Blog by: George Thomas and Ron Ledgard
It’s as simple as Will Brinson of CBSSports.com writes it in his report about the NFL’s best-selling jerseys:
"The Browns didn't just draft a quarterback. They drafted a freaking marketing machine: Johnny Manziel's No. 2 Browns jersey is the NFL Shop's top-selling jersey through the first portion of 2014's fiscal year."
And that’s what’s scaring a lot of individuals, including this writer, who isn’t quite prepared to join in on Manziel Mania. People talk and downplay the hype that LeBron James recently created. However, at least James has accomplished things in his chosen sport.
Four-time MVP, two-time champion, Olympic champion…yada…yada…yada. He earned the hype. And that’s the problem with this Manziel thing. The borderline hysteria, powered by ESPN when Manziel played at Texas A&M, hasn’t been earned – at least not in the NFL.
Yes, Manziel won the Heisman Trophy, but the reality of that particular piece of hardware is that the quarterbacks who’ve won it in the recent past haven’t exactly lit the League afire. Given Manziel’s partying proclivities, he may be the latest to add his name to that list of ignominy.
It says plenty when your college football coach makes dubious statements in front of the media.
“Is this the SEC Media Days?" he asked during that conference’s media shindig last week when asked about Johnny Manziel. “That's a great question ... for the Cleveland Browns. Anyone else have anything?”
Yes, sounds like an attempt to move forward – quickly.
Sumlin pointed answer was the right one, the Browns for good or bad have Manziel and the hype that comes with his presence.
With it has come songs, beer, ice cream in Manziel’s name and now another measurement of hype – jersey sales. All of this for a quarterback who’s yet to throw an official pass in the NFL.
If Manziel succeeds, that’s great for the Browns and the city, but if Cleveland Browns fans, and there may be a generational schism with older fans showing tempered optimism and the younger ones expecting miracles, are realistic the Manziel jerseys would go bye-bye for a season because an educated guess says that Brian Hoyer will open the season under center.
No offense, I’d rather have a solid opening day quarterback than a marketing machine on any given Sunday.