Johnny Manziel hasn’t sniffed an NFL field since last year, and he’s even taking a full online course load at Texas A&M. But if you thought this was the perfect time for him to escape the stampede of attention that has ceaselessly followed him for a half-decade, you’d be wrong.
Manziel’s incredibly public downward spiral was given the full investigative treatment in a recent piece from Bleacher Report’s Michael J. Mooney, who elaborately traced Manziel’s steps over the last few years and thrust himself into the very locations and scenarios in which the former Cleveland Browns quarterback often found himself. The result paints the picture of a young man who’s a destructive and tireless jerk, occasionally misunderstood and, ultimately, sad.
Mooney sought out bartenders, dealers, bouncers and countless other employees of locations where Manziel infamously has been spotted. The prevailing sentiment from the people Mooney talked to is Manziel is universally disliked and constantly in search of somewhere he can be himself and not get caught.
“He’s a d–k,” a Las Vegas casino dealer said in the story. “He comes in and everything is about him. That’s how he treats people. When you do this long enough, you can read people, and he just didn’t have that respect for other people. You got money for playing a game and you’re treating the people who buy those tickets like that?”
“Nobody gives a s–t about Johnny Football here,” according to a bartender at Bodega, a bar near the Ohio State campus. “Nobody even talked to him. People may care about him in Cleveland or in Houston, but we all knew he was an idiot here. We’re on to the next guy.”
Bodega is the bar where Manziel infamously was seen drinking on the night of the 2016 NFL Draft in April.
But as the report — and the bartender — reveal, many of the stories surrounding Manziel potentially are overblown.
Elsewhere in Mooney’s story, a doorman explains Manziel always is in search of places where he can “have a good time without worrying about what people think,” while yet another bartender claims the ex-QB is hated even in his hometown.
It appears Manziel can’t seem to outrun his past, or his shadow.
Thumbnail photo via Smiley N. Pool/Pool Photo/USA TODAYSports Images