The Manziel Magic

Jan 1 2014, 12:04pm CST | by

The Manziel Magic
Photo Credit: Forbes Business

Please allow me to be among the first to hyperbole you on January 1st 2014. Johnny Manziel is the most excellent entertaining football player in a generation. No one in the history of the SEC has been responsible for as many yards, running and throwing, as Johnny Manziel in one season. And just to erase all doubt about the magic, the person with the second most total yards in SEC history in a season is also Johnny Manziel.

The last game I presume of Manziel’s college career was better than a Hollywood script because it was spontaneously real. For someone called “Johnny Comeback” because of his improbable dramatic acts, he led the most scintillating comeback of his career. His team was down by three touchdowns at halftime against Duke, 38 to 17, before turning the tables to win 52-48.   

But the numbers are not enough. He has been called college football’s Cirque du Soleil before this game because of acrobatic erraticism in avoiding those who wanted to commit Manziel Mayhem – i.e. tackle him before he completed a pass. In this game he saved the best for last.

In the midst of the comeback, Manziel performed, unrehearsed I’m sure, “The Jump”. Johnny was looking for a receiver. I assume he was using both eyes in the 3 seconds of available time to analyze which of two or three receivers was in the best position to catch his pass.  But apparently part of his vision was directed at a diving defender about to mayhem him at the waist. Yes, a waist high tackle was in progress. While still looking for a receiver, Manziel made a quarter-second decision to jump high enough to completely avoid the waist-high tackle.

Jumping Johnny landed softly with his size 15 shoes (despite being about 6’0 tall). Those same feet then allowed him to jump backwards. At that moment, I was among many who gasped, “wrong way”. But then he matriculated left and found that receiver he started searching for 15 hours ago at the start of the play – Touchdown. Game over. Career Over. But the legend is just starting of the most entertaining swashbuckling player ever to over-leverage the Heisman.

To return to my hyperbole hangover, perhaps another will come along who will gain 10,000 yards in two years. Perhaps he is a first round enigma in the upcoming NFL draft. But I will probably never see another college quarterback in my lifetime like Johnny Manziel.

Source: Forbes Business


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