The dramatic yet sadly predictable unravelling of Johnny Manziel’s NFL dream hurtles towards an end with no winners.
Losers are sprawled out everywhere: his father, his family, the hangers on and the manchild himself.
A continually expanding rap sheet is close to bursting point with assault charges, substance abuse and hit and runs placing a dark stain on a career which threatened so much while delivering nothing but heartache and shame.
Without a team after being dumped by the Cleveland Browns following two disastrous, error prone seasons, the 23-year-old Texas A&M Heisman Trophy winning quarterback has been hit with a four-match ban by the NFL for violating the league code of conduct.
Drug abuse is believed to be the reason. If, and it’s a monstrous if, someone has a common sense failure and actually signs him in the next few weeks, Manziel could return by Week 5. That, however, is looking increasingly unlikely.
Yet the rate at which those who should be attempting to help him are instead digging holes even deeper is truly alarming. It has gone beyond parody. Manziel senior, intoxicated on his son’s rapidly diminishing wealth, was as helpful as an umbrella in a sand storm by letting the world know he’s fathered a drug addict who’s at breaking point.
“He’s a druggie,” exclaimed Paul Manziel to ESPN. “It’s not a secret that he’s a druggie. I don’t know what to say other than my son is a druggie and he needs help. He just hasn’t seeked it yet. Hopefully he doesn’t die before he comes to his senses.
“That’s about all you can say. I don’t know what else to say. I hate to say it but I hope he goes to jail. I mean, that would be the best place for him. So we’ll see.”
Thanks Dad. With Manziel’s character continually being called into question, it was the last thing he needed.
Well, apart from a butter fingers attorney accidentally texting one of the world’s largest news agencies with explosive information which blows the on-going assault case involving his ex-girlfriend wide open. You couldn’t make it up if you tried.
In an attempt to reply to a request from the Associated Press for information about a car crash involving Manziel, Bob Hinton somehow responded by divulging the legal team are planning to agree to a plea deal in a domestic violence case which could see him spend up to a year in prison.
“Heaven help us if one of the conditions is to pee in a bottle,” Hinton wrote, clearly fearing any potential deal could be quashed because of his client’s penchant for illegal substances.
“He is very interested in working with us to arrive at some agreement.”
The world’s most helpful legal counsel also let slip there is a receipt doing the rounds which indicates Manziel may have spent over $1,000 on drug paraphernalia just hours after a hit-and-run incident.
Cue wild backtracking from the hapless Hinton. He meant to send the texts to someone else working the case.
He stressed that attorney client privileges ensure the details must not be divulged in public for fear of destroying the case. Threats of lawsuits were even dished out.
Too late for that. The damage had well and truly been done.
The @NFL suspends QB Johnny Manziel 4 games for violating league policy on substances of abuse. Another blow to any chance at returning.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) June 30, 2016
Johnny Manziel's 4-gm suspension only applies to substance abuse. If he signs, he's subject to the personal conduct policy (his legal case)— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) June 30, 2016
So what now for a sportsman who seems far more suited to spectacularly throwing a career away instead of launching footballs for game-winning touchdowns?
Some believe the four game ban could be the tipping point.
A wake up call after the wake up call after the wake up call.
There’s even been talk of staying off the drink in July.
Big words which started shrinking when photos flooded the internet on Thursday of Manziel and a gaggle of women hanging out in a swimming pool in Mexico.
It didn’t look like party time was over. Far from it.
He has no agent – his last two ran for the hills – and has little hope.
There are also looming financial hurdles to clear.
An LA rental home was trashed. A rental car was written off in a crash earlier this year. Both could need paying for.
Legal bills are mounting up – how he could do with the $8million of endorsement fees which are now nowhere to be seen. The self-destruct button has been pressed so many times, it’s almost worn out.
And, unfortunately, there’s no-one to blame but poor old Johnny Football himself.
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