Teddy Bridgewater, Anthony Davis and Cody Zeller have shown some 20-year-old can handle the media circus better than Johnny Manziel.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – Johnny Manziel was dehydrated. Johnny Manziel overslept. Johnny Manziel's cell phone battery died. Johnny Manziel is young.
I'll swallow the dehydration. I'll nod at the oversleeping. I'll wink at the dead cell phone battery.
After that, I've got to throw the yellow flag and tell Johnny Angel to run some new pass routes. More truth, less spin.
For the record, this is how young Johnny Manziel is:
He is 26 days younger than Teddy Bridgewater and 62 days younger than Cody Zeller. Manziel is also three months older than another guy who's had one or two spectacular athletic moments in his young life – Anthony Davis.
All four of these guys are 20. All four have played high-level college sports in maximum-microscope positions. Only one keeps his life dialed on the TMZ.com frequency.
It's not Bridgewater, the University of Louisville quarterback who could yank the Heisman Trophy out of Manziel's arms this fall.
It's not Zeller, who started the last college basketball season on the covers of Sports Illustrated and ESPN The Magazine and ended it leaving Indiana University 35 credit hours from his business degree and the fourth pick in the NBA Draft.
It's not Davis, who won a national championship at Kentucky, played with LeBron James on the U.S. Olympic team in London and looked like a future all-star during his first NBA season in New Orleans.
Wonder who that leaves?
I believe it is the fellow with the occasionally sour expression who needed a security team to navigate the Wynfrey Hotel at Southeastern Conference Media Days in Hoover, Ala., Wednesday.
Manziel's appearance stirred all the worst instincts of folks crowding around the escalators in the Wynfrey lobby. There was pushing, shoving, screaming, elbowing, cursing and gasping – and those were only the 1,200 credentialed media members who needed to take a three-step drop to allow Manziel to breathe.
I've been in the middle of Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods and Tom Brady interview scrums. This was as ridiculous as any of them.
There were people snapping pictures of every move Manziel made. They were people taking pictures of the people taking pictures of every move Manziel made. There were people rolling video of the people taking pictures of the people taking pictures of every move Manziel made.
You get the picture. In fact, you got the picture over and over and over again Wednesday because that's how frequently ESPN played the video. That's on the network intoxicated on King Football – and that's also on the rest of us who were there, breathlessly straining to record every twitch of Manziel's shoulders, every squint of his tired eyes.
The prevailing mood was to wait for Manziel to contradict himself in a game of gotcha. The prevailing reaction was that Manziel stopped short of telling the complete story.
But it's also on Manziel. Here's how:
He is the one who made the choice to attend the Manning Passing Academy in Thibodaux, La., last weekend. The Mannings are the First Family of Football. Johnny Angel is the most famous player in college football. This was not five guys throwing the football around at Seneca Park.
Any news that leaked out of that camp was going to rule the news cycle, especially in the current dead zone in the sports calendar. Manziel has had the entire summer to oversleep and have a good time – and if you've followed his Twitter feed or watched him interact with Drake, LeBron or various NBA and major-league baseball teams you know that he has certainly indulged.
Good for him. He's a college kid. Go for it, Number 2. You'll be shoved to the sidelines for the next Johnny Angel soon enough.
But Manziel should also be expected to understand time and down. He is smart enough -- and old enough -- to understand that blowing off a session of the Manning camp was as dumb as throwing into triple coverage.
Especially after all of the other stunts that have been attached to Manziel since he gave that stirring acceptance speech at the Heisman ceremony. You know the list.
There is a reason that South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney advised Manziel to stay off Twitter and stay out of bars. Johnny Angel might not be a bad kid. He is certainly an immature and enabled kid.
But please stop saying that he's merely a young kid. Manziel is the same age as Teddy Bridgewater, Anthony Davis and Cody Zeller. They've all shown Manziel that it certainly doesn't have to be this silly.