Reason No. 435 why Johnny Manziel just doesn’t get it

I have just one question: How can Johnny Manziel think this is OK?


How can Manziel, knowing he was on national television for the first time in his NFL career, essentially interviewing for one of the most prized jobs in America, and knowing, too, that he’s already on thin ice for saying and doing silly things while being photographed, possibly have thought that he could get away with giving the middle finger to the opposing sideline on Monday Night Football?

Either he is too dumb to realize that such a moment would be caught on camera, or he’s too stupid to realize that antics like those are heavily frowned upon in professional sports, where fathers still hope role models exist.

Or he simply wasn’t thinking at all.

Regardless of which of the above possible factors was at play, it’s another indication that the 21-year-old lacks the discipline, the self-awareness and — arguably most importantly — the brains to be a successful quarterback at the next level.

And I know some of you will argue that the very age mentioned above gives Manziel some slack. He’s barely of legal drinking age, so why shouldn’t he make dumb choices? Sure, but he’s no ordinary 21-year-old, and the reality is that to be a franchise quarterback in the NFL you’re held to a much higher standard in a variety of ways.

Manziel hasn’t reached that standard on or off the field, which is a concern considering that teams can hardly afford to wait nowadays for quarterbacks to develop in either respect.

Believe it or not, he’s already running out of time. And as he continues to make silly choices, it’s fair to wonder whether the kid will ever have what it takes to excel at the most cerebral position in American sports.

About Brad Gagnon

Brad Gagnon has been passionate about both sports and mass media since he was in diapers -- a passion that won't die until he's in them again. Based in Toronto, he's worked as a national NFL blog editor at, a producer and writer at theScore Television Network and a host, reporter and play-by-play voice at Rogers TV. His work has also appeared at, Deadspin,, The Guardian, The Hockey News and elsewhere at Comeback Media, but his day gig has him covering the NFL nationally for Bleacher Report.