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Johnny Manziel's week with LeBron, Mickey and the Heisman

The week that was in the always unpredictable life of Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel:

Two up

1. How about two thumbs up for Miami Heat star LeBron James, whom Manziel credited earlier this week for helping him weather a torrid NCAA storm in August. In the face of a mound of evidence that Manziel had put his autograph on thousands of pieces of memorabilia, the NCAA investigated whether Manziel violated NCAA rules by profiting from his name and likeness. But proof of autographs didn't amount to proof of payment, and Manziel was ultimately suspended for just half a game by Texas A&M, with the NCAA's approval.

Said Manziel, in an interview with ESPN Radio: "Probably more when some of the NCAA stuff was swirling around ... a guy that really took me under his wing -- and I'll really forever be thankful for -- is LeBron (James). A guy that texted me every day whether it was words of advice or whatever it was. To check in on me and make sure I wasn't getting crushed by all this or it wasn't getting to me too much. I'm extremely thankful for him, just for reminding me every day that nothing matters other than your coaches, your family and your teammates and everything else outside is outside noise."

2. Given that Manziel got in and out of Las Vegas for his 21st birthday party without any embarrassments or compromising photos being documented on social media, his alertness to his surroundings has clearly gone up. One popular blog publicly opened its wallet for pics of the birthday bash, but all that came back were posed grins with a few fans in what were clearly non-party settings. Manziel has no doubt had his fill of having to explain himself for anything a stranger might capture with a cell phone.

Two down

1. Two thumbs down for the powers that be in the bowl selection process, which saw fit to match college football's most dynamic player with a most unappealing opponent in Duke. No doubt, the Blue Devils had a remarkable season in reaching the ACC title game. But what could well be Johnny Football's last college game could have used a little star power on the opposing defense, and Duke has none. At least, not outside of Cameron Indoor Stadium.

2. Johnny Football marked at least two names down on his Heisman ballot ahead of himself, if not more. Manziel wouldn't reveal whom he voted for -- as a former winner, he gets a Heisman vote -- but perhaps he'll fill us in on the rest of his ballot after the winner is announced Saturday night. If FSU freshman Jameis Winston wins the honor as expected, you can bet Manziel, after becoming the first freshman Heisman winner last year, will have some sage advice for the Seminoles' signal caller about the glare of the spotlight.

Back on Twitter

At the behest of Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin, Manziel spent the season in Twitter silence as more than 600,000 followers followed a dormant account throughout the fall. Recall, it was Sumlin who advised Manziel to lay off of Twitter after he caught backlash over the summer for expressing his readiness to get out of College Station.

With the season, and perhaps a college career, behind him now, Manziel has been back on Twitter in earnest this week. None of it, however, has been controversial. A sampling:

Going to Disney World

Johnny Football did Disney World as a stop-over in Orlando for the Home Depot College Football Awards Show, before heading to New York for the Heisman ceremony. Two random thoughts on the photos captured at the Magic Kingdom: 1) Mickey's Heisman pose needs a high knee; and 2) If Donald Duck is going to wear a referee jersey, he needs to get in the weight room with noted strongman ref Ed Hochuli first. You've really let yourself go, Donald. And standing next to two highly-trained athletes doesn't do you any favors.

Follow Chase Goodbread on Twitter @ChaseGoodbread.


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