Manziel Mania already has created some unintended, but predictable, consequences.
The first victim? Running back Ben Tate. The free-agency arrival complained on Tuesday about the media’s obsession with the rookie first-round quarterback. Then, after some regarded Tate’s rant as a slap at Manziel, Tate slapped back on Twitter.
“I got 1 finger up to yall and it’s not my pointer,” Tate said.
Before firing off his non-pointer to those trying to create a schism between quarterback and running back, Tate expressed not resentment of Manziel’s popularity with the press but an opinion that Manziel eventually will become fed up.
“I feel like it,” Tate said regarding the question of whether Manziel is getting too much media attention, via ESPN.com. “He hasn’t played a down in the NFL yet. So . . . I don’t know. . . . That’s for y’all to figure out.”
Without more, it’s fair to infer that Tate doesn’t like the fact that Manziel has attracted so much scrutiny. But the balance of the remarks show Tate was making the point that Manziel at some point will get sick of it.
“It’s just as a player I know that I would get tired if people were constantly monitoring if I picked my nose, if I spit to the left or right,” Tate said. “I mean, it’s annoying. He’s a human being. . . . He’s a great football player so I understand why he gets some of the constant media attention. At the same time I just figure at this stage he’s tired of it and he wants to come in here and do his job and try to win the starting quarterback position.”
While Tate’s observations don’t reflect animosity toward Manziel, Manziel’s reaction to the attention could change that. If Manziel comes off as reveling in the fact that the media flocks to him and ignores the rest of the team, players like Tate eventually will wonder whether the stardom has gone to Manziel’s head.