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Archive for February 27, 2019

Feb. 27, 2019 — When self-knowledge is a bad thing

It was about six or seven years ago when a college football quarterback named Johnny Manziel was one of the biggest names in sports.

While a player at Texas A&M University, he won the Heisman Trophy as a freshman, completed nearly 70 percent of his passes for some 8,000 yards in two seasons, and got the Aggies to one of the major bowls after the 2012 season.

Manziel’s combination of running and passing made him a media celebrity. The problem was, he knew it.

By the time he was the first-round pick of the Cleveland Browns in 2014, he had gotten a reputation for partying instead of working diligently on his game. His professional career since the NFL draft has been, frankly, a disaster. In eight NFL starts, he threw for seven touchdowns and seven interceptions.

He then jumped to the Canadian Football League, where he didn’t play at all with his first team, the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, then in his first game with his new team, the Montreal Alouiettes, he threw four interceptions in the first half. That first 30 minutes of play was one of the most discouraging things I’ve ever seen in sports.

Today, the Alouettes announced that Manziel had violated the terms of his contract with the team. The termination of the contract means that none of the other eight CFL teams are allowed to sign him.

It’s a sad situation, for a young man of 26 years of age who has publicly admitted to having bipolar disorder.

And I’m not sure that the presence of spring pro football south of the border will help him.