FOXBORO, Mass. — All of the biggest stars descended on Gillette Stadium on Sunday night for the AFC Championship Game, including David Ortiz, Jon Bon Jovi and … Johnny Manziel?
You might be wondering what Manziel, an unemployed quarterback from Texas who last played for the Cleveland Browns, was doing at a New England Patriots game. After the Patriots’ 36-17 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers, we got our answer: Tight end Martellus Bennett gave him a ticket.
“I did, yeah,” Bennett admitted. “He’s my friend.”
Bennett and Manziel both played football at Texas A&M, and while the two never overlapped — Bennett was in College Station from 2005 to 2007, while Manziel arrived in 2012 and left after 2013 — their alma mater helped them form a bond.
“I mean, we’re Aggies,” Bennett said. “Aggies stick together. You know we’ve got an Aggie brotherhood. He’s a good kid.”
The former Heisman Trophy winner expressed his gratitude to the Patriots tight end on Twitter after the game.
While Bennett prepares for the first Super Bowl trip of his career, Manziel is attempting to get his football career back on track. The 24-year-old hasn’t played an NFL snap since the Browns released him after the 2015 season, and he recently expressed his desire to keep his nose clean as he attempts a comeback.
Bennett hopes Manziel’s experience of watching the Patriots play on one of the game’s biggest stages can help fuel his fire to get back onto the field.
“When you play football, you want to be around the game,” Bennett said of Manziel. “And when you have a friend, somebody that you know that’s playing in a big game, it’s a bit different to be there supporting him.”
Thumbnail photo via Matthew Emmons/USA TODAY Sports Images