Johnny Manziel has it rough.
If you read the ESPN profile of the Texas A&M quarterback and first freshman recipient of the Heisman trophy, the pressure of being an overnight sensation is getting to the young man. From getting kicked out of frat parties to Twitter blowups, the stress of being Johnny Football is manifesting itself as the 2013 season approaches.
Keep in mind that as a fan, you’re supposed to have sympathy for the young man thrust into a world of privilege and access, who can retreat to the golf course or cuss out his family when autograph seekers hound him at dinner. His parents are portrayed as less a support system than a reality show in the making, doubling down on the instant fame before their son’s fifteen minutes are up.
There’s no doubt that people respond to stress and pressure in different ways, and that wealth and privilege do not always make for a more grounded individual. But the narrative that seems to be emerging is that Manziel is a poor little rich kid, having to live up to a sensational freshman year and all the fame that came with it.
Whether Manziel responds with another spectacular year, or flames out entirely remains to be seen. Alabama fans have plenty of incentive to hope the Crimson Tide avenges their 2012 loss to the Aggies, but a victory in the rematch may have even more significance for the young quarterback.
But in case you wanted to see how someone from a broken home, with a father in prison and no country club to run to handles success, we left this here for you: