Johnny Manziel was in the news again over the weekend. And it’s actually good news. Maybe. If one wants to be exceptionally charitable and selective in choosing what to believe.
The former Cleveland Browns quarterback was the subject of an exhaustive story by the Washington Post about a life that appears to have unraveled since his days as a star at Texas A&M.
It paints a picture of a young man adrift, complete with anonymous quotes from friends and descriptions of various activities of the past few months.
But one person who did go on the record, Rafael Valdez, told the paper Manziel has adhered to a pledge to sober up starting July 1.
Valdez, who is identified as Manziel’s tattoo artist, also downplayed the idea the Heisman Trophy winner is out of control.
“He’s a young dude trying to have a good time,” Valdez said. “He’s not the only one out there. We’re all doing this.”
A statement provided to the paper by a representative for Manziel also paints a rosier picture than the rest of the story.
“I’m actually doing well,” Manziel said in the statement. “I have good friends around me supporting what I do and I try to support them in what they want to do. I’m not saying I’m never drinking again, but for now just mostly being healthy. I’ve got a killer gym in my house and I can spend time working out. I’m interested in doing a lot of different things in my life — including football — but, right now, I’m just exploring options and waiting to see what the future holds.”
Of course talk has proven to be cheap with Manziel, and it might be again.
The rest of the story is not flattering, and he is still facing multiple legal issues, including a misdemeanor domestic violence charge involving his ex-girlfriend.
Manziel has not done much, if anything, to earn the benefit of the doubt as far as whether or not he can turn his life around, but he has always had a certain capacity to surprise.
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