We live in an era where the majority of sports fans are brainwashed by the mainstream media.
They want you to believe that they are the judge, jury and executioner and too often we base our opinions on athletes, teams and the overall sports landscape according to what they tell us we're supposed to think.
Every college football season, like clockwork, we are told who are the villains, heroes and underdogs.
This season we are already being told to hate defending Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel. He is an arrogant, reckless poison on the game of college football. He doesn't respect his school, his coach or his teammates.
Manziel is a bad guy and he is bad for college football and now much of the college football fanbase despises Johnny Football.
But why? We know why Alabama fans hate Johnny Football. We can understand why any rival school would dislike Manziel, but what about the rest of the world?
ESPN analyst and former college football coach Lou Holtz had this to say about Manziel, according to Pete Volk of SBNation.com: "How would I have handled it? I would have grabbed him by the throat. That's not the right thing to do."
Doesn't Holtz work for the same company that told us that Mike Leech was a villain for his alleged treatment of players? However, Holtz said he would choke Manziel if he was coach.
"That kid, I would bench him this week after I gave him a size-13 (shoe) in the rear end," fellow ESPN analyst and former Detroit Lions GM Matt Millen said, via Jimmy Burch of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. "That stuff can't happen."
Well, on a positive note for Manziel, if Millen doesn't like him, his draft status just improved dramatically.
ESPN was not done. According to Burch, analyst Mark May called Manziel "a very selfish player that doesn't care about his teammates."
So what angered all of these analysts? Taunting a player from the Rice Owls with an autograph motion in the air. Taunting a player after his third touchdown pass by pointing to the scoreboard and brushing off his head coach Kevin Sumlin.
Let's examine those three horrendous acts.
First, the taunting of players on the Rice football team. Rarely mentioned was the fact that the Owls players had been taunting him because of his two-quarter suspension—a bogus suspension by the way.
Secondly, why is Manziel being held on a different standard than other college football players? Could Manziel have handled it differently? Absolutely. However, jawing the opposition is just as much of a part of the college football game as the forward pass.
Moreover, what about the former college football golden child Tim Tebow? Go back and watch Tebow's games while at Florida. The former Heisman Trophy winner would gator chomp routinely after first downs or a big play.
Some people remember the one in the national championship game against Oklahoma. However, it was an every game taunt to the opposition for Tebow while in the SEC.
However, that is okay because he would say “God Bless” in an interview?
Don't get me wrong, I am a pastor and have been for the past 13 years, but saying those words in an interview should not get you a pass for constant taunting.
What does Holtz say about Tebow?
“I know him very well," Holtz told Natalie Meisler of The Denver Post. "I’ve never dealt with a more polite, humble, accommodating individual than Tim Tebow.“
Now understand, I have nothing against Tebow. He was great for the SEC and college football. His constant taunting of his opposition did not make me think he was a bad person. However, I feel the same way about Johnny Football.
Millen loved Tebow as well. This is part of the endorsement he gave Tebow, according to Ben Volin of The Palm Beach Post, when entering the NFL:
“He might be the best college football player to come out in decades. He is. He might be of all-time, just for what he’s done and the strength of his character.”
When Tebow taunts he is a great competitor with strong character—which I believe is true. When Manziel does it, he deserves a suspension?
Manziel is not the kind of guy I want my daughter to bring home one day. He does party too much for my preference and doesn't care what you think about him.
However, at the same time, making money motions in a game doesn't make me think he is a thug or villain. Instead, I think I am blessed to be able to cover him during his college career.
Defensive players taunt on a regular basis. Players like Tebow and Kellen Moore were extreme taunters. Yet they were considered great assets to the college game.
Bottom line is this: The mainstream media will crucify him this season for the same antics they applauded him last season.
Lastly, I don't know what the conversation was between Manziel and Sumlin. I can, however, tell you that I coached on a high level.
There were times I would chew a player to his face and times I would chew him while he was walking to the bench. I didn't need him to stop and look at me. I just wanted him to hear what I had to say.
It is quite possible that is exactly what was happening on Saturday between Sumlin and Manziel.
You can hate Manziel and wish for his demise. I will just be thankful I got to cover a player that electrifies a field the way he does.