Former Heisman Trophy winner and Browns first-rounder Johnny Manziel made his AAF debut last night, but he didn’t start the game, and he didn’t finish it.
And he may not do either anytime soon, but that didn’t stop the crowd from showing up to see the show.
Via Mark Giannotto of the Memphis Commercial Appeal, the crowd at last night’s Memphis Express game was clearly there to see Manziel.
The team gave away Manziel T-shirts to anyone who bought $30 worth of tickets, and a Manziel jersey if you spent $90. And then they started some poor devil named Brandon Silvers, who led them to an overtime win, but still got booed by fans who were chanting Manziel’s name.
“I can’t imagine how awesome of a feeling that was for Brandon tonight,” Manziel said. “I don’t go out and round people up and say, ‘Will you guys go out and chant, ‘We want Johnny’ all day?’ To put that pressure on him and him have to go out there and deal with that and handle it the way he did was top notch. I’m kind of sick of that a little bit. Let it play out.”
Manziel played three series, as they tried to ease him into the new league after he was dumped by the CFL.
After the game, Express coach Mike Singletary said, “unless something really crazy happens” Silvers would continue to start.
That won’t deter the fans from chanting, or the team from using him as an advertising gimmick as long as they can.