If Ben Carson is right, and there really are “two Donald Trumps,” then both of them were wrong about Johnny Manziel.
Back in 2014 – well before Trump turned his orange-hued fury into a successful political campaign – he was touting the talents of Manziel, Texas A&M’s Heisman-winning quarterback who was headed to the NFL draft with the dreaded “character concerns” in tow. Of course, none of that mattered to the Donald, who took to Twitter to throw his support behind the kid known as Johnny Football.
“Teams are making a big mistake not taking Johnny Manziel,” Trump wrote. “He is going to be really good (and exciting to watch).”
That same night, the Cleveland Browns took Manziel with the 22nd pick in the draft – though owner Jimmy Haslam didn’t credit Trump for helping sway his decision, probably because this was back when people could still ignore the Donald’s social-media musings (but also because Haslam was getting his draft advice from homeless men at the time).
So how did the pick pan out? Let’s just say poorly.
On Friday, the Browns cut Manziel after two seasons of spotty play (he started 8 games, and went 2-6, tossing 7 touchdowns and 7 interceptions), failed rehab stints, social-media missteps and off-field drama, most recently an unsettling incident involving an ex-girlfriend that could lead to domestic violence charges being filed against him. Suffice it to say, the Donald was wrong, and Manziel did not get a chance to make Cleveland great again. Not surprisingly, his NFL future is in serious doubt – while Trump’s horizons only seem to be widening by the day.
It’s a good thing player scouting isn’t a requirement to hold political office.