Manziel: From Cleveland to Vegas
May, 27, 2014
By Pat McManamon | ESPN.com
Johnny Celebrity landed in Cleveland over the Memorial Day weekend.
And he was in Las Vegas.
The world and, by extension, the Cleveland Browns got their full Johnny Football experience in a few days. Last week Johnny Manziel was on the field for organized team activities with the entire team, veterans and rookies. He was described as quiet, seen and not heard and humble. He was described as one of the guys. This was Manziel.
During the weekend in Las Vegas came the tweets and photos of him playing the party animal card. Here is Manziel posing with a group of women and Rob Gronkowski, doing the Drake sign with another young woman, posing with DJ Pauly D.
The Browns' rookie quarterback clearly is a product of the social media generation.
He works, does his job, plays hard, then ... plays hard when he's not working.
The guy who talked about being humbled and gave the media the "aw shucks" persona during rookie minicamp seemed -- via social media at least -- quite the opposite over the weekend.
The Plain Dealer in Cleveland had a story on Manziel's weekend, and the photos were quite prevalent on the Internet.
Manziel could avoid it all, pass on being photographed, not be as public -- and probably have just as much fun. But he doesn't seem to mind what goes with it. He talks about how he's not sure why he became such a celebrity, but then spends the weekend in Vegas for all to see.
There's nothing wrong with this. Manziel committed no crime. He did not make a spectacle of himself, though sharing the limelight with the man they call Gronk is always interesting. Fairness dictates that it must be said Gronkowski has been able to be very productive and effective even with his partying.
It might be claimed that Manziel is acting entitled, that he's celebrating like a Pro Bowler when he's not even thrown an NFL pass. But Manziel is being consistent. In college he took in many main events like the UFC fight he watched during the weekend in Vegas. The latest merely continues the trend.
And Manziel has enough celebrity that anywhere he goes he's photographed. When LeBron James was in Cleveland, he took a vacation on the Riviera in Europe and was photographed walking on the beach with his son. And all they were doing was walking.
Same celebrity, same attention.
Manziel tweeted only about the fight, and how much he enjoyed it. He posted the group shot that included Gronkowski on Instagram. The third post on Manziel's Twitter timeline is a retweet from defensive lineman Billy Winn about how good the practice week was last week. That won't get the attention the party pictures will.
Manziel brings elements of stardom and celebrity to Cleveland that the city has not known for a long time. If he succeeds on the field it will only increase. But if he's late for a meeting or stinks up the joint after a weekend soiree, then he'll hear it.
Evidently Manziel heard it from some folks already via the Internet. On Monday he posted this photo on Instagram, in an effort to answer his apparent critics, and wrote: "Guess it's impossible to enjoy the weekend and study?"
Cleveland, get ready for this experience. IMAX barely scratches the surface of it.