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Dr. Saturday

Johnny Manziel says he is giving up Twitter

Frank Schwab
Dr. Saturday

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.

(USA Today Sports Images)

This shouldn't surprise anyone, but Johnny Manziel told ESPN.com he is giving up his Twitter account.

Take a look at the responses Manziel gets on @JManziel2 sometimes. He tweets about anything – a joke Texas Longhorns tattoo on spring break, going to a casino, or rooting for his friends at Oregon during the Fiesta Bowl – and the nasty comments start. And being by far the biggest star in college football, many random and minor things he tweets to his more than 332,000 followers become news. That makes the fishbowl smaller.

[Also: David Shaw building Stanford into a perennial power]

So Manziel is giving himself a self-imposed Twitter ban. He told ESPN.com about his intentions:

"I've kind of just shut it all off," Manziel said, according to ESPN.com. "With how the media has been with me for a while, I just shut everything off. As of [Monday], I said I was done with [Twitter] for however long. It's fun to have, but it can get to be distracting at points."

Manziel's last tweet came on Sunday when he was defending himself for a comment that people apparently and mistakenly took as a shot at Ohio State basketball point guard Aaron Craft. That is the kind of stuff he deals with on Twitter.

I was impressed with how Manziel came off in a formal setting at the Cotton Bowl. He seems polished well beyond his years and experience; better than some NFL quarterbacks I've covered. He is also a young man who was barely on anyone's radar six months ago, and he's dealing with very sudden fame. It's a tough transition to make, and we haven't had anyone quite like him: A Heisman winner who wasn't afraid to say anything and share details of his life on a social media platform, a combination that resulted in nearly constant attention.

"I'm surprised to [see] how the attention has continued through the offseason," Manziel said to ESPN.com. "I guess I thought it would die off and slow down a little bit, but it really hasn't."

There are certain things Manziel can't avoid. Him getting unnecessary attention for an innocuous incident with a graduate assistant at practice is going to happen. He's Johnny Football, and he's going to get more publicity than anyone else in college football. But by leaving his social media account behind, at least he's not inviting more scrutiny and giving Twitter trolls an easy chance to take shots at him and egg him on.

So while it was fun that Manziel shared his thoughts and let us see a little bit of what the life of a Heisman winner is like, him giving up Twitter was inevitable. He'll still get a ton of attention without it.

- - -
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