Over the weekend, there was a small tidbit in a Houston Chronicle practice report about Texas A&M Johnny Manziel getting perhaps a little too competitive in a spring scrimmage.
But, Manziel being Manziel, nothing is really a small tidbit. It just becomes another moment to dissect from college football's biggest superstar.
Here's what happened, via the Chronicle:
Following his last of three interceptions, on a short pass into the end zone as he ran into the right sidelines, an exuberant graduate assistant jumped up and down within what appeared to be inches of an irate Manziel. So Manziel shoved him. Players and coaches, who were all gathered along the sidelines, quickly separated the Giddy GA and Manziel before anything escalated.
Of course, the debate on the internet started almost immediately, of whether this was another controversial Johnny Football moment or something that happens all the time and it's being overblown because everything with Manziel is overblown these days.
Well, it's the latter. Here's some more context from Chronicle beat writer Brent Zwerneman:
I took the shove as, If you're going to celebrate, don't do it right in my face. Manziel & the Giddy GA were separated before it escalated.
— Brent Zwerneman (@BrentZwerneman) March 23, 2013
Without having seen the moment in question, it's not hard to figure out what happened. This stuff happens all the time in football practices. Football practices in spring or fall camp need a certain competitive edge to them, or they won't be very good. Offense and defense will get after each other. There's a lot of talking at times. A defensive coach got excited and into Manziel's personal space. Manziel reacted like most any player would. From what we know he didn't throw any punches and didn't do anything remotely outlandish. Big whoop.
What we are seeing as the offseason goes on is that we're in pretty unique territory with Manziel. The combination of a Heisman winner back for another season who is not afraid to do or say (or tweet) outlandish things in the 24/7 social media news cycle hasn't really happened before. It will be quite a test to see how Manziel handles this attention. When a pretty innocuous tidbit about a competitive player giving a shove to an exuberant graduate assistant on his own team becomes a topic for debate, you know we're just getting started.
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