Every year around this time, former Saints quarterback Archie Manning oversees the Manning Passing Academy.
For those not familiar with the Academy, it is a four-day annual camp conducted in Thibodeaux, LA on the campus of Nicholls State University where the Manning patriarch, along with his Super Bowl MVP sons, Peyton and Eli, as well as dozens of college coaches from around the country pass their knowledge onto a bunch of campers who play a football skill position at the high school level.
In addition to the Manning family and the coaches on the staff, a handful of college quarterbacks from around the country serve as counselors to the campers. It's generally considered an honor to be asked to fill a counselor role, as the Manning family is considered football (and passing) royalty.
Well, in a career (and an offseason) that continues to be about dramatic "firsts," Johnny Manziel may have managed to do it again! He may have been the first counselor ever sent home from the Manning Passing Academy for being hungover!
Let me stress the words "may have," because the Mannings have issued statements on the Academy's stance regarding Manziel's apparently mutually agreed-to early departure on Saturday, and they center around Johnny contracting some sort of unspecified illness.
First, the general statement from the nebulous "Academy" entity:
"Johnny Manziel did participate in some activities in the 2013 Manning Passing Academy as a college counselor/coach. 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."
Then Peyton Manning specifically made these comments to ESPN's Chris Mortensen:
"I can remember a 20-year-old Eli [Manning] missing a meeting 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."
I do think it's interesting that Peyton's statement makes no mention of an illness at all, but specifically mentions "missing a meeting" (It references Eli's missing a meeting at Johnny's age, which obviously implies Johnny missed a meeting.) I also think it's interesting Peyton wants him back as a counselor next year. My guess is Johnny will be busy next year
spending his NFL signing bonus on a round of 1000 body shots in Cabo studying up for an NFL team's training camp. As for trying to read between the lines on this one (because anyone outside of the Aggie family, and even some that I know within the Aggie family, are rooting for a hangover-fueled expulsion from the camp, right?), here are all the things we know:
- Johnny Manziel was out in Thibodeaux on Thursday night at one bar at the very least, as he and Alabama quarterback A.J. McCarron (also a counselor at the camp) snapped pictures with some of the bartenders at Bubba's.
— Reagan Langford (@reagann14) July 12, 2013
- Johnny Manziel was late for some meetings on Friday morning, according to Peter King of SI.com.
- Johnny Manziel missed planned and scheduled meetings on Saturday morning. Everyone agrees on this, including Manziel himself. (It's unclear where Manziel was on Friday night.)
- Johnny was able to muster the strength to make it back to College Station by Saturday night because multiple accounts have him spotted in the Northgate area of College Station, including several people saying he was at something called the Hookah Station:
so jealous of everyone at hookah station right now with @JManziel2
— Iman Maniya (@imaniya) July 14, 2013
Wasssuppp Johnny manziel is at the hookah station
— Brody (@Chaz_Cake) July 14, 2013
— Clare Marshall (@MarshallMellow5) July 14, 2013
— Kourtney Martin (@kdmartin4) July 14, 2013
Deadspin even has text of a couple tweets from College Station residents (odds are they are other Aggie students) that have since been deleted, perhaps to protect young Johnny Football, who according to at least one tweeter was perhaps trying to protect himself:
— Omar Gonzales (@OriginalOmar83) July 14, 2013
- Finally, the story out of Johnny's family came later Sunday afternoon from his father, Paul, through Kate Hairopolous of the Dallas Morning News, that Johnny was resting comfortably and recuperating from dehydration, which if he were partying at Northgate on Saturday night may be entirely true:
Texas A&M QB Johnny Manziel is "resting and recuperating from dehydration," according to his father, Paul Manziel. (Continued..)
— Kate Hairopoulos (@khairopoulos) July 14, 2013
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Manziel's father said in a text message that Manziel is resting at home with his family and is not football-ready but is feeling better.
— Kate Hairopoulos (@khairopoulos) July 14, 2013
So the evidence has been presented -- a young quarterback
who has spent the last six months putting dozens of pictures a month on Instagram from places like Cabo, casinos, Pebble Beach, and courtside at virtually every NBA arena is out in Thibodeax on a Friday night, feels sick the next day, misses some meetings, agrees it's best he go home, and then is dehydrated the following day after being spotted out at the bars late night.
Yeah, sounds like the
Jack Daniel's flu to me.
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.