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Texas Monthly feels need to explain Johnny Manziel cover

How hot is Johnny Manziel?

Hot enough that Texas Monthly magazine didn't even need to publish its upcoming feature story to create an online stir Tuesday -- merely releasing its cover illustration of the Texas A&M quarterback was enough. Manziel is depicted as Superman, soaring skyward with mere mortals in College Station below.

But is Manziel so hot he's too hot to touch?

That's the feeling one gets in reading Texas Monthly's lengthy explanation that it published with the illustration.

It reads part reasoning, part rationalization, part we-planned-this-too-early-to-change-on-the-fly. With a dash of apology thrown in, presumably to assuage anyone annoyed by the further glorification of the Aggies' polarizing, 20-year-old megastar. The passage insists that Manziel, now being investigated by the NCAA for allegedly profiting from his autograph, is an ideal fit for a superhero depiction because superheroes are flawed. He is described as "the brilliant but catastrophic superhero our decadent world deserves."

Yet the tone of this liner note clearly suggests that, with the benefit of hindsight, Texas Monthy would have gone back to the drawing board.

Follow Chase Goodbread on Twitter @ChaseGoodbread.

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