Is there any one more excited for football to actually start than Johnny Manziel?
On Sunday morning, rumors started trickling out that the Texas A&M quarterback was dismissed from his role as a counselor at the Manning Passing Academy for too much partying. The camp takes place in Thibodaux, La., and allows middle and high school-aged quarterbacks to learn from some of the best in the game, including Archie, Peyton and Eli Manning.
ESPN’s Chris Mortensen reported that Manziel had indeed left the camp, but it was due to illness, according to a release from a camp spokesman:
"Johnny Manziel did participate in some activities in the 2013 Manning Passing Academy as a college counselor/coach," the statement said. "After missing and being late for practice assignments, Johnny explained that he had been feeling ill. Consequently, we agreed that it was in everyone's best interest for him to go home a day early."
When Manziel’s father texted a Dallas Morning News reporter that his son was suffering from dehydration, the internet didn’t need much more evidence to diagnose the cause of Manziel’s malady. The dehydration may have been the same kind suffered by college students many Friday, Saturday and Sunday mornings, along with nausea, a splitting headache and an inability to remember what exactly happened after the unnecessary 1:30 a.m. shots.
There was obviously no official word that Manziel was recovering from a hangover, and Peyton came to his defense:
"I enjoyed meeting Johnny," said Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning "I can remember a 20-year-old Eli [Manning] missing a meeting [at camp] and catching some flak. We always have counselors who leave early. Johnny was great with the campers for the time he was here. He had to leave early. I wish him the best and I want him to come back as a counselor next year."
Case closed, right? Well, almost. Monday morning Peter King reported that Manziel was indeed out partying Thursday night and was running late Friday. (There is photographic evidence of him out Thursday night, hanging with Alabama quarterback A.J. McCarron.) When Manziel missed a two-hour session on Saturday, it was decided that it would be best for everyone if Manziel left. King went on to report what Deadspin had cited over the weekend: That upon returning to College Station, the reigning Heisman winner was out at a hookah bar.
King wrote that NFL teams would be wary of drafting Manziel due to his partying ways, but that’s almost laughable considering some of the things professional teams will overlook if you happen to be really good at football. Manziel is a college kid who probably should have called it a night a little earlier and was late to a summer job. If Peyton – whose name and reputation are attached to the camp - is legitimately not upset about it, then I’m not sure how anyone else has the right to be. (Manning may have just been being polite with no intention of inviting Manziel back, but we won’t know until next summer’s edition.)
Where does the Manziel offseason circus stop next? The SEC Media Days, where Manziel will takes questions Wednesday.