Summer of Johnny: Revenge of the Chancellor
I'm not gonna lie. I miss Johnny Football.
No, not Johnny Manziel the risk-taking, freewheeling beast of a quarterback who tortured SEC defenses last season to the tune of over 5,000 yards of total offense. We've heard rumblings of his existence at Texas A&M's practices, and I know someday (like next Saturday) we will see him again.
I'm talking about Johnny Football. Johnny Fucking Football. The overly feisty, drunk-tweeting, wheelin'-dealin', kiss-stealin' son of a gun!
I miss that guy.
It's been 21 days since Johnny Manziel last spoke on Twitter, when he fired off this beauty that appears to be some combination of bad rap lyrics, an open challenge to fight and a cry for help:
I ain't perfect, I ain't insane but I AM worth it...if there's one thing I am worth it. People keep hatin but it ain't WORKIN!
— Johnny Manziel (@JManziel2) August 1, 2013
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Since then, he's given us nothing, due wholly I'm sure to the ongoing cloud hanging over Manziel and the university until the situation with Johnny's rogue autograph sessions has been resolved. That's right -- in addition to chiseling this small pothole of adversity into the Aggies' 2013 season, the memorabilia hounds have directly caused the deprivation of bikini pics and Twitter fights on Johnny's social-media accounts.
In short, we hate you, autograph hounds.
And you know who else hates you? Texas A&M Chancellor John Sharp, that's who! Specifically, he's looking right at you, Drew Tieman. In his e-mail to members of the A&M community, he says that he thinks you're a dope-smoking, probation-addled scumbag who clams up at the first sight of real authority, Drew Tieman (I'm paraphrasing.):
In fact, his "named source," Drew Tieman (initially referred to as the broker), was reportedly booked twice for possession of marijuana and placed on four years probation. He has taken down his Facebook page, changed his telephone number and is refusing attempts to be interviewed by the NCAA.
Basically, John Sharp thinks you're a little bitch, Drew Tieman! (Again, paraphrasing.) Also, who is the "his" referring to in the previous paragraph? Why, that would be ESPN.com's Darren Rovell, the reporter who "broke" the story about Manziel and an ongoing NCAA investigation into his receiving money from Tieman.
Rovell, Sharp thinks you're at best a gullible simp who will run with any story and at worst, a liar (Paraphrasing. You know by now.):
Darren Rovell of ESPN, who broke this story, has been duped before. During his report on Johnny Manziel, he cites unnamed sources who refuse to provide an interview or any tangible proof.
The Chancellor is calling out fools by name, fools like you, Rovell! I'm not afraid to say it, John Sharp is easily the most badass chancellor since Chancellor Palpatine of the Naboo. (Point of disclosure: They are the only two chancellors I know by name.)
And Sharp didn't stop there. Oh no, he didn't.
When asked about his e-mail and the Manziel situation by KBTX Channel 3 at an Aggie function on Thursday night, Sharp did not mince words. He came out swinging again:
"I know [Manziel] is innocent. I know that he didn't do what they accused him of doing, and I think that it's time that we, once we knew what the facts are and we know the facts...and I've seen what everybody else has seen now, and the rest of the country is going to get to see that before it's over with. It was a bunch of hype journalism."
Credit to John Sharp -- he says "Fuck you, Rovell" much more diplomatically than most Aggies have said it. And credit John Sharp for unquestionably having the back of his Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback. If it's more of a leap of faith than an assertion grounded in virtual certainty (and honestly, how can anybody be 100 percent sure of anything with Manziel?), it's a bold chess move.
Ultimately, it probably wasn't necessary for Sharp to back Manziel publicly this hard at this stage, but you have to admire his loyalty. Of course, Johnny is good for business, and business has been good, so perhaps this is the least Sharp could do.
After all, Thursday evening, right around the time Sharp was emphatically confirming his support for Manziel and laying that verbal helmet-to-helmet hit on Rovell, A&M boosters were raising $119,000 in ten minutes selling six football-related items.
None of those items were autographed by Johnny Manziel, yet his fingerprints were all over them.
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.