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The NFL Needs Johnny Manziel

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Next season, I want Johnny Manziel to make a comeback. Not just any comeback, I want him to come back and be great. Like MVP of the league great. Then I want him to be so good that he goes back to being “Johnny Football.” And not Texas A&M “Johnny Football.” I want him to be extra “Johnny Football.” I want him so “Johnny Football” that when he does that money thing, he pulls out real hundred dollar bills and then lights them on fire. I want him to run towards a little kid after every touchdown then flip the game ball over little Timmy’s head to the big boobed woman behind him. I want him doing commercials for energy drinks, hanging with Bieber, and wearing white tuxedos to red carpet events. I want Johnny to be so “Johnny Football” that during player entrances he comes out wearing the biggest cowboy hat you’ve ever seen, boots with spurs, and a fully loaded gun in a holster that he fires off into the sky. I want him to actually scream “Yeehaw.” Yeah, that’s right. I want him to enter the field dressed as Yosemite Sam. You know why? Because it would be fun to watch. And right now, the NFL isn’t that fun.

Just look at the hype leading up to the Super Bowl. Are any of the stories fun? Think about it. Are any of the stories being discussed putting a smile on your face? Sure the Panthers and Broncos fans are happy. But is anyone having a good time discussing race issues every time Cam Newton’s name comes up? I’m not saying race relations isn’t a worthwhile conversation but it’s not really a fun one. Having to wonder if your dad’s feelings on Cam’s cockiness has anything to do with some ingrained version of racism he unknowingly propagates is pretty heavy for a game I watch drunk and pantless. But not just that story. All of the stories are very serious and businesslike. Every Peyton Manning story feels like it’s the description of a medical drama. “Will Peyton get enough HGH to grow his forehead another eighth of an inch?” Every Carolina Panthers story accuses me of not respecting them enough even though I just ate a whole large pizza. What do I know about respect? And don’t even get me started on the health stories. Megatron might retire at 30. I’m 30! Am I old? What am I doing on Total Frat Move?! I’m 30!

Where are the personalities? The guarantees? The players that we didn’t know before the Super Bowl that all a sudden make us laugh a bit. Deion Sanders? Reggie White? Ray Lewis? Joe Namath? Where are those colorful characters? Sure, people blame the media for playing up the race stuff, but I think this one’s on the fans. NFL Fans are the most sensitive in all of sports. They treat their players like they’re handling their money (kind of true). Imagine Cam Newton guaranteeing a Super Bowl win like Joe Namath. Take a second to think of the backlash. I’d actually fear for his life. I’d wonder how mad that would make someone about his “cockiness.” And if he lost the Super Bowl, you wouldn’t see a bunch of Panthers fans saying, “That’s Cam!” Panthers fans would sound more like a father whose son is ruining the family business. “Maybe Cam can’t handle this type of responsibility,” they’ll say as their unfed child runs around in an adult sized Kuechly jersey.

Maybe you could argue that there just aren’t a lot of outspoken stars this year. That there’s no Deion Sanders to make us really want to listen. But Cam Newton is pretty flashy. Peyton Manning is pretty important. Josh Norman talks enough trash to fight his own QB. And Cortland Finnegan might end up in the dickhead hall of fame. So where’s the fun? Where are the WWE style call-outs? How come media day didn’t have one “fun” interaction driven by a player and not by some gag Jimmy Kimmel put together? It’s because we, the fans, won’t let that happen. There’s very little upside for a player to have an opinion. They’re better off saying things like “Any given Sunday” and letting us live in a crazy reality where they actually care about our hometown.

This is why we need Johnny Football back. We need the fun. We need the stories that make us smile and bring us back to a simpler time. We need a guy who cares so little about fan reactions that he wears a wig that doesn’t even match his hair. And if there’s any website on the planet to support that cause, it’s this one. The site based in Texas, read by right-leaning men, that tells you 10 surefire ways to a guaranteed blowjob. So let’s band together, put Johnny to our teet, and nurse him back to health.

Listen to that. I think it’s already helping. Do you hear it? It sounds like a “Yeehaw.”

Image via YouTube

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Jared Freid (@jtrain56) is a New York City-based comedian who has been featured on MTV’s Failosophy and is the host of The JTrain Podcast presented by TFM.

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