Ever since he entered the NFL, much has been made of Johnny Manziel’s partying ways. Last year, he voluntarily entered rehab and vowed to clean up his act, but several incidents – including a roadside fight with his girlfriend and a pair of videos that appeared to show him consuming alcohol – seemed to suggest otherwise.
Despite all that, the Cleveland Browns stuck by their quarterback. But after he skipped his team-mandated concussion treatment last week (and was reportedly spotted in Las Vegas), it appears Manziel’s off-field antics may actually derail his once-promising career.
Luckily, someone is willing to step in and save Johnny Football from himself: WWE Hall of Famer Jake “The Snake” Roberts.
“I’m trying to get ahold of Johnny Manziel, and I’m going to tell that boy, ‘You need to get on Antabuse,'” Roberts says. “I understand where his head is at. I understand what it is to be Jake the Snake, or Johnny Football. You got all of these expectations from other people. Not just yourself, but other people. You start being the party guy for them.”
And Roberts would know. At one point, he was on top of the wrestling world, considered by many to be one of the best on the microphone and in the ring. But decades of struggles with alcohol and drugs cut short his career and nearly cost him his life. In 2012, after relapsing once again, he moved in with former wrestler Diamond Dallas Page, who had begun helping several grapplers get sober and healthy using his DDP Yoga as a basis. Roberts responded, and his life has turned around to such a degree that WWE – which had distanced itself from him during his struggles – not only welcomed the Snake back to TV, but inducted him into its Hall of Fame.
Roberts chronicles his journey in a new documentary, The Resurrection of Jake The Snake, which is out on iTunes next week. To promote the film, he appeared on my Jobbing Out podcast, and spoke about his hard-partying path – one he feels Manziel is currently walking down.
During his heyday, Roberts says he was surrounded by people who expected him to be the “Snake,” a man who never met a drink or a drug he wouldn’t take. Not wanting to disappoint them, he obliged, much to his own detriment. He believes that Manziel is now trapped in the came cycle, and must break out in order to get his life and career back on track.
“You can’t go hang out with a bunch of damn drug addicts and expect not to do drugs,” he says. “You can’t go in a bar and expect not to drink. So you have to find new things to do in life. Believe it or not, those new things are twice as much fun.”
Roberts says he’d be willing to serve as a mentor for Manziel, much in the same way Page helped him get clean.
“Yes I would. Put that out there. If somebody can put me in contact with him, do it. Not only him, but several of those guys who are screwing up out there…like [TCU quarterback] Trevone Boykin,” he says. “You were going to be in a bowl game, and look what you did. I’d love to get ahold of him and sit him down. Say what I did in my career and what I did. At least I had a career before I blew it.
“Let’s get Johnny Manziel out here,” he continues. “I’ll take care of him…I’ll save his life or drive him crazy, one of the two.”