Saturday, February 6, 2016

Of Weasels and Super Bowl dreams

"One's a born liar, and the other one's convicted."--Billy Martin on Reggie Jackson & George Steinbrenner, respectively, in the late 70's.

Let's try to apply that above quotation to this week's Weasels, shall we?

The "born liar", of course, could apply to both Donald Trump, a repeat offender, and erstwhile Cleveland Browns QB Johnny Manziel, who soon could be out of a job----and a lot more, if his father's hunch is right---because he simply hasn't grown up.

Let's talk Manziel, or, from this point forward, Johnny Manchild, first.

I've said all along Manchild left Texas A & M too early, listening to all the huzzahs from friends and hangers-on about his fame on the gridiron, which resulted in being the first freshman to win the Heisman Trophy in 2012. The problem, as has been emphasized since Cleveland drafted him in 2014, is immaturity off the field. He suffers from a different form of, ah, affluenza than fellow Texas twit Ethan Couch in that because he's a star athlete, not a priveleged child enabled by a wealthy family, he's above rules and regulations.

Case in point. Eight days ago, Colleen Crowley, Manchild's ex-girlfriend, told police her ex-lover struck her in a Dallas hotel while taking her back to Fort Worth, and threatened to kill her. According to her father, Crowley is getting some help. I wish the same could be said for Johnny Manchild.

A year ago, he entered a rehab facility in Pennsylvania to address his drinking issues, but promptly back-slid back to being the careless party boy who has become the poster child for leaving school too soon without fully transitioning into adulthood. His father, Paul, fears that Johnny Manchild won't live to see his 24th birthday, already aware that the Browns intend to cut Manchild next month. The Manziels tried to get Johnny admitted into rehab twice this week, but he wanted no part of it. Paul Manziel told the Dallas Morning News in Friday's editions that his son might be suicidal. Now, there's a surprise.

I think I know what the root of the problem is. Johnny Manchild has seen another party boy-turned-superstar athlete, New England's Rob Gronkowski, succeed in the NFL and retain his frat boy social life. The difference is, Gronkowski does all the right things off the field, and hasn't gotten into trouble with the law. At Texas A & M, Manchild thought that if Gronk could do it, so could he. Unfortunately, at 23, when he should be preparing to graduate, Manchild has finished his 2nd and last season with the Browns. Cowboys owner/GM/president-for-life Jerry Jones has openly coveted bringing in the problem child, but does he really want to after this latest episode? If Paul Manziel's right, his son needs to be far away from the nightclubs and in a rehab center yesterday. Figure on this. The Browns will cut him next month, and eat the rest of his contract. The best case scenario, since he can't play college football anymore, is for Johnny Manchild to go back to school, preferably far away from cameras (camera phones included), get a degree, then start thinking about a comeback.
Meanwhile, Dumb Donald Trump put his foot in his mouth again after losing in the Iowa caucus on Monday to Senator Ted Cruz. On Tuesday, Dumb Donald accused Cruz of "stealing" the victory. Oh, please. Give me a break. Trump made the accusation on Twitter, then amended his post. Just the same, all that says is that Dumb Donald is a sore loser. Then again, we found that out 4 years ago, when he whined after President Obama was re-elected, complaining on behalf of the woebegone Birthers he's been supporting. An online article earlier this week suggested that Trump has orchestrated every piece of his strategy for his campaign, just to get people talking. Gee, that does sound like he got advice from his pal, Vince McMahon, doesn't it?

Since Trump already has 4 sets of Weasel ears and two tails, let's just send him a bodysuit this time. Or, the autobiography of that well known wrestling Weasel, Bobby Heenan.
The continuing soap opera that is the downward spiral of Johnny Manchild won't overshadow Sunday's Super Bowl 50. The commercials, of course, will run the gamut from absurd to asinine to awesome, but let's talk about the game.

Two years ago, Peyton Manning and the Pizza Salesmen (Denver Broncos) were thrashed by the Seattle Seahawks and QB Russell Wilson. Like Wilson, Carolina Panthers QB/yogurt salesman Cam Newton, the 2010 Heisman winner out of Auburn, is a dual threat who can kill defenses with his legs as well as his arm. Denver's defense hasn't changed all that much since getting blown out of Super Bowl 48 by Seattle, and one difference this time is that linebacker Von Miller, who didn't play two years ago, is healthy and will be in the lineup. However, there is a flaw in the defense that coordinator Wade Phillips hasn't figured out yet, and that's closing the running lanes for read-option QB's like Wilson and Newton.

There've been hints that this might be the end of the trail for Manning, but today's New York Post has a couple of different ideas on where the telegenically challenged QB could go if Denver decides to cut him loose and retain Brock Osweiler as their starter next year. Hall of Famer Joe Namath thinks Manning could go to the Jets. Then again, Broadway Joe forgot about the last future Hall of Famer the Jets grabbed off the scrap heap. Brett Favre lasted one season, fraught with scandal, in New York. Meanwhile, Eli Manning was quoted as suggesting that big brother could be brought in as a quality control coach to help him out with the Giants next season. Considering that the Giants promoted Ben McAdoo to head coach and gave him an oversized suit that probably came from the David Byrne collection (Talking Heads fans will get the reference) for his presser a few weeks back, I'm not so sure that's such a good fit. Where would Peyton find the time for coaching, since it seems he'll be clogging our TV screens anyway with his commercial endorsements (Papa John's, Nationwide, DirecTV)?

Joking aside, Peyton reportedly told Patriots coach Bill Belichick after the AFC title game that "this might be my last rodeo". If it is, maybe NBC can build an all-star edition of The Voice around him so he can get singing lessons. Anyway, in this writer's opinion, referencing what I wrote nearly two weeks ago, Father Time (Manning) will, in wrestling parlance, "do the honors" for Baby New Year (Newton).

Carolina, 41-24.

Of course, I could be wrong.

No comments: