Sports are a little slow this time of year. I know, because I actually got semi-invested in the Bachelorette last night (season finale is next week BTW!) But life comes at you fast, and NFL training camps have kicked off in many cities.
The rookies have arrived and most veterans are expected to be in camp by the end of the week. But before we get into all the training-camp battles that are brewing, a brief pause, to prepare ourselves for the dawn of the Johnny Football era in Cleveland.
Johnny Manziel has the highest-selling NFL jersey this year (congrats to Michael Sam as well, who came in 6th), which is rather impressive, considering he’s yet to play a down of professional football. Then again, when you’re as connected as he is, experience doesn’t matter. He’s part of Drake’s inner circle, LeBron wore his jersey immediately after the NFL draft, he’s linked to LeBron’s business manager Maverick Carter, and he spent this summer in the spotlight: hanging with Playboy models and partying with Floyd Mayweather and Justin Bieber.
Manziel enters Browns training camp in a quarterback competition with Brian Hoyer (who has probably never met Justin Bieber), and head coach Mike Pettine is already dealing with a lot of questions about his rookie quarterback, most of them not football related.
From current players to Hall of Famers, everyone has an opinion on how Manziel. He hasn’t paid his dues. He doesn’t respect the game. He’s arrogant. He’s just 21, let him be 21. How do you solve a problem like Johnny Football? Apparently by talking it to death.
Sadly, both sides seem to have valid points. Yes, Manziel should tone down his uncanny ability to create a headline every week, if only because teammates and coaches may get tired of defending him. No, Manziel has not disrespected the game or crossed the line, he’s simply a modern-day celebrity, being covered as intensely as you would expect.
Don’t worry, you’ll wish Tim Tebow was back by the time training camp coverage of Johnny Football is done. Oh, by the way, since we brought him up, Tebow’s staying in shape for a comeback. Prepare yourselves, football fans.
Ray Allen, Chinese Sharpshooter
(Again, we’d like to preface this with: slow week.)
Imagine my surprise and excitement when I saw this photo on former (?) Miami Heat shooting guard Ray Allen’s Instagram feed:
Allen is traveling as part of a Nike promotional tour at the moment, and had time to stop by a Chinese television show, dress up as an archer and shoot arrows at an apple. We know Allen’s a sharpshooter, but he’s taking that brand to a new level internationally. To be honest, I’m just amazed that there are so many Ray Allen jerseys in China. Even the Sonics? I’m going to need to check the authenticity of those.
But seriously, just present this GIF without context to anyone in the future. This is why it’s important to have a GIF folder on your desktop.
This entire incident reminds me of my favorite NBA-Chinese television moment, via David Roth at SB Nation: Kevin Garnett versus kung pao chicken.