Hansen Unplugged: Some advice for 'Johnny Football'

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by DALE HANSEN

WFAA

Posted on July 31, 2013 at 10:20 PM

Updated Thursday, Feb 13 at 6:15 PM

Johnny Manziel is in so many ways a typical 20-year-old kid trying to enjoy his college days... but a 20-year-old college kid with a Heisman Trophy and a family with a lot of money.

"Johnny Football" wants to live large, fly the world enjoying the benefits that his sudden fame brings. He puts himself in the fish bowl, but doesn't like it when people look through the glass.

It's a trade-off that a lot of young people can't handle.

Former Cowboys quarterback troy Aikman used to practice signing his name when he was a kid, then got real tired of everybody wanting him to sign when he became the Cowboys star.

Manziel hasn't reached Aikman status yet, but he can see it from here.

I told Troy Aikman once (and I would tell Johnny Manziel the same thing) if you don't like the glare your celebrity brings... if all the benefits that come your way aren't worth the hassle so many fans put you through... we can fix that.

Don't play your game anymore.

Don't be the celebrity you are anymore.

Don't make the millions that you do (or eventually will).

And I promise you, no one will ever bother you again.

It's not right that Manziel has to be painted as a bad kid, because he does what most kids do. But then I honestly don't know why he really cares.

How many of us would like the decisions we made... the things we did at 20... to be splashed around the world for someone's amusement?

Little people with little goals who lead little lives try to make the giants among us smaller.

Johnny Manziel's a kid (sometimes a rather stupid kid) who does stupid things. Just like I did. And I'm betting that most of you did, too.

He'll grow up. He'll change. He'll get smarter and find a way to deal with what he thinks is pressure now when he starts to deal with the real pressures of life.

And if he doesn't?

Well, if he doesn't, he'll be the old man at the end of the bar telling everybody how he won the Heisman... how he used to be "Johnny Football" ... and trying to figure out why nobody cares anymore.

E-mail dhansen@wfaa.com

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