Johnny Football Enters Treatment Facility for Rehab
Taking what be the most impressive step of his personal and professional life last week as he entered a treatment facility in order to "be a better family member, friend and teammate". Kudos to the young man.
There was once a time in America where an athlete entering rehab for any reason would become a scandal to rival any of today's scandals. Times have changed. The scandal for a famous person struggling with addiction in the 21st century comes every time they embarrass themselves or their family with an appearance on TMZ.
For an outsider looking in, it was hard to get a read on Johnny Football. Was this behavior just because he wasn't smart enough to know better? Was it the fame going to his head? I never once thought about addiction. That actually redeems J.F. Manziel greatly in my eyes. Addiction can be a literal killer, but making the realization at such a young age shows he's got some smarts.
There's always the possibility that this was forced upon Mr. Manziel after the way the 2014 season ended in controversy over a party thrown by J. Football. Again, I saw the whole thing as a young man that had fame thrust upon him too early, and I had actually written him off with the likes of Ryan Leaf and Jamarcus Russel.
Cleveland GM Ray Farmer offered both his, and the organization's, obvious blessing:
"We respect Johnny's initiative in this decision and will fully support him throughout this process. Our players' health and well-being will always be of the utmost importance to the Cleveland Browns. We continually strive to create a supportive environment and provide the appropriate resources, with our foremost focus being on the individual and not just the football player. Johnny's privacy will be respected by us during this very important period and we hope that others will do the same."
Whether he entered rehab under his own power or was given an ultimatum by family or employers, his decision not to run and hide from his problem should be taken as a great sign for not only fans of the Browns and/or Aggies, but also for those looking for help themselves.
If Manziel can admit he's got a problem, who knows whom it might help. There might be players, fans or even casual NFL fans that see this and take action themselves. Sometimes, the hardest part of admitting you have a problem is the judgement you feel. Johnny Manziel entering rehab might be the trigger to get others in the NFL to admit they have problems.
I'm a Sooner. I'm not an Aggie. I've taken hundreds of shots at Manziel's expense. If he takes this seriously and diverts from his Lindsay Lohan-esque path he's on, I'll count myself a fan of Manziel as a man. I don't think I can cheer for him on the field, but he gets a standing ovation from me off the field.