Johnny Manziel delivered another message Sunday morning, one in which he insisted that he is serious about defying the odds to become Johnny Football again and declared that he is “so far sober with a clear head on my shoulders.”
The former NFL quarterback, who announced last week that he is sober and hoping to return to the league, had a lot on his mind Saturday, tweeting about Tom Brady and other things. But he started the day with a lengthy, single-paragraph Instagram post addressed to quarterback guru George Whitfield Jr. in which he reminisced about how everyone had underestimated him in the past. (Paragraphs added for clarity.)
“Remember back in 2012 when they didn’t know the kid? Who’s this midget from Kerrville third on the depth chart in the spring that won the job a week into fall camp?” Manziel wrote, referring to his rise at Texas A&M and Heisman Trophy glory and training sessions, presumably with Whitfield.
“This kid has no chance going into the SEC, they said. He’s too short, he’s not accurate enough, just a freelancer they said. I bet you’ll never forget where you were the day we slayed the Dragon in Tuscaloosa in front of 100,000. You were the first person I called. Or when there was still this conspiracy that a freshman couldn’t win the Heisman. Or even after that when we had to play OU in the Cotton Bowl after they smacked our ass the year before, we prevailed.
“Straight to Dime City for the summer to work on our craft. All the noise, all the hype we blocked it out and fine tuned the machine. Head down grindin. We fell short of the mission in ’13, we got healthy and straight back to Dime City for another tune up before an even bigger stage. Head down steady grindin. Now the lights are really on us Whit, the worlds watching, waiting to see the kid. You come to me with this idea to wear pads to my pro day and I’m like ‘Nah, I’m straight on that cuzzin’ you said ‘you’re the rarest of the rare this ain’t nothing but a thang, you play in ’em, go be different!’ And we did our thang.
“Under six feet tall and drafted in the 1st round, STARTED FROM THE BOTTOM NOW WE HERE, screaming it out the window on draft night. Never forget it. Then it all changed and I lost my ways, the grind, the love, the hustle, my way of life in general. Thick and thin you stood by me and I’ll never forget it. We thrive when they say ‘YOU CANT’ it’s all we’ve ever known. With the simplistic mindset and goals we have Whit, let’s go.
“ ‘Fix the man and the rest will come’ you said. ‘Don’t worry about a thing I got you cuzzin, give me 48 hours to assemble’ was all I heard. A day later it’s January 12 and I’m Dime City bound once again. Broken, Humbled, but for once in my life thankful for that day and 18 so far sober with a clear head on my shoulders. All I have is today and we’ll take this thing a day at a time for as long as it takes. You made it happen and I’m ALL IN cuzzin, because I know you always have been. Let’s go #JustWaitOnIt
Last week, Manziel wrote that he hasn’t been “this happy in a long time” in a series of tweets. “I appreciate all the people in my life who’ve reached out during the truly rough patches in ’16.” He also said that he has to “LIVE these words, not just TWEET them” and admitted that he had been something of a jerk in 2016, adding the hashtag #LostintheSauce.
In addition to talking about how he was working out, he gave his picks for Super Bowl LI, with the AFC and NFC championship games looming Sunday.
He is going with New England and Atlanta and on Sunday he emphatically repeated his opinion about Tom Brady.