When we in the football media have talked about Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel’s reputation for partying, we’ve mostly discussed it in terms of how his enjoyment of night life might affect his football career. But Manziel’s parents have much more significant concerns about their son.
In a revealing profile of the Manziel family for ESPN the Magazine, Wright Thompson quotes Paul Manziel, the father of the Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback, expressing concern about what might become of his son. Paul Manziel believes Johnny feels so much pressure from all the scrutiny that comes with being a star quarterback that he might snap.
“Yeah, it could come unraveled. And when it does, it’s gonna be bad. Real bad,” Paul Manziel said. “It’s one night away from the phone ringing, and he’s in jail. And you know what he’s gonna say? ‘It’s better than all the pressure I’ve been under. This is better than that.’”
Manziel’s dad also said that his son drinks to deal with stress, and has anger issues that cause concern for the family.
“I don’t know where the anger comes from,” Paul said. “I don’t think he knows. If it comes from his drinking, or if he’s mad at himself for not being a better person when he fails, when he fails God and his mom and me. If it makes him angry that he’s got demons in him. You can only speculate because you can’t go in there.”
Paul Manziel suggested that Texas A&M isn’t providing the kind of guidance that he’d like to see his son receive in college.
“He still needs to see he’s wrong — and how to control his temper. And if I give up on him, who’s gonna take over? The school sure the hell isn’t gonna do it,” he said.
Paul Manziel also strongly suggested that his son will leave Texas A&M to enter the 2014 NFL draft, saying the family is getting tired of NCAA investigations.
“It’s starting to get under our skin,” Paul says. “They’re so selfish.”
In the NFL, Johnny Manziel won’t have to worry about NCAA compliance rules. But he’ll also be expected to conduct himself like a grown man. And his father seems to wonder if Johnny has grown up enough to do that.