Summer of Johnny: Adventures in Austin, Lessons in Trolling
Saturday night, I went to a live podcast recording for some standup comedian buddies of mine. The show was at Outlaw Dave's bar over on Washington, and my buddies are four very funny guys collectively known as the "Whiskey Brothers," or as I call them, "The Four Horsemen of Dick Jokes."
At one point in the show, they asked me to come up and sit with them and knock a few topics around, which is always fun. It's one thing to hone your wit in the written word here, when you can proofread, edit and seek feedback. It's another thing entirely to do it live in front of any audience with four guys who do it for a living.
So I'm up there like I have a loaded gun in my hand, just trying not to hurt myself, and naturally, my icebreaker had to be a topic in which I was well versed, that the crowd cared deeply about and that was very comedy-friendly.
Hence, Johnny Football became a topic...
The Whiskey Brothers podcast gave me a chance to espouse my Multiple Johnnys Theory, and it is this:
When you add up the miles traveled, the number of pictures Instagrammed (congrats, Instagram, you've achieved "verb" status), the number of skanks posed with, the number of half-consumed bottles of tequila, the number of courtside NBA seats, the number of banquet circuit appearances, I think it's impossible that only one Johnny Manziel exists.
If you've ever been to Disney World, you know what I mean. At one point, you'll be over in Tomorrow Land, getting ready to ride Space Mountain, and there's Mickey Mouse in an astronaut outfit. Then ten minutes later, you're in Adventure Land, and Mickey is wearing safari gear. Then 20 minutes later, you walk past the parade down Main Street, USA, and there's Mickey emceeing the proceedings in his tux with the coattails and shit.
You quickly realize, if you're over the age of nine, that there are multiple Mickeys at Disney World.
I think this is how it works with Johnny Manziel in society. By my calculations, there are at least eight, possibly ten Johnny Footballs. Make no mistake, much like Disney making sure its best "Mickey" is available for the parade, Texas A&M makes sure its best "Johnny" is in Kyle Field on Saturdays, but I think there are at least a half dozen others.
This weekend, by my count, two of the Johnny Footballs were in Austin. First, on Saturday morning, Twitter was abuzz with this video footage from Friday night of what appears to be one of the Johnnys at a party. (On the Internet, it was called a "frat party," but I'm not certain this party was actually at a frat. I think the word "frat" gets thrown in front of every college party now, whether it's at a frat house or not. Kind of like how "water cooler talk" very rarely takes place near an actual water cooler. Exact same thing.)
Most of the headlines and tweets read something like, "Johnny Manziel kicked out of frat party! OMGGGGG!!!" I'll let you be the judge:
The things we know from this video (and I'm working under the assumption that, yes, that is one of the Johnny Footballs):
1. Johnny's shirt appears to be drenched in something, so either it was really, really hot inside the party (and perhaps Johnny was dancing, too) and Johnny is soaked in his own sweat, or he had a beverage spilled on him, intent or lack thereof unknown.
2. A nearly full canned beverage, possibly
definitely beer, comes within a few inches of beaning Johnny in the head. As of this typing, this video has over 326,000 views. I'm guessing if that beer connected (and the likely subsequent donnybrook ensued), this thing would be well over 2,000,000 views. Easily.
3. As best I can tell, there is one person at the 0:16 who yells, "Get the fuck out!" presumably at Johnny. Other than that, it sounds like a lot of normal party yelling going on. Johnny appears to be leaving with a friend of his in a fairly lucid and upright manner.
So naturally, the Internet translated this 18 seconds of fairly benign footage into "Johnny Manziel Kicked Out of Frat Party." Sure, it did. It's what "the Internet" does. And if you clicked on it expecting big doings, you now know what I mean when I lament Internet hyperbole rendering something into a "popcorn fart."
Meanwhile, at a party on Saturday afternoon, the other Johnny Football that was covering Austin this weekend was pulling off the greatest troll move of all time at a UT Fiji Islander party. Observe the brilliance:
Johnny Manziel is at UT Fiji Islander pic.twitter.com/5CHN3ccrLa
— Sydney Davis (@sdavy23) July 27, 2013
Yes, Johnny Fucking Football in a Tim Tebow Jets jersey. A few observations:
1. I can't stress this enough: Manziel has pulled off the greatest troll of the Internet masses of all time. The only way this troll could be any trollier would be if Manziel were driving in a car rented by Aaron Hernandez and getting road head from Amanda Bynes on his way over to Royce White's house.
2. Lost in the Johnny-o-centric nature of this picture is the fact that in the foreground is a dude wearing a Steelers Limas Sweed jersey, which would normally be a virtual lock for the "worst NFL player" jersey in any picture posted to the Internet, but with Manziel wearing a Tebow Jets jersey, Sweed's Steelers jersey doesn't even rep the worst NFL player in this picture. Incredible. Maybe the two worst NFL players in recent memory repped in the same picture.
3. I know that there are many of you out there who hate Johnny Manziel (You're wrong, by the way. You just are.), but even those of you who loathe him have to admit that in this picture, his ceiling for hateability is capped firmly by that douche bag next to him, the one with the shades pushed down to the tip of his nose. You see him, the one who looks like the love child of Jay Cutler and Corey Feldman? Yeah, that guy. Maybe this is part of Johnny's strategy to fend off the haters -- hang out with people eminently more hateable than he is.
Basketball's best shot at a proportional troll-worthy response, by the way? LeBron James wearing a Knicks Jeremy Lin jersey (with some rando rocking a Kendrick Perkins nearby).
And yet that still wouldn't even come close to touching what Johnny Football pulled off yesterday with that TEBOW #15.
And therein lies the power of Johnny Football. Or all ten of the Johnny Footballs, as it were.
Listen to Sean Pendergast on 1560 Yahoo! Sports Radio from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. weekdays and nationally on the Yahoo! Sports Radio network Saturdays from 10 a.m. to noon CST. Also, follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/SeanCablinasian.