabby for an undrafted kid out of Stanford.
Meanwhile, Johnny Manziel came into the NFL as a first-round draft pick, with huge expectations from the public. He was coming off one of the most electrifying college careers in history and apparently thought the NFL would be just as easy to dominate.
The NFL does not suffer fools. Well, actually it does. But not fools who can’t perform.
Plenty of players have done much worse things off the field than J-Football, but stayed in the League because they could perform on game day.
Manziel was never able to get any traction on the field so he would not get a pass for his stupidity away from the game.
It would be easy to argue that one of Manziel’s biggest issues was not having to deal with “struggle.” The kid’s family had plenty of money. He was a football god before he was even old enough to drive a car. Sure, he had to put in work to become the athlete he was, but things were just too easy for him.
Character isn’t built by going through life with no hardships whatsoever.
On the other side of the coin, we take a look at Doug Baldwin. He never got the chance to flash a “money sign” as he walked onto the NFL Draft stage. He wasn’t even in the building during his 2011 draft.
Baldwin had played football since he was seven years old, and after college nobody wanted him.
Undrafted free agents out of college rarely make a roster for more than a season, much less rise to the top of the League. Baldwin had to literally scratch and claw his way to employment in the NFL, then keep fighting every day to keep his job.
Along the way, Baldwin and his fellow Hawks receivers were clowned by the talking heads for being “nobodies.”
Baldwin didn’t waste his time trying to win over his critics by being a social media whore. He simply went out and worked on his craft.
It took five years, but Baldwin is getting the last laugh with his fat new contract. That deal would never have materialized had Russell Wilson’s favorite target not went toe-to-toe with “struggle.”
Now Johnny Manziel is having to deal with real life struggle. And he’s not handling it very well at all. He just doesn’t have the experience he needs.
Life has been too easy for a guy who once had it all and now is in danger of losing his life altogether.
Doug Baldwin has shown the world what an athlete can do if he refuses to let adversity keep him down.
Johnny Manziel is showing the world what a privileged life can lead to without some character-building struggle along the way.