Say what you want about Johnny Manziel. Whether you feel his off-season was filled with controversy or simply overblown media hype (count me in for the latter), the kid is a winner.
That’s really what you want from a quarterback, isn’t it? The key figure leading your team to wins. That’s Johnny Football. Oh, and he’s the most exciting player in the sport (pro or college) and draws ratings all by himself. Everyone can’t wait to see what he’ll do next.
Manziel had his moments though, and some of them weren’t pretty. The A&M signal caller had two turnovers in the second half, one that led to an Ole Miss touchdown and a seven-point lead for the Rebels.
When Laquon Treadwell caught that score at the beginning of the fourth quarter which gave Ole Miss a 30-24 lead (PAT pending), Manziel’s reaction on the bench included a little grin on his face and slight shake of his head. His body language simply was saying, “Well, that stunk. That one’s on me. Time to go make up for it.”
Manziel did just that. He went 8-of-10 for 126 yards and rushed eight times for 51 in the fourth quarter, leading A&M to 17 points, including the last 10 of the ballgame, and a 41-38 win.
Just another day at the office for Johnny Football. His fourth quarter numbers the entire season are stellar, with an 81.3 completion percentage, 530 yards of total offense and six touchdowns.
Magic Johnson and the LA Lakers had a name for the closing minutes of a tight ball game: “winning time.” That moniker could not be more apropos for Manziel’s fourth quarters, especially in his last two visits to Oxford (both comeback wins for the Aggies).
Stats are great (which Johnny has), but what do we really remember? Winning. It’s all that matters.
Take Tony Romo for example. He became just the fifth player in NFL history to throw for over 500 yards and five touchdowns in one game vs. Denver, but his pick in the waning minutes led to a Broncos victory. He’s the goat.
Manziel commits two turnovers in the second half at Ole Miss, but rallies his team to the tying and winning scores in the fourth quarter. He’s the hero.
Which performance would you rather have on your resume?
And if you want stats as icing on the cake, Manziel threw for 346 yards and ran for 113 more at Ole Miss. He became the first player in NCAA history to have four 300/100 games in his career.
Manziel just wants to win, and it is evident by the way he celebrates with his teammates after victories. He gave A&M’s Josh Lambo, who kicked the game-winner on Saturday night, a strong embrace and words of appreciation and friendship that was evident from the look on Lambo’s face.
The Aggies’ football season is half over, and there’s a strong chance that Manziel will go pro after this year. I don’t know if Johnny Manziel will find the same success in the NFL, but I wouldn’t bet against him. In the meantime, I’m just going to enjoy the seven or eight games left for Johnny Football’s 2013 season with Texas A&M.