The circus is coming to Hoover, and that's not in reference to the annual silliness that arises when the Hyatt Regency Birmingham-The Wynfrey Hotel in Hoover, Ala., opens its doors to 1,000 or more credentialed media members for SEC media days.
Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel's circus rivals that of media days, which will create quite an intriguing atmosphere next week at the unofficial kickoff to the college football season.
What should Manziel expect on Wednesday morning when he makes the rounds?
A lot of questions about his offseason world tour, some of which will come from his most vocal critics. He'll also be peppered with questions about his focus, his newfound superstardom, and perhaps even his review of the Syfy hit Sharknado.
Will he be prepared?
Head coach Kevin Sumlin's policy on keeping media away from freshmen allowed Manziel to remain largely in the shadows during his run to the 2012 Heisman Trophy. However, when it was time to unleash a full-fledged last-minute campaign, we saw that Manziel is remarkably polished and forthcoming when the camera light goes on and reporters hit record.
Does that matter for SEC media days?
It's a circus in Hoover, but it's controlled chaos.
Players are shuttled through the gauntlet of 13 separate reporter and television rooms, where each entity will only get 10 minutes with "Johnny Football." The short segments of time in different settings will result in the similar questions that he's likely already been prepped to answer.
That's the controlled part.
The chaos comes when Texas A&M's players hit the main hall and spread out into corners, where hundreds of reporters are sure to swarm the polarizing Aggie quarterback. That means Manziel is going to have to be patient as he answers the same questions over and over again in front of people that may have already heard his previous answers.
That's where frustration could come in to play and the fireworks could fly.
That probably won't happen though.
Manziel is a superstar now, and despite this being his first run through SEC media days, it isn't his first rodeo. He is polarizing, and most people already have made up their mind on whether they like him. His performance in Hoover won't change that.
But he can calm what has grown to a large—and somewhat ridiculous—backlash against against him after after he embarked on a what amounted to a world tour following the 2012 season. Essentially, this is Manziel's chance to tie a bow on the offseason and get back to what's important.
If you're expecting shenanigans when he hits the floor, you're going to be disappointed.
This will be an atmosphere where Manziel will shine, and if he flips even one person back to his side, he will have done his job. This won't be a scenario where he stands off against some of his biggest critics. This will be a scenario where the two sides close the book.
The question may not be if Manziel is ready for media days, but is SEC media days ready for Manziel?
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