• December 27, 2014

Johnny Football Debate: Manziel a modern-day Bobby Layne

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Posted: Monday, July 21, 2014 12:10 am

Johnny Manziel plays hard on the field and we all know that. But thanks to tabloid sites like TMZ and the slow time in sports during July, we know that he also plays hard off the field. 

But the hard- partying life will go away come the fall and Manziel will let his presence be felt this fall with the Cleveland Browns.

Now I’m not justifying Manziel’s antics in the least. Trust me, there is nothing more annoying than turning on ESPN during the morning and being treated to the latest videos or still frames of Manziel tearing up Las Vegas as if he was auditioning for a role in “The Hangover.”

Yes, partying, drinking and who knows what else has been an issue during the offseason, but that’s just it, it’s been in the offseason.

Once the season started at Texas A&M, all was quiet on the Manziel front and from August until January, he was dedicated. Maybe not a model citizen, but passionate about the game and he left it all out on the field.

Now here is where I call upon you Longhorn fans, some of which may hate me and request I return my University of Texas degree. The competitiveness, the winning and hard partying, basically everything you hate about Johnny Football, you loved about Bobby Layne.

If you think about it, Manziel is the modern-day Layne.

Layne is a legend in Austin, a member of both the Pro Football and National Collegiate hall of fames and a pioneer of the 2-minute offense with the Detroit Lions in the 1950s and ’60s.

Layne was known to toss a few down and he died in 1986 at the age of 59 of heart failure. His drinking contributed to his death and he also suffered liver damage.

Layne had his No. 22 retired by the school in 2008 and was considered the finest UT quarterback during the previous century, and his passing yards and passing touchdowns records as well as his record 28 wins stood for almost 40 years until Vince Young came around.

Unlike Young, he had a stellar career leading the Lions to the 1952 and ’53 NFL championships. Layne finished his career with more than 26,000 yards and 196 touchdowns.

Sure, Layne’s career may have been different if people had camera phones and social media sites to put things up about the Lion, but once it came down to football, Layne was all business.

And Manziel will be the same, once he gets into camp. And let’s face it, all of the things people hate about Manziel, they loved about Layne.

If things don’t work out for Manziel in Cleveland, it will be more because of the way the team is run than anything he does away from football.

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