"Money," "fame" and "fast" are dangerous words to have in the same sentence—but they're the three most common terms you'll find in any report involving Johnny Manziel.
You know Johnny's story, or the gist, at least. He began as the mystery hero—"The Curious Case of Johnny Football"—and has since become a Heisman-winning, autograph-happy profit machine in the eyes of critics and members of the national media.
That's the basic plot, but there's more to Manziel than an autograph scandal and some Spring Break pictures. There are a lot of tall Johnny Football tales out there, and now that he has nearly completed Harvey Dent's hero-to-villain cycle, it's time to see how well you've been paying attention.
The following is a selection of true and fabricated stories about Johnny Manziel. It's your duty to use your brain and sniff out the fakes from the truths. You're on your honor: No Googling, cheating or phoning a friend.
May the best fan win.
While visiting friends at the University of Texas in Austin this July, Johnny was thrown out of a fraternity party in a shower of obscenities and Natural Light.
Partygoers threw beer cans at the Texas A&M quarterback and told him to get his Aggie keester "the f--- out of here." Johnny quickly followed their advice, and left the scene drenched in booze.
Contrary to popular belief, the state of Texas IS subjugated to a set of governing laws.
There's not many of them, but one of the five statutes Rick Perry keeps around for appearance's sake allowed Johnny to get drunk as a one-armed dockworker after winning the Cotton Bowl in January.
After jackhammering Oklahoma 41-13, the 20-year-old superstar celebrated the win with a giant bottle of Dom Perignon at Avenu Lounge in Dallas. While the club is a 21 and older venue, Johnny was (ambiguously) within his legal rights to drink there due to a fun Texas state law that allows minors to drink alcohol as long as their parents are present.
The owner of the Avenu Lounge claimed Johnny's mother was with him at the club, and therefore, no rules were broken.
Johnny Manziel's great-grandfather was Bobby Joe Manziel—a bantamweight boxer from Lebanon and one hell of a lucky oil driller.
The Manziel family fortune comes from Bobby Joe's oil, which he discovered in East Texas after retiring from professional boxing to become a prospector. Manziel's great-grandfather began his search for black gold with $400 in his pockets—start-up money he borrowed from legendary heavyweight boxer Jack Dempsey.
The investment paid off, and Dempsey would later claim the $400 was the smartest investment he ever made.
Ever get in a stupid drunken fight in college? Yea, you and me both.
They're a great time (not really), that is, until the cops show up and you hand them a fake driver's license.
That's precisely what happened to Johnny Manziel in July of 2012. The redshirt freshman was out with friends when one of his buddies started an altercation with an older man. Manziel attempted to pacify the situation, shoving began and a fight broke out.
Nearby police responded to the scene and broke up the scuffle, at which point Manziel produced a fake Louisiana driver's license. After a search of his wallet, the cops eventually found the 19-year-old's real ID and arrested him for failing to properly identify himself.
While football has taken him to superstardom, Johnny's first love was baseball—and he was filthy good at it.
It began in Little League, where Johnny was a home run-hitting demigod.
Its been said that he would hit the ball out of the park with such consistency, that the league raised the outfield fences in order to protect the cars parked on the other side from Johnny's homers, which had broken several windshields.
After being arrested in 2012 for failing to properly identify himself to a police officer, Johnny was suspended for the entire 2012 season by Texas A&M.
Johnny appealed the suspension, and the school eventually overturned their verdict. Things could've turned out quite differently, however.
An anonymous source within the Texas A&M community has claimed that Johnny came within five days of transferring out of College Station. Had the suspension been upheld, the source alleges, the Aggies quarterback would've transferred to a different school.
Dealing with instant fame isn't easy.
Johnny used to be able to run home from Kyle Field after home games without anyone noticing him, but now he's escorted back to his abode—only a few short blocks away—in a squad car.
Managing those levels of expectations aren't easy, and that's part of the reason the university (along with his parents) convinced Johnny to see a therapist after the 2012-13 season. Johnny's therapist told him to get off Twitter and to regulate his autograph signing to a half hour a week.
He stopped seeing the therapist after two sessions.
Cell phones: Always operational when mom calls, but never work after a night at the Tequileria.
Johnny knows the visceral panic—the icy fear that dumps down your back when you wake up hungover and late as sin to an important function.
The particular incident I refer to occurred this July, when the Heisman Trophy winner missed early morning meetings at the Manning Passing Camp. He had been out late the night before, and some believed a brutish hangover had caused him to skip out on his obligations.
Johnny claimed he overslept because his phone had "died," and ended up leaving the camp early.
An avid golfer, Johnny and his father Paul have been hitting the links together since the younger Manziel could grip a club.
Johnny has a natural talent for golf—driving the cart, however, wasn't his forte as a child.
Johnny was eight years old when his father told him he could drive the first few holes at Tyler's Hollytree Country Club. Disaster soon struck, however, when Johnny drove ahead to find his father's tee shot and began chasing ducks near a water hazard by the second hole.
He lost control and wound up submerging half of the cart in the man-made pond, thus reinforcing the notion that hunting game on a golf course is a bad idea.
Johnny wasn't allowed to play football early in life.
Baseball and golf were fine, but parents kept him out of Pop Warner leagues for fear of his safety. Finally, at the age of 8 (such a long time), they consented to let him play ball.
In sixth grade, Johnny joined the Tyler Hurricanes, and was immediately the "best athlete on the field." His talent on the field earned him the nickname "Johnny Hurricane," and the rest is paparazzi, broken records and history, as they say.
Or has Batman-like qualities.
Johnny was in Cabo for Spring Break this March—doing Johnny Football things—when several spring breakers tweeted that they saw the Heisman Trophy winner slide down a tall fire escape ladder at an apartment complex on the beach.
According to the tweets, Manziel wrapped his hands "in shirts," grabbed the side of the ladder and dropped/slid down forty or so feet from the fourth floor of the complex to the ground.
Only on Spring Break.
Johnny made it rain—specifically, with Monopoly money.
While visiting a hospital in Connecticut in January, Manziel posed with a young fan and flashed a little fake cash toward the camera.
The image was a joke aimed at his detractors, who had eviscerated him earlier in the week for tweeting a picture of him and his friends showing off their casino winnings.
1. True: Johnny was kicked out of a Texas fraternity party.
2. True: Manziel did go to Avenu Lounge and party with Dom Perignon (and his mom, allegedly) after the Cotton Bowl.
3. True: Johnny's great-grandfather was a bantam weight boxer, and he did borrow money from Jack Dempsey to fund his search for oil.
4. True: Johnny was arrested in possession of a fake driver's license in 2012 and charged with a misdemeanor for failing to properly identify himself.
5. True: Johnny was a little league star, and allegedly did shatter a couple car windows while hitting homers.
6. True: An anonymous source close to Johnny did claim he was close to transferring while appealing his suspension in 2012.
7. True: Johnny did shortly attend therapy in spring of 2013.
8. True: He did miss meetings and eventually leave the Manning Passing Camp.
9. False: Nope. Johnny didn't dunk a cart.
10. True: Johnny's first nickname was indeed "Johnny Hurricane."
11. False: As awesome as that would be, Johnny Manziel didn't super-slide down a fire escape in Cabo.
12. True: Manziel did flash some "cash" with a sick kid in Connecticut.
Got any other crazy Johnny Manziel stories? Hit me up on Twitter.