‘Johnny Football’ deemed ‘too popular for his own good’
Photo by Shutterbug459 (CC)
In the last decade, no college football player has been talked about as much as Johnny Manziel heading into the NFL draft. The quarterback out of Texas A&M is known for being a gunslinger and for being a lightning rod of attention on and off the field.
In fact, Manziel is so famous that on April 8, NFL commissioner Roger Goodies banned him from joining the league because Manziel is “too popular for his own good.”
‘The NFL is the most powerful sports institution in North America,” said Goodies. “We dominate the other major sports leagues and our ratings prove it. But we cannot have a player who is single handedly more popular than the entire league.”
Goodies added that the league conducted some research with marketing firms, with the help of the networks who broadcast NFL games, to determine Manziel’s impact.
“Results have shown that with Manziel in the league, ratings for his team’s games will increase by 230 per cent, but to the detriment of the viewership of all our other games,” he said.
ESPN, CBS, NBC, and the NFL Network also discussed broadcasting every game in which Manziel plays during primetime, but this would require the renegotiation of the NFL’s television rights agreement, and could cost the NFL billions of dollars.
But Manziel has more than just NFL and networks executives squabbling about him. Sources say two unnamed receivers playing in the AFC will request trades if their team doesn’t draft ‘Johnny Football.’ Tom Bradylocks, Drewie Briefs, Mr. Rogers, Rusty Wilson, and Colin Capnickel have also sent a letter to the NFL offices and all 32 owners say they will refuse to play in a league where a rookie quarterback will be a bigger star than them.
Fans in Houston, Minnesota, and Cleveland — teams that could draft Manziel — have already made custom Manziel and ‘Johnny Football’ jerseys a bestseller on NFL.com and in sporting goods stores.
Manziel has appealed the ban and the case could very well end up at the Supreme Court. Winning the appeal would certainly raise the enormous level of expectations already placed on Johnny Manziel, but if it stands, the ban will deprive the man of his right to earn a living, and deprive fans of excitement every Sunday for 17 weeks.
However, given Manziel’s never-say-never attitude, odds are we will see Manziel on an NFL field sooner rather than later. NFL, ready or not, heeerrrre’s Johnny!
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