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Crash & Burn?

August 1, 2013

One question making the rounds this summer within college football centers around 2012 Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel. The question has been asked in various forms for quite some time now with the basic question being ‘will Manziel crash and burn.’

I am sure you have read multiple stories and reports of “Johnny Football’s” conduct off the field. Alcohol seems to be involved in virtually all of them. The reports keep on coming in which indicates his behavior is not going to change any time soon. In fact, it seems like we are getting used to it and the term, “That’s just Johnny being Johnny.”

The equation is the same each time it seems. First comes the incident. Next comes the attempted cover up that never works. Then comes the apology along with the comment that he is just trying to live a normal life. He speaks of being a 20 year old kid in college who is trying to have fun. Manziel repeatedly makes similar comments before acknowledging that he is the quarterback for the Texas A&M Aggies and a Heisman Trophy winner.

Johnny being Johnny will certainly make the 2013 season fun. The pressure will be immense as he and the Aggies make the move to the SEC. If he keeps up his current pace of putting himself in the news, he may start to rival the media attention a former SEC quarterback Tim Tebow still gets.

Johnny’s on the spot?

It’s not just opposing teams that are out to get Manziel. Wherever he goes, there’s going to be somebody with a finger on the record button itching to break the next big Manziel story. He doesn’t seem to care. Johnny is going to be Johnny and continue to do it in spite of the scandals he has found himself in.

Can you imagine if Manziel puts up similar numbers in 2013, all while pictures of him partying are published? The battle line that has already been drawn between Manziel critics and Manziel defenders will continue to grow in numbers. His father is already on the side that wants to see him tone down his act and stop drinking. Manziel’s dad was quoted this week as saying that he hopes his son stops drinking before something bad happens. There are others that say let Johnny be Johnny. They say that it has worked so far.

Either way, I do not see a happy ending here. I hope I am wrong and we do not have a crash and burn story upcoming. I think Manziel loves the fame and notoriety of his actions. I can name numerous 20 year old star quarterbacks who do act responsibly and carry themselves in a mature manner. AJ McCarron, Collin Klein, Andrew Luck, and other team leaders from the last few years of college quarterbacks didn’t act this way.

Crash and Burn II?

Speaking of crashing and burning, how about P.J. Hairston of the North Carolina Tar Heels basketball program?

Hairston was charged with speeding and careless and reckless driving Sunday after being pulled over for driving 93 mph in a 65 mph zone. Hairston, 20, was driving an Acura TL southbound on Interstate 85 outside of Webb, N.C., when he was pulled over late in the afternoon by the State Highway Patrol.

UNC coach Williams

Sunday’s report represents the latest away-from-the-court incident for Hairston, who would be leading all of college athletics in summer headlines if not for Johnny Manziel. Remember, Hairston was stopped at a license checkpoint on June 5 and arrested on charges of possessing marijuana and driving without a license. That was the incident where a gun was also found outside of the vehicle, which was a 2013 GMC Yukon rented by a convicted felon and party promoter named Hayden “Fats” Thomas.

Lucky for Hairston, all charges stemming from that arrest were dropped earlier this month.

But the incident still will have some ramifications for the basketball program. The story will not go away as the junior to-be was driving a vehicle that a sources say will draw scrutiny from the NCAA. And it is still true that there was an illegal drug in that vehicle, a gun outside of it.

The incident has put constant pressure on UNC coach Roy Williams. The coach acknowledged two weeks ago that Hairston would face “serious consequences“ and Williams also used the word “embarrassing.”

Things got even more embarrassing on Sunday. A few hours after that incident, Williams announced that he’s suspending Hairston indefinitely.

Williams clearly did not have any choice with his student-athlete who seems incapable of learning lessons he should have learned by now.

P. J. Hairston

How could Hairston put himself in these situations over and over? Does he just not get it?

I realize there are worse things than going 28 mph over the speed limit. But after what happened just last month, how in the world could you get in a car on a Sunday afternoon and drive recklessly while approaching 100 mph?

I am not saying Hairston is a horrible person. But I have to wonder about his decision making. We live in a forgiving society. There is no doubt of that. But it’s hard for people to understand when that same man repeats the same behavior in a way that practically guarantees he’ll get busted again. People will not understand how a talented individual continues risking his future and embarrassing people who previously stood beside him.

I read the term ‘serial stupidity’ recently. It fits here.



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