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Johnny Manziel declines Super Bowl appearances to train

Johnny Manziel has received a lot of attention -- much of it negative -- for his off-field decisions the past 15 or so months. Surprisingly, his decision this week to bypass the Super Bowl and all its festivities hasn't received all that much publicity.

While AJ McCarron was in New York getting his hair done, Manziel was sticking with his training regimen on the West Coast instead of trekking cross-country to take in the Super Bowl.

His agent, Eric Burkhardt, said Manziel was presented opportunities to go to New York but declined. Some reports have said those opportunities included money for promotional services. But Manziel is putting work before pleasure, trading what likely would've been a six-figure payday for workouts to improve his footwork. Can you imagine the attention he would've received had he gone to New York and bypassed the daily workouts?

There are other quarterbacks in this draft class who are in New York, McCarron and Blake Bortles to name two.

One reason McCarron is in New York is that he serves as a representative for AXE Hair products. McCarron underwent a makeover of sorts in full view of the media while in New York; a celebrity stylist did his hair using AXE products.

After the styling session, McCarron was asked whom he liked in the Super Bowl. He picked Denver. His reasoning will please marketing folks: "I signed with the same agency as [Broncos wide receiver] Eric Decker, with Five-Star Agency, and then with both of us being a part of the AXE Hair Team, it's definitely cool to kind of be a part of two teams together, working together, so I definitely gotta pull for him to hopefully win."

(A release from AXE on Thursday had McCarron saying, "I had some pretty awkward hairstyles back in the day, from a long, shaggy hair in high school to the short trim I had in college. I never expected gels to give me such a great look. I'm psyched that AXE Hair hooked me up with a new gel style that I can rock all day long." And, no, we're not making this up.)

But getting back to Manziel. He has hired a company, Fenway Sports Management, to oversee his marketing. (Manziel also has hired an agent, as well as a separate firm to handle his public relations.) When Fenway Sports Management, in partnership with LRMR Management -- LeBron James' marketing company -- announced it had signed Manziel as a client earlier this month, the Boston Globe reported that the goal was to help Manziel "transcend sports and become a global brand in the mold of James."

"LeBron was an international sports icon and a global celebrity before we got involved," Mark Lev, managing director of Fenway Sports Management, told the Globe. "Johnny needs to perform on the football field, and that's really where the focus is now. But providing he does that, there's huge upside for him from a business standpoint."

This week, Manziel is focusing on football, probably figuring that he needs to care of business.

Mike Huguenin can be reached at You also can follow him on Twitter @MikeHuguenin.

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