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Aggie Fans Celebrate “The Johnny We Know”

johnny-manziel-and-scoutThis morning I’ve received a number of emails from Texas A&M fans.  Most have been polite.  One not so much.  (Up yours, fella!)  But they all included a link to what’s being called “The Johnny We Know” Project.  (A suggestion was likely made on a messageboard to bombard the evil media with project’s web address.)

“The Johnny We Know” Project is a site with a very specific mission:


“These pages are created to present a face to Texas A&M’s Heisman winning quarterback that some other outlets may not deem profitable.  Johnny Manziel is certainly young, has his ‘moments of weakness’ and acts impulsively, perhaps selfishly, at times.  However, he’s also an amazing young man, always has time to pose for a picture with a young fan or to visit a pediatric cancer unit.  Those visors he wears on the sideline invariably end up in the hands of an eager kid after each home game.

This is how we, his supporters through thick and thin, know Johnny Manziel.”


No one ever said Manziel is incapable of signing an autograph for a kid (for free), or of handing over his visor to a fan, or of — as most college athletes do — visiting the patients in a local hospital.  Most college athletes do those types of things.  As a Heisman-winner, Manziel has likely done more.  Good for him.  That’s not meant in a snarky way, either.  Literally.  Good.  For.  Him.

But while the positive side of Johnny Football is being celebrated at TJWK Project website — a site loaded with photos of a smiling, child-befriending Manziel — there’s an obvious admission that the Texas A&M fans behind the project choose to ignore the other side of their quarterback’s personality.  That photo of him with a sparkler in his mouth and a bottle of champagne in his hand is nowhere to be found.  While a story of him rescuing a kitten – yes, really — is featured prominently, there’s no mention of him breezing (and bumping) past his head coach after drawing a taunting penalty on Saturday.

And there’s sure no allusion to the QB’s infamous “I can’t wait to leave college station” tweet.

Look, I get it.  Aggie fans want everyone to know that there’s more to Manziel than the showboating, coach-ignoring, golf club-tossing guy presented so often in the media.  “If they only show that side, we’ll only show this side.”  Got it.

But there’s a problem with that.  Manziel’s many good deeds don’t get coverage for two reasons: One, no one cares (sad, but true) and two, college athletes are expected to be nice to children, visit cancer wards and sign autographs (for free).  All that other stuff that Manziel does?  The cocky behavior, the jet-setting, the kerfuffle at the Manning Passing Academy… that’s stuff that’s not expected of a college player, much less a Heisman Trophy-winner.  And fair or not, the unexpected is what’s going to get the majority of national coverage.

The fact that some Aggie backers choose to pretend that “Good Johnny” is to be celebrated while “Bad Johnny” is to be ignored brings to mind a 1978 country hit by John Conlee:


“But these rose-colored glasses

that I’m looking through

show only the beauty,

’cause they hide all the truth.”


Manziel isn’t the devil incarnate.  He’s not the worst player to ever step on a football field.  But it’s pretty obvious he is spoiled.  Spoiled rotten.  He lacks an understanding of accountability.  He’s never been taught that there are consequences for every action (which is a lesson many of us have also had to learn the hard way).

To pat him on the back and say, “We don’t care that your teammates don’t view you as a team leader, you just keep on keepin’ on” is pretty much the exact attitude that’s resulted in the star’s spoilage.  Great players can do whatever they like and continue to play and be cheered.  If Manziel were a poor quarterback with a sorry won/loss record, you can be certain there would be no “The Johnny We Know” Project working to polish his image.

It’s amazing, really, that there are still some A&M fans who will back Manziel regardless of his actions.  Even those actions that hurt his team.  Face it, the guy brought a suspension, a penalty and a benching on himself all in a single game.  Can his teammates and coaches truly count on him over the next three months?  The answer would appear to be no — again, he was not voted into the team’s leadership council — yet some fans go right on whistling past the graveyard when it comes to their beloved superstar.

No wonder Manziel acts like a spoiled kid.



Did you even watch A&M vs. Rice? If you did you would have noticed the camera consistently going to the "attention seeking, showboating" Manziel whenever the ball went dead. You would have heard ESPN going to their man on the sideline to ask him how "Johnny was behaving". Was he contrite and humble or was he seeking attention, yucking it up with his teammates and undermining backup QB Matt Joeckel? You would have seen how the team responded when he stepped on the field, how they elevated their level of play, how Johnny backed up Mike Evans after his TD reception when two Rice DBs came over to talk smack to him. Leadership? You don't recognize leadership. You need someone to tell you whether someone is a leader or not and trust that they are correct. Here's a tip, don't trust ESPN. They are lazy and consequently suck at journalism. If Manziel isn't a team Captain the he must not have the confidence and faith of his teammates? They know as much about the Aggies as they do wat was said on that field Saturday. If Manziel isn't a team Captain then he must not be a leader? How many players can you name that are/were team Captains as sophomores.

You guys (sportswriters, broadcasters and bloggers) are lazy. Someone (mostly ESPN apparently) comes up with a narrative, reports it and you guys simply regurgitate it never bothering to validate it or, god forbid, engage some critical thought. You guys have painted a black hat upon Johnny's head and will create, or in your case regurgitate, the negative narrative to fill that template. We get it and are steeled to it by now. But just maybe there is one or two brain cells left in you to allow you to think for yourself, take the path less travelled and write some unique pieces by season's end.


As an A&M fan, I don’t “choose” to ignore Johnny’s behavior.  How could I, when the media continues to harp and harp on the same things?  We all know by now how you all feel and that any move that he makes will be blown out of proportion, sensationalized, and beaten to death by the media.  Maybe A&M fans think it’s just as interesting to view a different angle of Johnny, that does exist, outside of most reporters’ one-sided views.  

The reporters choose to ignore seeing Johnny in any other light than what the media has portrayed of him and what they've "heard".  After all anything else is boring and doesn’t draw ratings.  So, they all feed off each other’s sensationalized reporting of “the facts” that they are so sure are all true, knowing very little about him except what has been shown through the camera lens and heard and read in the same hate-filled stories and comments on various websites.  I mean really, your presumptuous statement “He’s never been taught that there are consequences for every action”.  Do you know this?  Have you interviewed his parents or anyone to see how he was raised?  I’m a Mom, and although I’ve taught my daughter about consequences, she still chooses to make bad choices sometimes.  You admitted yourself that you've learned the hard way about consequences.  Bet your Mom taught you this, but a life experience had to show you it was true.

Has anyone interviewed the players, listened to what his coach has said, interviewed anyone from the opposing team, interviewed anyone that might know him otherwise, or done any real investigative reporting?  Nope. No one chooses to do any further “digging”, offer any different perspective, or even believe what his coach has blatantly told the media regarding the "coach ignoring" sideline incident... “you were not there on the sidelines, so you have no idea what was said”.  So, the armchair reporting seen through the camera lens is not always as it seems.  These same old insights now are frankly quite boring and uncreative.  There’s no real reporting going on since everyone can all just trade each other’s same old second-hand facts and put their spin on it.  I applaud the TJWK project because there are some different views backed by firsthand accounts of people who choose to speak up.  The picture of the sparkler in the mouth doesn’t need to be on their website because every website in America has posted and reused the same things.  It’s old news.  You choose to abruptly discount anything good he may have done and chalk it up to “that’s what athletes are supposed to do”.  That’s really distasteful and disrespectful to the cancer patient’s family in particular and their relationship with Johnny.  In fact, I doubt you bothered to read anything about that or looked into it at all.  You presume that it's not reportable because "no once cares".  Really?  I see public outpourings of overwhelming support for such stories all the time on social media and various news websites.  And if no one cared or noticed, they sure wouldn't jump at the chance to compare Johnny's so-called "bad character" with the good character of other players like Tebow.  They obviously are informed and care enough to applaud such players and then kick Johnny to the curb because he's not an "angellic" superstar (as I've seen him characterized) as Tebow.  Maybe if some of JM's good deeds were reported, people might soften their hatred just a bit.

I am not wearing rose-colored glasses because I am fully aware of his behavior but don’t personally think it warrants the level of condemnation he has received.  And here’s a second version of John Conlee’s song for the media and haters...  “These dark-colored blinders that I can’t see through, show only what I choose to see,  cause they hide all the other views"


This site and others began using inflammatory headlines about Manziel BEFORE ANY TRUTH WAS DOCUMENTED (not always, but sometimes). Manziel isn't perfect and no one is, much less at 20. Unfortunately there is a huge double standard going on now and the wheels are off. He used the money gesture all last year and now its taboo and insensitive. We've all been told when we are taunted to point at the scoreboard and walk away. Now that is a flag and bullying. The media blasts Manziel for the way he walked off the field after the flag and how he interacted with a Rice player earlier, yet both the coach and player say it didn't go down the way the media portrays. America expects him to have no zeal after being slandered and tarnished by ESPN and others regarding autographs REGARDLESS OF A COMPLETE LACK OF ANY EVIDENCE. Oh, let's not forget how we want Manziel to show so much maturity while the rest of the world gets a pass with an "anything goes" mentality.

I will be the first to change my mind if someone can prove he broke the rules. In the meantime, all the media hypes with double standards trying to sell exagerated sports news regardless of corraboration are not being mature or accountable for their actions, These are college kids and there is some duty on behalf of the media to get the stories right.

With that said, I enjoy this site. It is one of the best. And, yes, Johnny Football needs to grow up too!


@MrSEC all@of your problems have been address. Sumlin addressed the ignoring coach part... Explained in the preset today. And what's wrong


John, in light of your biased interpretation of the interaction between Johnny and Coach Sumlin " there’s no mention of him breezing (and bumping) past his head coach after drawing a taunting penalty on Saturday", I thought you'd be interested to know that Coach Sumlin said at his press conference today: "When he came off the field basically I made 2 statements to him, neither one of which should he have responded to. They weren't questions but direct statements that I can't repeat right now. And so what's amazing is the perception that he ignored me; the worst thing that could have happened was for him to reply, based on what I told him. "

Starting at the 18:23 mark

Please stop taking the ESPN narrative at face value.  The bottom line on the ESPN investigation/character assassination isthat they went way out on a limb using highly questionable sources in order to attract page hits, eyeballs, and ears to their website, channels, and radio empire.  Their reporters have been caught in numerous lies in the past (Rovell/NBA escort service scam).  When the NCAA checked into the case, they dismissed it with a slap on the wrist because there was no credible evidence.  A&M administration called out ESPN for the irresponsible reporting, and now you have the way over the top Johnny as a spoiled, disrespectful jerk narrative.

"If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it." ~ usually attributed to Dr. Joseph Goebbels

I enjoy your site because you are usually much better than this.


Coach Sumlin hit the nail on the head at today's press conference.  He mentioned how it would have been inappropriate for JM to have said anything given the comments Sumlin made to him as Manziel was walking off the field.  Loved Sumlin's comments:  "people have got to talk about something"  and "people want to make a story out of anything that happens on this team."   That about sums it up when it comes to the sports media.

And the great thing is, that Sumlin was not complaining about it.  He basically said that all this coverage is great because it puts a wall up around his team.


I'm an Aggie that is liking him less and less with every day. I'm ready for him to move on to the NFL. He's an embarrassment to himself and A&M. I love what he has done for A&M on the field and recruiting but at what cost? He might be a nice, caring person but the person he is allowing the world to see isn't too nice. I do have to say though that the team not voting him to the leadership council doesn't necessarily speak to what his teammates think about him. He's only a sophomore. His team probably wanted Juniors or seniors on the leadership council. They are the one's that are supposed to be the leaders of the team. Manziel still (technically) has two years of eligibility left. Let the older guys have some of the spotlight. 


Maybe I should start a website for all the convicted criminals to show their other side too. Really, they aren't so bad after all - it just depends on what you choose to see or not see.


Nice dig voice....just keep on drawing inferences that you want to draw, ignoring other reasonable inferences that could be drawn from the same set of facts.  Go ahead and join the ESPN spin machine.


There is no way to have a rational discussion of the Manziel trainwreck with the Saint Johnny crowd. He's not evil - he's a selfish jerk; bred that way by overindulging adults throughout his life, apparently. Therefore the returning, starting, Heisman Trophy winning quarterback isn't considered a leader by the rest of the team. It is painfully easy to see if you aren't blinded by fanaticism. Enjoy this remarkable football player, A&M fans, while many of the rest of us hope Sumlin grabs control of the team.


John, has it occurred to you that Sophomores are not ordinarily on the team's Leadership Council?

You talk about facts, but here is the deal:  there are inferences to be drawn from the facts.  You choose to draw the worst possible inferences that put Manziel in the worst possible light.  Why do that?  Why not instead draw the inference from the same facts that make him look good.  For example, based on the taunting call I could easily draw this inference from the same set of facts, "yes, he got caught taunting, but so what?  The game was already in hand and players do that all the time.  There is so much trash talking going on in the typical college football game (and pro game) you wouldn't believe it.  You know, they say Peyton Manning is one of the worst trash talkers of them all."  Why not draw that inference?  Just as with the leadership council business, why only draw the inferences that make Manziel look bad?


Since he became the starting quarterback at Texas A&M, all the evil done by Manziel amounts to the following:  he got a speeding ticket, he made an irate tweet about being unfairly targeted by CSPD, he went to a casino, and he partied like a rockstar all offseason after winning the heisman trophy as a freshman.  Now he has pointed at the scoreboard in response to trash talk from a couple of idiot Owls during the game.   


Tebow got taunting penalties at UF too .  He probably even got a speeding ticket, but you didnt hear about it, and that's the point.  The media, and this website is a prime offender, WANTED a 'downfall'/badboy' story and are creating one where it does not exist.   Hell, even the judge who issued the speeding ticket, who is a known thug running an illegal little speedtrap racket, VIOLATED THE JUDICIAL RULES TO CHIDE MANZIEL ON FACEBOOK.  Everybody is taking shots at this guy, and it's not right. 

Talking heads have said things like 'shame the heisman'!?  What a joke.   How does Manziel's rapsheet above compare with other heisman winners?  they include an accused murderer convicted of extortion and battery (OJ), Taking $300k to go to USC (Bush), Bong smoking NFL dropout with illegit kids (Williams), convicted of $50 million dollar counterfeit scam (Cannon), suspended by NFL for gambling on your own NFL games (Hornung), multiple felony drug dealer/user, who served jail time for a gas station robbery before he won the heisman, and who later went back to jail for aggravated assault (Rogers),

Of course, Manti Teo would have been a much better representative. 

Lay off Manziel.  Its clear that you have picked up the false narrative and are pushing it yourself, but it only makes you look bad.   Everyone that has actually met this guy says he's a pretty good guy.  And oh yeah, he is already one of the greatest players ever to step on the football field.



@MrSEC with partying after a Cotton Bowl victory against an old rival of Oklahoma? Does that really concern you? Hell everybody should do...


@kaffeen What has he been "convicted" of? Underage drinking? Oversleeping? A parking ticket? Man, you really are clueless to call him something he is not. I am with Joe Flacco. Didn't really know how I felt about him until morons like yourself jump on a 20 year old kid who was thrust into the brightest spotlight and has made a few mistakes. I am sure that you would've handled it much better as a 20 year old. I certainly would not have. 


@Eagle78 I hate to admit it, but even the self promoting, self indulgent sports media giant known as ESPN is right some of the time.

John at MrSEC
John at MrSEC moderator


Actually, as stated above, he was suspended for a half, got a taunting penalty, and was benched by his coach for it.  Kevin Sumlin said Manziel's behavior will have to improve.  Manziel's own father said things at College Station could end very badly.  Perhaps you should email them as it seems they've "picked up the false narrative." 

The problem with your argument is that you only read half of what is written.  This site has praised Manziel's on-field abilities COUNTLESS times.  You ignore that.  You see only what you want to see.  If Sumlin or Manziel's father point to problems, you stick your fingers in your ears and la-la-la-la-la-la your way through that, too.

Here's hoping that the only things we hear about in terms of Manziel in 2013 are touchdowns and victories.  He's too good of a player to let his brash behavior overshadow his athletic abilities.

At the same time, if he does blow up and hurt the Aggies' season at some point, I want every A&M fan who's yelped and whined about the media picking on poor Johnny Football to come right back here and apologize to the crew.

I won't hold my breath.



@MrSEC that... Your a stick in the mud if you don't celebrate. Also, the college station tweet... He got a parking ticket and he was pissed.


@John at MrSEC @cbr45111 And when that doesn't happen, I'm sure you will publicly eat crow with an apology article, right?

I won't hold my breath.


@MrSEC wrong way. Lets just run with heresay & make story. The integrity of the media is incredibly sad as society hangs on their every word


@MrSEC welcome to an overreacting teenage kids life. Every kid his age hates the cops during college. You and everybody else took it the....


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