The Summer of Johnny started innocently enough. Truth be told, Johnny's extended summer really started well before the actual summer, beginning around February with Johnny posting pics from Mardi Gras on his Instagram page. From there, the saga of our hero took twists and turns through Cabo (spring break!), casinos, numerous NBA venues, San Diego, and Pebble Beach.
Put simply, if Summer of Johnny were a sitcom, February through June were light hearted, slapstick, laugh track humor. Kind of like Three's Company meets every episode of Beverly Hills, 90210 involving a beach and teenage sex (and possibly the episode where Brandon contracted a pesky gambling problem).
But somewhere along the way, probably about the time that Johnny
stumbled home wasted contracted a mysterious illness forgot to set his alarm at the Manning Passing Academy, our bubbly potpourri of laughter and tequila took a dark turn, and Summer of Johnny became an episodic tale of self destruction, greed, and NCAA angst.
In short, Summer of Johnny went from Thursday night NBC to Sunday night HBO faster than you can say "Uncle Nate is a douche bag."
So as layer upon mind blowing layer gets added to the legend of Johnny Football (and how weird will it be when there's actual football added to the plot in a few weeks?), we get new characters injected into the storylines seemingly every week.
And while Uncle Nate as the "young, parasitic, childhood friend with virtually no life skills" is going to be tough to top, it's a known fact that every good show needs a compelling "take charge lawyer" character. It's also widely accepted that if that lawyer happens to wear a cowboy hat, it makes him at least a thousand times more awesome than he already is.
Well, Thursday was a home run for Summer of Johnny as the writers added a cowboy hat-wearing attorney -- Aggies, say "HOWDY" to Jim Darnell! He's about to become your best friend.
Darnell is a very decorated attorney based out of the El Paso area, a very decorated attorney who almost assuredly has the stuffed heads of several dead animals on his office wall, has bull's horns on the hood of at least one of his vehicles, and is eating some form of smoked meat as you read this.
More importantly for Aggies, Darnell reportedly routinely takes the NCAA into the figurative legal men's restroom, dunks their head in their toilet full of shitty rules, and gives them one big collective swirly.
Seriously, Darnell is a beast.
He's represented an estimated 15 to 20 players and coaches against the NCAA, including the Baylor basketball program in the early 2000's and current UTEP and former USC basketball coach Tim Floyd. According to KVIA in El Paso, Darnell has had "most of his cases" end up in the client's favor.
Darnell also has a son named Jeep who works with him at the firm, who not surprisingly also wears a cowboy hat to work every day, partially because he grew up in a house where his old man had a cowboy hat surgically attached to his melon at all times, and partially because...well...his name is JEEP FUCKING DARNELL.
The name "Jeep Darnell" is to smooth talking, cowboy hat wearing attorneys what "Takeo Spikes" is to hard hitting middle linebackers. Honestly, the only other occupation "Jeep Darnell" could have other than "cowboy hat wearing attorney" is as a massive WWE bodyguard character for a smallish, chicken shit heel. (Think "1993 Diesel meets 2004 JBL.)
Also, porn star.
Of course, the Manziels are using the elder Darnell in response to allegations that Johnny, in between landing in Miami before the BCS title game and banging a few coeds after the BCS title game (I'm just assuming he banged coeds, always the safe bet with Johnny Football), was paid a five figure sum by an autograph broker to sign a bunch of memorabilia that was eventually resold, a huge no-no with the NCAA that, if found true, would threaten Manziel's eligibility for the upcoming season.
According to Darnell, the NCAA has not started an investigation into Manziel's activities, and there have been no formal allegations made by the NCAA, so the Manziels are clearly getting their ducks in a row for if/when the shit eventually comes down.
Whenever that day comes, Darnell is optimistic he and Johnny will emerge victorious:
"Well, we're always feeling like we're going to be successful. I figure he'll be the Aggies starting quarterback against Rice on Aug. 31."
I can neither confirm nor deny that after confidently predicting victory over the NCAA, Darnell spit a glob of tobacco juice into a paper cup, winked, then pointed at the reporter with a six shooter motion and made an affirming clicking noise with his mouth. That
DEFINITELY happened may have happened.
Darnell has litigated numerous types of cases. Just scour his firm's history, and you can see that they are "honored to represent" and "privileged to defend" everybody from war veterans to teachers to, I'm sure, some horrific scumbags, but working against the NCAA is a different animal:
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"I'll take the fifth on that one. I like our judicial system, let me just say that. And it (the NCAA) ain't our judicial system."
Texas, the one state where your lawyer using the word "ain't" seamlessly in a sentence is considered a HUGE positive.
As we steamroll toward the season finale of Summer of Johnny in a few weeks, the cast just got a whole lot more interesting.
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.