Five years ago college football’s biggest star was an undersized quarterback with an unorthodox throwing motion that electrified the world of sports with his clutch play, his grit, and a emotional promise speech that was immortalized on a statue in front of Ben Hill Griffin Stadium in Gainesville, Florida.
Tim Tebow had led the Florida Gators to 2 BCS Championships titles, a Heisman, and had built a fan base of millions that had never ever been seen before in the world of college sports. Tebow-mania was then magnified even more after he led the Denver Broncos to a AFC West Division Title and a second round upset of the Pittsburgh Steelers. Never before had an athlete graced the cover of GQ Magazine, Newsweek, and Vogue all within the same week, which further enhanced his celebrity status.
However, when his fortunes changed the same glamor and media attention ultimately was his undoing and now looking for work which was no fault of his own. NFL front office personnel could not ignore his deficiencies as a passer and were unwilling to deal with the circus that would ensue if they signed him.
Johnny Manziel aka Johnny Football, reigning Heisman winner, is now the face of college football, his after hour exploits and the infamous fumble touchdown against Alabama has also made him a celebrity in his own right. Just like his Heisman-brother, Manziel has built a significant following which rivals that of Tebowmania. Manziel has been projected by many to be a lock for the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft by popularity alone despite being undersized, a slight build, and a questionable arm strength.
After witnessing the good, the bad, and the ugly of Tebowmania will an NFL franchise take a chance on another SEC quarterback who has thrived at being impromptu but bails at the first sign of trouble? Don’t get me wrong Manziel certainly has the tools to be an asset in the NFL, but will a franchise being willing to deal with the media attention that follows the quarterback who has become the star the stars want to meet. Who vacations with Drake, takes batting practice with the Texas Rangers and has Lebron James and Chris Paul on speed dial? Stay tuned… I know I will – A. Denmark
Anthony Denmark is a writer for eatdrnkslpsprtz.com. Follow him on Twitter@eatdrkslpsprtz2, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google. Listen to eatdrnkslpsprtz radio Tues/Thurs 3 PM EST. Subscribe to podcast