Jan 1 2014, 12:05pm CST | by Forbes
After Tuesday night’s improbable 52-48 comeback victory over Duke in the Chick-fil-A Bowl, Johnny Manziel has to draw comparisons to Joe Montana and Doug Flutie, two of the best to ever play the quarterback position.
Manziel completed 30 of 38 passes for 382 yards and four TDs in rallying Texas A&M from a 38-17 halftime deficit in what was likely the sophomore’s final collegiate game before he declares for the NFL draft. Similarly, Montana, saddled with the flu and playing in frigid conditions, brought Notre Dame back from a 34-12 hole to defeat Houston 35-34 in the 1979 Cotton Bowl in his final collegiate outing. Flutie, of course, was famous for the “Hail Flutie” throw to down Miami 47-45 the day after Thanksgiving in 1984.
But the real common denominator between the three is an intangible magic leadership quality and the ability to find a way to win against all odds. None of them are the prototypical 6-5, 220-pound gunslinger. In fact, Flutie was only 5-10 and wasn’t drafted until the 11th round by the Rams in 1985. He chose to play in the USFL and Canada before getting a shot in the NFL.
Montana, of course, led the San Francisco 49ers to four Super Bowl triumphs in four attempts and was famous for “The Catch”, the last-minute TD pass to Dwight Clark that beat Dallas in the NFC Championship Game of 1982. Known as “Joe Cool” and “The Comeback Kid”, thereafter, Montana’s ability to thrive under pressure was unmatched.
Manziel, who is listed at 6-1, 210, may not have the physical prowess of Louisville’s Teddy Bridgewater or Central Florida’s Blake Bortles but the team that picks him will have a proven winner with an uncanny magic touch that can’t be taught. If it’s a gamble, it’s one worth taking because it could lead a franchise to a couple of Super Bowls during the next decade.
Source: Forbes Business
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