SEC Media Days 2013: It's Time to Stop the Scrutiny Surrounding Johnny Manziel

Tim Keeney@@t_keenContributor IJuly 18, 2013

It's easy to forget that Johnny Manziel is still just a normal college kid.

Alright, so "normal" might not be the correct term in this case. When you become the first player ever to win the Heisman as a freshman, life changes just a little bit. 

But off the field, Manziel is doing things that nearly every 20-year-old college student in the world does. 

And he's getting ripped apart for it. 

He goes out on the town and takes pictures with girls (and probably guys, but we don't see those) and is suddenly an uncontrollable party animal. 

He sends out a mysterious angry tweet about College Station—which turned out to be about a parking ticket—and he's suddenly the next Maurice Clarett. 

He gets sent home early from the Manning Passing Academy—and he suddenly has a drinking problem. 

Directly in the middle of the media spotlight, Manziel is coming across as a brash, cocky kid who cares little about his incredibly bright future. 

But at Day 2 of the SEC media days on Wednesday, he handled himself in a matter that should hopefully put all of the concerns and scrutiny regarding his character to a rest. 

The best way to describe the scene is with one simple word: Circus. 

First, Manziel appeared live on SportsCenter for an interview with Joe Tessitore, where he addressed his early exit at the Manning camp:

He's composed, he's confident, he owns up to his mistake and he notes that he has already made amends with Peyton and Eli Manning. There's not really much else you could ask for from a 20-year-old talking about a potentially touchy subject on live television. 

But it didn't stop there. After displaying an imperturbability and well-spokenness that few 20-year-olds could even dream of, he took on the hoards of media waiting to interview him. 

CBS Sports' Will Brinson put it perfectly. He was off to his "trial":

Manziel was surrounded by hundreds upon hundreds of media members in what will go down as one of the most surreal, memorable moments of the offseason, if not year. 

Bleacher Report's Twitter account gave a good look of the scene:

Yet, after getting asked similar questions over and over, Manziel continued to answer in a calm, professional manner, suggesting that he does in fact have a good head on his shoulders.  

Manziel has made some mistakes, sure, most notably being arrested before he overtook the national spotlight. 

But until he does something that affects his stellar play on the field or his well being off it, let's let him be a kid. Let's not criticize him for having fun and doing things that normal people do. 

  

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