Welcome to another edition of The Blog About Nothing. It’s Super Bowl weekend. The Big Game is finally upon us. On Sunday the Carolina Panthers will face off against the Denver Broncos. I’ll spare you a long breakdown of the game. There is a pretty good NFL Roundtable on our website that posted earlier this week, if you want that. I will say this: I expect the Carolina Panthers to win the game.
The Panthers come into this game on a high. They have been fast and loose all week, and even though many of their players have not played in the Super Bowl, in comparison to the Broncos who were here only two years ago, I think the Panthers confidence takes them to an easy victory. Much has been said of the Broncos having the #1 defense in the National Football League, but Cam Newton is a different animal. Keeping him in the pocket will be a challenge, and I don’t think the Broncos can keep him under pressure long enough to get to him. No. Panthers win. They win big. Final score? 38-17.
Moving on, I want to talk about affluenza this week. Affluenza has been defined as the inability to understand the consequences of one’s actions because of financial privilege. It’s a term that has been around for a few years, but it was most notably used in the defense of Ethan Couch. Couch was arrested in 2013 for drunk driving in Texas. He was driving illegally on a restricted license when he struck a disabled SUV, and the resulting crash killed four people. It should be noted that he was 15 years old at the time.
Couch, now 18, comes from a privileged background and it was noted that his parents often used their financial wealth to their benefit as often as they could. Couch’s defense argued that Ethan couldn’t possibly know right from wrong, as most people know it to be, due to his upbringing in the lap of luxury. Affluenza was used as his pass to keep on messing up. I say this because, Couch recently fled to Mexico with his mother in order to escape a parole violation. He was recorded drinking at a house party. It should be noted once again, that he is still three years under the legal drinking age of 21. However, he and his mother were apprehended in Mexico and he will return to the United States, where he may end up serving a short term prison sentence in a juvenile facility due to the infraction.
I bring up Ethan Couch, and affluenza, because I fear the same thing has reared its ugly head in the case of Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel. Manziel, the former Texas A&M quarterback and Heisman trophy winner, was arrested in Dallas this week for allegedly striking his ex-girlfriend. His ex, stated that he was under the influence, and struck her repeatedly in an argument. The investigation has been declared closed by both the Dallas and Fort Worth police departments, but the NFL may conduct their own investigation into the matter.
Johnny, like Ethan, comes from a privileged background. His family became wealthy in the Texas petroleum industry, and he had access to things that many of his peers did not. You take that background and add onto it that he was the man in college and you’ve created a bit of a monster. Little Johnny Manziel became Johnny F’ing Football and he had to live up to that moniker. He became the king of College Station, and some of those bad habits that he could have gotten away with in college, he could not get away with in the National Football League.
Drafted by the Cleveland Browns in 2014, Manziel would have two up and down seasons with the franchise. Recently, the Browns have come out and condemned Manziel’s partying ways and will very likely cut ties with the quarterback once the NFL free agency period starts in March. The intriguing thing with Manziel now is, will another team sign him? There could be some line of thought that although it has not worked out in Cleveland, he can come to a new franchise and possibly be re-energized.
Anything is indeed possible, but my gut thinks that this will be the end of Johnny Manziel. I say this because I don’t think alcohol is his problem. I don’t think he just likes to go out, party and have a drink on occasion. He’s an athlete, not a saint. So if he likes to have a sip of something now and then and party with his friends, that’s fine as far as I see it. However, it shouldn’t limit his preparation as an NFL Quarterback. Once the turn up gets in the way of the prep work, that is a cry for help.
However, as I said before I don’t think that’s it. Yes, Manziel went to rehab after last season in an attempt to clean up his image, but that wasn’t good enough. He fell right back into the same old habits. Maybe he thinks he’s bulletproof, and he really can do what he wants, but honestly I think he may have a drug problem. Here me out on this. His ex-girlfriend alleged that he was under the influence of something other than alcohol, and he has been photographed in the past with a rolled up dollar bill in a club bathroom.
I don’t know if we’ll ever really know, but I suspect he may have a cocaine problem. If I suspect it, and I have no clue really, but I wonder how many others are sitting there and thinking the same thing. I can’t see any NFL team wanting take a chance on a guy who might really have some serious issues. Fellow football players such as Cris Carter and Brandon Marshall have suggested that Johnny voluntarily remove himself from the NFL and really get help and he should heed their advice.
In an interview with TMZ Sports recently, Manziel stated that he was fine, but his actions lately do not strike me as someone who’s fine. His actions strike me as someone who thinks he can keep sweeping his problems under the rug. Maybe he can, and some owner will roll the dice on him, but I can’t see it. He may only be 23 years old but I don’t think Manziel has the talent or personality to warrant another chance in the NFL. It may really be over, but at least he has a good financial cushion to fall on.
I’m done. Enjoy the Super Bowl, and have a good week. Until next week … Peace.
Tiny URL for this post: