With just three days to go before Texas A&M’s season home game opener, on Aug. 28, 2013, Texags.com staffer Billy Liucci tweeted “Per multiple sources, he’ll be suspended for first half of season-opener versus Rice on Saturday” and “as most predicted, all indications are that Manziel was not found guilty of accepting payment for signature.”
With the power of social media, the Liucci tweet has been retweeted 625 times in just the past 42 minutes since its debut. Even CBS Sports pro Bruce Feldman was one of the retweets of Liucci’s original. Not unexpectedly then, the comments that accompany the viral spreading of this obviously joyous news in Aggieland are running 50:50 “fer” and “again” with the line in the sand distinctly drawn.
You’re either a zealous fightin’ Texas Aggie loyalist who proffers “done, now play ball!” with a thumbs-up Gig ‘em and the utterance “BTHO NCAA” to boot, or you’re a bottom-feeder “hater,” who simply does not understand why you should keep your mouth shut. Plain and simple.
Around College Station and Bryan, particularly, you are certain that the young Heisman Trophy winner is not one iota different than the image of “Superman,” exactly as Manziel is pictured on the cover of September’s Texas Monthly magazine cover story by writer S.C. Gwynne. Destroyed and deleted are any copies of ESPN’s Wright Thompson’s story on Johnny Football and “the fam” that doesn’t portray everything in a light befitting young Clark Kent.
The system Chancellor, whose love of the spotlight knows no bounds over which to leap, has called out ESPN in a “how dare they” tone, in writing no less, to all the faithful followers of the Chancellor’s Century Council of loyal advisors. The question of what all the kerfluffle is all about has been brilliantly transformed away from any mention of the words “autograph brokers” or “multiple signings” and well, just forget all those words.
Instead, you hear “Play ball,” “Let’s put this behind us,” “Bring it on Johnny Football!,” “We stand with Johnny Football.” And that is how the Texas Aggies roll. It’s not the Texas Longhorns in the spotlight anymore as the enemy; instead, it’s the media who are the evildoers who would dare to cover the biggest story in college football. The five and one-half hour meeting that Manziel reportedly had with the NCAA on Sunday, Aug. 25, was all it needed to be assured that all was well here.
The half-game suspension, now being confirmed across the internet, as the “Team Stream” of BleacherReport.com noted just minutes ago: “NCAA reportedly acknowledges Johnny Manziel didn’t receive money for autographs in agreement reached with Texas A&M.”
Okay, so it’s all over now. Let Johnny play football starting in the second half of the Rice game. From here on out, the only speaking Johnny Manziel will need to do to support his abilities will be on the turf of Kyle Field where more records will be shattered, new records will be set, more t-shirts will be sold and capacity crowds are already gassed up and ready to roll in the RVs, headed into town tomorrow for the tailgates of a century.
Unofficial sources suggest that Governor Rick Perry, a Texas Aggie former student, has called the state printing shop to suggest the favorite old bumper sticker be changed from “Don’t Mess with Texas,” to “NCAA: Don’t mess with Texas A&M or Johnny Football.” Today there is joy in Aggieland, as Johnny has most surely come marching home. All rise for the national anthem. It’s time to play ball!