Last Modified: Saturday, February 23, 2013 6:57 PM
Apparently morphing oneself from Johnny Football into Johnny Heisman was more complicated than any of us ever imagined.
No one can accuse Texas A&M wonder-quarterback Johnny Manziel of shying away from the most famous trophy in sports.
But evidently it can be quite the burden.
Already it was looking like there had to be two or three of the most unique football player in memory. Was it Johnny or were they using holographs?
He has been everywhere, seemingly at once, all over the map.
That was him at the Super Bowl, even sticking around for New Orleans’ Mardi Gras. That was him courtside of a Dallas Mavericks game; that was Johnny Football all over the NBA all-star weekend.
How does he find the time?
Letterman, Leno, they all got a shot.
Not long after turning the Cotton Bowl on its ear he was celebrating in a Dallas nightspot, sharing bubbly with coeds and showgirls alike, the next day turning up in an Oklahoma casino (where his 20 years of age is legal enough) and, via his own Instagram pic, flashing a smile and a fist full of the house’s money he’d taken.
Life is good.
He must be People magazine’s dream come true.
Giving freely of his time, perhaps to a fault, there seems to be nowhere (fun) that he’s not willing to lend his fame and presence.
I’d be paying close attention to the Daytona 500 today. That will probably be him in Danica Patrick’s pit crew. College football hasn’t had a student-athlete show up at so many world-changing events since Alabama’s Forrest Gump.
About the only place where you will not see Johnny Heisman this winter and spring is in a Texas A&M classroom.
He will drop by spring practice next week, but the actual academic buildings on campus are not yet prepared to deal with his celebrity.
So America’s most famous college student will not attend any classes at Texas A&M in person. He will take care of his obligations, get his college credits in, and presumably stay eligible for weekend work at Kyle Field, with what is known as online classes.
I would assume it involves the Internet and a reliable high-speed connection.
Manziel said he gave it the old college try, so to speak, with a test run that involved attending a real English class on campus.
He had already arranged for all of his other school work to be done via the Internet, safe from all those adoring fellow Aggie students.
But his physical toe-tap into the real on-campus English class caused such a ruckus among the other students that the experiment, sadly, had to be scrapped too.
Fortunately he was able to substitute a sports management class that was available online and spare the campus a mass panic.
Perhaps he didn’t want to be responsible for the school having to muster the Aggie Corps to arms every time he walked across campus.
But I bet you’re suspicious already.
And it’s open to nitpicking.
As for that English class gone wild, for instance, I might suggest that soon enough the novelty of having a Heisman Trophy winner in their midst would eventually wear off. Maybe the coeds would stop giggling long enough for all of them to conjugate a few sentences.
There’s never been a college athlete more famous or more popular on his campus than Tim Tebow, and yet he managed to stroll across the Florida campus for four years without any reported casualties.
Cam Newton is attending actual classes at Auburn this very spring, apparently with nothing more frightening than a few autographs.
But Manziel, although free to roam elsewhere, has been forced into hiding on his own campus.
Texas A&M, by the way, has checked this out carefully, and thus far it has passed muster with the NCAA, which has no problem with online courses.
There are even reports that today’s fancy computers have ways of determining, even from afar, whether it will be the real Manziel doing the online classwork and taking the tests. Which, if true, is scarier for society than Manziel loose in the open field.
There are sure to be doubters.
Me, I think it’s great.
My own wayward higher education was spent desperately trying to stay eligible for the student newspaper, a task complicated by the despicably cruel early hour that many of those classes called roll.
Oh, to have had online classes back then, especially the way the old-fashioned, in-person versions so often conflicted with what we affectionately called the “college experience.”
In Manziel’s world, the only thing busier than him has been A&M’s compliance office, which has to keep close tabs on his globe-trotting.
Hopefully, even with the hermit he has sadly become, they will caution him against resorting to online girlfriends.
Just ask Manti Te’o.
Scooter Hobbs covers LSU athletics. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org
Posted By: Rex On: 2/25/2013
That low intelligence coach is 4-2 against you dog-worshiping face eaters. And congrats on living vicariously thru Bama.
Posted By: Terry On: 2/24/2013
Title: are you jealous of manziel since he is not a druggie like tigers you love
I guess scootie boy is jealous of manziel and how he did so well and is just a fun loving kid and is not into the drug thing like jordan Jefferson and tyrone mathieu...........many college students take online clases.............sorry he is not into selling drugs like your tiger boys in baton rouge .this article smacks and smells of jealousy and envy..........manziel took down mighty bama and with your low intelligence coach miles this aint gonna happen soon......Bama will run the table on most teams next year and you will not ever have another popular player like johhny football......deal with it