There was a time, earlier in his career, when Johnny Manziel’s exploits seemed to have a comic value to them. Though many of his off-field incidents involved alcohol, it was painted in more of a “look how crazy and cool this guy is” light. Pictures of him drinking champagne on an inflatable swan, talking drunkenly into a money-phone, videos of him inebriated and wishing LeBron James a happy birthday. All of these were just excerpts from the legend of Johnny Football.
In a sense, even the troubles he was getting into this year with the Cleveland Browns still had the same aura about them. Sure, they were seen a little differently because he spent the first chunk of 2015 in rehab. That said, even hearing about his reported trip to Vegas, during which he was apparently wearing a wig and going by the name Billy, you couldn’t help but see it as yet another wild off-the-field story. “Let him live,” was a phrase commonly stated by his die-hard supporters.
Unfortunately, the events of this past week are doing nothing but shining a light on the fact this goes deeper than a young man enjoying a lavish lifestyle.