The week that was in the always unpredictable life of Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel:
- Johnny Manziel's presumed final college game left Aggies fans up on their feet, leading a 52-48 comeback victory that included some classic Johnny Football improvisation. In throwing for 382 yards and four touchdowns, and rushing for a fifth score, Manziel fully rebounded from his back-to-back sub-par performances against LSU and Missouri to end the regular season. Yes, it came against a Duke defense that couldn't muster the resistance that an LSU defense could. Nevertheless, the thrills were back. And the signature moment was about as unforgettable as any play Manziel has made in two years:
- While Manziel had them on their feet in the stands, he was also getting Aggies up on the sideline, as well. Think Johnny Football can't lead a locker room? Here, as Duke was busy mounting its ultimately surmountable lead, Manziel implores the beleaguered TAMU defense to rise and and make a stop.
As a former Heisman Trophy winner and the undisputed best player on his team's roster, it's absolutely Manziel's place to lead in whatever manner he deems fit. He can get in the face of anyone with a helmet, because it's his team. But one can't help but wonder how this brand of cheerleading would go over on an NFL sideline if Manziel approached his defense, as a rookie, trailing by a couple of touchdowns, and plenty of Sunday cred still unearned.
- Come on down, Johnny. The NFL awaits. Manziel is still deflecting the question of whether he will turn pro, in the face of assumptions from everywhere that he has already made up his mind. His teammate, wide receiver Mike Evans, pulled the trigger on his announcement Thursday. NFL Media senior analyst Gil Brandt ended any real speculation on both of them, but Manziel's comments and body language after the Chick-fil-A Bowl came across as though he has every intention of stringing out his announcement at his own pace.
He won't be pressured in the pocket, or in the media. The deadline for underclassmen to declare is Jan. 15, and Manziel pointed out that he has until then to deal with the question.
- Manziel is always down for a good time, and New Year's night was no exception. So about 24 hours after his New Year's Eve was spent humiliating Duke's defense, Manziel had a much more proper celebration of the new year with friend and recording artist Drake, at a Miami night club. And the following night, he was watching friend LeBron James and the Miami Heat take on the Golden State Warriors.
What's in a name?
Nobody quite knows how much profit potential the name "Johnny Football" has when it comes to the world of marketing and merchandising, but we know Manziel is willing to fight for it legally. The efforts of Manziel, through his corporation, JMAN2 Enterprises, LLC, to trademark the phrase took an interesting turn this week when it was revealed that his application has been suspended. Someone else filed for that trademark first, but the Manziel camp insists the phrase should be his.
Tip of the cap
Give Manziel credit for a classy move in taking to Twitter with some respect for Duke quarterback Anthony Boone, who lit up the Aggies' defense for 427 yards, on 29-of-45 passing, in a losing effort Tuesday night.
Well ... what happened was ...
Before any final ridiculing of Manziel for missing a layup commences, let's be clear on this: If the most embarrassing thing Manziel ever does athletically ends up happening on a basketball court, he's in good shape. Still, the images of Manziel missing a layup at a Hawks game, where A&M and Duke were taking part in a skills competition as part of a Chick-fil-A Bowl event, will probably haunt him among his teammates for years.
And in the age of instant internet video, there will be no denying it happened no matter how old Johnny gets.
Manziel, of course, took it in stride: