Originally posted on Taking Bad Schotz  |  Last updated 8/2/13

We live in a society that demands the media delve into celebrities’ lives so we can either share their success or add wood to the fire that has already started. We have TV shows like Access Hollywood, Entertainment Tonight, and TMZ that give us a front row seat into people’s daily lives just so we can be entertained. I mean how desperate have we gotten that our lives are so boring that we must obsess over others because they play sports, act in movies, or do whatever Kim Kardashian does? It’s kind of pathetic that we do this, but for whatever reason that is how our society runs now a days. Lately though, we have all turned our attention to a young man’s life, and criticize every little move he makes because of the spotlight we put him under. He’s not a professional athlete, nor a young on-the-rise movie star, but rather a college kid. You might know him as Johnny Football or Johnny Manziel. Manziel’s roller coaster of a year started with his incredible 2012 college football season as he led Texas A&M, in his freshman season, to a 10-2 regular season record and a dominating Cotton Bowl victory over Oklahoma. Oh yeah, and he also became the first freshmen to win this award called the Heisman. Unfortunately for Johnny right now, no one is talking about his on-the-field achievements, but instead his off-season adventures that were, of course, documented by anybody with a camera. 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On December 19, Manziel was caught sitting courtside at the Rockets and 76ers game and afterwards posed for a picture with James Harden. The next night he was found sitting courtside at the Heat and Mavericks basketball game which sparked a controversy. With all of the stories over the years of players accepting benefits from college boosters or agents, many thought Manziel was handed the tickets. What most didn’t know was that Johnny’s father Paul is the grandson of a Texas Oil fortune that still supports the family plenty. According to an article by Wright Thompson for ESPN.com, it is enough money so that Johnny never has to want for anything. After hearing all of the criticism for going to these games, and speculation of him receiving these tickets for free, Manziel sent out a tweet to quiet all the talk, “Bought myself a little birthday present tonight stop hating! #HEATvsMAVS.” After winning the Cotton Bowl in dominating fashion, Manziel decided to celebrate by going to an 18-and-over casino in Oklahoma. He was also photographed by TMZ.com popping bottles of Dom Perignon at a Dallas-area club. This was once again legal under Texas state laws because the 20-year-old had his parents with him at the club. As much as they wanted to bury this kid for underage drinking and gambling, Manziel was able to avoid it by playing by the rules. Soon after his winter break was over it became public knowledge that he was taking four online classes. Well you tell me, if you are a college super star like Manziel and your entire life is documented do you really want to be in classes with other students? Could you imagine the distraction he would create? Online classes are not a bad thing either, they have actually become more and more popular these days and in my mind there was nothing wrong with him taking those. In late March, Manziel threw an interception in practice and as a result defensive graduate assistant got a little too excited, and a little too close to Manziel. Johnny responded by shoving the assistant, which pretty much anyone else in the world would do, but because he did it, it became the talk of the sports world. By the way, this happens every day in practice pretty much anywhere. Manziel then decided to take time off of Twitter (definitely a good move), and lower the ways the media could attack him. His instagram became more of a focus though as he would take photos of him being with LeBron after the Finals and other things we wish we were doing instead of our boring lives. Recently he has taken some heat after visiting the University of Texas this past weekend and attending some fraternity parties. He was actually kicked out of one and videotaped leaving as a beer can was chucked at him. Well, you know what? If I’m him I’d just laugh because those guys missed out on a chance to drink with a legend and tell their children they partied with Johnny Manziel when they were in college. If you want to rip on a college kid trying to go to frat party then be my guest, but good luck with that argument. Photo Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel, USA TODAY Sports After reviewing his crazy offseason, let’s put things in perspective. Every TV analyst that has been criticizing this kid’s every move is well past their college years and into their adult life. I’d love to see how they would react if their every move was documented, reviewed, and scrutinized. He tweets something out, it’s immediately put on ESPN. He instagrams something, he’s immediately criticized for having a nice watch, or good seats at a sporting event that he took a picture at. God forbid he attends a party; he’s automatically made into an alcoholic that is out of control and isn’t focused on football. As a 19-year-old college student, I could only dream that my freshman year was 1% of what his was like! But do I hate him for that? Absolutely not! If my family was living happily, with no worries, off of an oil fortune (highly unlikely since I live in New Jersey) and I was a star football player, then I would be going to the Super Bowl, NBA Finals, on sick vacations, and whatever else I could think of because I’m American. What more do you want from the guy that went into Alabama and shocked Nick Saban’s Crimson Tide in what was one of his ten regular season victories that led to him winning the goddam Heisman trophy? Now did he do anything wrong this offseason? No! He went to basketball games, he hung out with A-List celebrities, he drank legally, he gambled legally, and he even worked on his game at the beach! Yes, there was controversy when he was allegedly sent home from the Manning football camp for quarterbacks because he was hung over, but hey we make mistakes, especially when we’re 20. What I’m trying to say is everyone gives this guy a bad beat even though he isn’t even 21 yet. No man should be followed around as much as he is. If one person takes a photo of me at a party I get annoyed, and I’m shocked with all of the attention he gets that he hasn’t snapped on the paparazzi. Some dare to say he won’t be mentally ready for the upcoming season this year, and to those people I just laugh. This guy’s future rests on this season. He can be a top ten pick in the first round if he repeats what he did last year, and because of that incentive I guarantee he comes ready to play and ready to dominate. For now, this guy needs to be left alone, but because of the way our society runs, the attention won’t stop. Does he need to quiet down his life a little bit? Sure, but that’s not because he’s a bad egg. It’s because his every move is more critiqued than those of Brad Pitt. I feel bad for him, despite the life he lives, because if I make a mistake MAYBE my mom will find out, but if he does then the United States of America finds out. If I had advice for Johnny I’d just tell him to continue to live his life the way he is and once it comes time to play some ball just go out there and use the haters as fuel. In the words of Manziel himself, GIGEM! -Huberman

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