Gridiron Article  


Gridiron Breakdown: LeBron James vs. Johnny Manziel


It happened. The prodigal son has returned to Cleveland, Ohio in the hopes of bringing a championship to it's fine denizens. Yes, all of that flowery language is in reference to LeBron James' decision to try and win back the Clevelanders he spurned four years ago. But of course, this time he'll have company, as Johnny Manziel is looking to "wreck this league" (or maybe just his liver?) as the quarterback of the Cleveland Browns.

So how can we decide which superstar will be the apple of Cleveland's eye? By taking them to the grid of course!

And without further ado ...

Player LeBron James
Johnny Manziel Give it to ...
Drafted: No. 1 overall in 2003 No. 22 overall in 2014 James.
Nickname: King James Johnny Football James. Having your nickname be synonymous with your sport is pretty cool, but regality reigns supreme in this case.
Ohio ties: Born in Akron, OH Drafted by the Browns James. The native wins this one easily.
Franchise sadness: No playoff appearances since LeBron left. No championships. Shared record for longest losing streak in NBA history. The Fumble. The Drive. The 1996 move to Baltimore. Second-longest active playoff drought in the NFL. Dubbed "Factory of Sadness." Manziel. I could have kept going, but out of respect for Browns fans decided that was enough emotional punishment for one article.
Supporting cast: Three No. 1 overall picks (Kyrie Irving, Anthony Bennett, Andrew Wiggins) Miles Austin, Ben Tate, Jordan Cameron, Nate Burleson James. LeBron joins the Cavaliers with a bevvy of young, talented players. Manziel's supporting cast, while talented, have more collective recent injuries than LeBron's teammates have years on this earth.
Drake connection: Drake declared "I am media" when denied access to a Miami Heat championship party. Drake wrote Manziel his own song, called "Draft Day." Manziel. Maybe if Drake had sang those security guards a song he could have been admitted to the party?
Youth camps: Runs them. Sleeps through them. James.
College career: Did not attend. First freshman to win the Heisman Trophy, Davey O'Brien award and Manning award. Manziel. Kind of a technicality, but Manziel was dominant in the NCAA.
Starting spot: Guaranteed Competing with Brian Hoyer James. If Manziel loses the training camp competition with Hoyer, expect to see him making lots of calls to his agent on his money phone.
Recent postseason success: Lost to the San Antonio Spurs in the 2014 NBA Finals, 4-1. Orchestrated a 21-point comeback win over Duke in the 2013 Chick-fil-A Bowl. Manziel. LeBron does have two rings, but an 11-16 NBA Finals record isn't exactly sterling.
Wears the others jersey: Yes. Not yet ... that we've seen. James.


Not surprisingly, the grid has determined that King James is indeed still king of Cleveland as he pulled out a 7-4 victoy over Johnny Football. This of course will all change if Manziel can turn the "Factory of Sadness" into the "Factory of Gladness," but only time will tell if that's even possible. Until next time.

-- Alex writes features and fantasy pieces for the NFL, and subs in for Adam Rank when the mood strikes. Talk about this list with him on Twitter @Alex Gelhar if you wish. Also be sure to catch the latest "Dave Dameshek Football Program," which is a widely entertaing romp through sports and pop culture.