I told my lovely and talented wife Alison last spring that all I wanted for Christmas for 2013 and 2014 was a big screen television with HD before football season started. She said yes and so we bought the big screen TV, and the TV man came and hooked it up a couple of weeks ago, and now we are set.
I did think about the fact that kids are starving in China and I am buying a big screen television to watch football. Is there a moral dilemma? It depends, I suppose, on how you look at it. I guess I could have sent that money to an organization who feeds hungry children in China. Or, I could buy the TV (made in China like almost everything else Americans buy) which gives some Chinese person a job which helps him feed his children so that they don’t starve and helps keep his company in business. Moral dilemma solved. So actually, when you think about it, I have helped humanity by getting a large screen HD television so that I can enjoy football.
Speaking of college football, last year during the first part of the season my son Wesley began telling me about a quarterback at Texas A&M named Johnny Manziel. I had not seen him play a whole game until the Aggies visited Starkville later in the fall. Then I watched in amazement as this smallish guy made our defensive players look like fools. It was embarrassing for the Bulldog defenders. It really was. It looked like he was a man playing with boys except all these “boys” were much bigger than the one making them look foolish. But you know what? Manziel did that to every team, including Alabama in Tuscaloosa, and there were several NFL-type guys on that ‘Bama defense. It was about that time I became a Johnny Manziel fan. I made it a point to watch the Texas A&M games just to see him run around like he was playing backyard football and rack up yardage and points unlike any quarterback in SEC history. And he was a redshirt freshman! Johnny was gaining a national following and became the first freshman in history to win the Heisman Trophy. It was a great story for college football and for the world of sports in general. Americans love a guy who looks like he can’t but then shows that he can.
But then the off season came and Johnny Football made several decisions that diminished his reputation in the eyes of the public. He did something at the prestigious Manning Quarterback camp that got him sent home early. Then he was seen at a University of Texas fraternity party in Austin where he was forced to leave. Then he was signing autographs for some kind of sports memorabilia salesman and claiming he was not paid, which if he were paid it would be a violation of NCAA rules. And then last week, after sitting out a first half suspension, he gets into more trouble with his own-field antics, got flagged for a personal foul, and then ignored his coach as he walked off the field.
Suddenly, as ESPN commentator Jesse Palmer said last weekend, a lot of people who were Johnny Football fans don’t like him anymore. They have turned from rooting for him to rooting against him. I am about there myself. American sports fans don’t like arrogance and self-aggrandizement. We like to root for great players who are also good people. Hopefully, Johnny Football will cut out all this foolishness and grow up. Because he sure a lot of fun to watch on my big screen TV with HD.
Community columnist TIM WILDMON is a Lee County resident. He is president of the American Family Association, but the column represents his personal opinion unless otherwise noted. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.