Johnny Manziel Must Shine in Return to Put Scandalous Summer Behind Him

Alex KayCorrespondent IAugust 30, 2013

Jan 04, 2013; Arlington, TX, USA; Texas A&M Aggies quarterback Johnny Manziel (2) runs for a touchdown during the first half against the Oklahoma Sooners in the 2013 Cotton Bowl at Cowboys Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Johnny Manziel’s summer saga has finally concluded, with an autograph scandal that rocked the Texas A&M football program culminating in nothing more than a half-game suspension for the young man.

While Manziel will surely be learning his lesson while he sulks on the sidelines for 30 minutes against Rice on Saturday, the reality is that he will have a chance to put this all in the past with a vintage Johnny Football performance.

The Owls boast a respectable but highly vulnerable defense that a quarterback with Manziel’s skills will have no problem picking apart.

Simply put, it would not be surprising to see a motivated Heisman Trophy winner with a chip on his shoulder come in and decimate the Owls for a half hour, giving the pundits something to talk about for the next week or so.

Manziel would not need to throw more than 20 passes and rush the ball over 10 times to make an eye-popping impact on the stat sheet, and it would be especially sweet if the performance helped lead the Aggies to a win.

Although A&M is not likely to have much trouble with Rice—even with either of the wildly inexperienced backs, Matt Joeckel and Kenny Hill, starting—there is a chance that the team falls into a deficit early on.

Of course, that would set the stage perfectly for a comeback.

It’s easy to picture now: Just imagine scenes of Johnny Football warming up on the sidelines and the announcers constantly mentioning the fact that Manziel is not able to play until the second half begins.

Texas A&M hits the locker room down a few points with the narrative being that the season could be over for the Aggies before it gets started after losing to the Owls.

Manziel comes out of the tunnel, leads his offense on back-to-back touchdown drives and is once against heralded as a Heisman favorite that is capable of anything on the football field.

Should something of that nature or similar happen, the focus is quickly going to shift away from Johnny Football’s summer of hangover accusations and avoided jail sentences and toward the impending Alabama vs. A&M showdown on Sept. 14.

Given the distractions and drama he had to deal with, Manziel deserves a break and a chance to return the nation’s attention to football.