- Edward Aschoff, ESPN Staff Writer
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Johnny Manziel has just about everything in life these days. He has the fame, the glory, the records and the accolades. The Texas A&M quarterback truly is living an All-American lifestyle.
But with all that fun stuff comes pressure, scrutiny, cameras and social media. So far, the Heisman Trophy winner has done a good job of keeping things together away from the playing field, but he's learning that every thing he does -- big or small -- will now be documented.
If the country's top football player is going to continue the historic run he's on, he'll have to bring some humility into his life and make sure that the fun he's having away from the field doesn't consume him. His record-breaking performance in the the Aggies' 41-13 win against Oklahoma in the AT&T Cotton Bowl shows that he knows how to put off-field fun behind him when it's game time, but the offseason is here, and Manziel won't be suiting up for another real game until Sept. 7. Downtime worries any coach, no matter what players are involved ... and Johnny Football is a target.
We'd already seen that his taste in a Halloween costume was very popular in the social media world, but then we saw him sitting courtside for the Mavericks-Heat game. Then he was showing off a handful of cash at a casino the day after the Cotton Bowl. Then TMZ posted a photo of Manziel, who is 20, holding a champagne bottle at a Dallas club hours after A&M beat the Sooners. TMZ also reported that Manziel was with his mom, which made it legal for him to drink, but a club manager said that no one saw Manziel drinking.
Technically, Manziel hasn't done anything wrong. His celebrity status has had his off-field fun blown out of proportion, but there's an enormous bull's-eye on Manziel's back, and people will be looking for the first misstep he takes. It's unfortunate, but such is the life of any celebrity these days. Just ask Tim Tebow.
"I don't really pay attention to that stuff as much as some people do," said Manziel during a conference call this week. "I've got to learn from it and move on, and make sure I don't make some of the same mistakes again as far as the stuff I've been doing."
One of the major mistakes he's talking about is when he was arrested last summer after police say he was involved in a fight and had a fake ID. Manziel -- and his team -- can't afford another incident like that, so Manziel just has to be careful.
No one is asking him to tone down his lifestyle, but as the time away from football continues, Manziel has to look out for himself more. He has to know that he isn't invincible. Cameras will be after him and Twitter will be waiting for him. Manziel has only teased social media to this point, but you better believe it's waiting for the day he slips up.
It's the world that we live, and as long as Manziel understands that, he'll be fine. But he can't be too careful.
1mSam Khan Jr.
3dSam Khan Jr.