His name is the first to fill a Google search under the letters "J-O," before Joanne's (fabrics?) and Jaxon Shipley's big brother. Since the Aggies last played on Nov. 24, the freshman QB has won the Heisman, read Letterman's Top 10 list, posed with Bron-Bron, flirted with Megan Fox, and played through with brothers named Jonas.
I hear he got a Rolex for Christmas, too, but that's his business.
Less than two hours after Johnny Manziel won the Heisman, Austin American-Statesman staffer Suzanne Halliburton dashed off a piece for the Sunday edition, betting against Kid Football winning the bronze bully again. A few days later, I had just dropped my daughter off at school when I heard local radio personality Jason Dick call Manziel "the ugliest Heisman Trophy winner, ever."
My immediate response to the local media's derision (open and otherwise – Halliburton did cast her top Heisman vote for Manziel) was defensive, at best. Does it really matter what Manziel looks like? And even if it does: he's a 20-year-old college student. He's unlikely to have peaked.
Which might pique some Austinites, given what it predicts for Aggie football in the foreseeable future: yeah, they're gonna be good. Will Johnny win the Heisman again? Probably not. But who cares? He's already got it, baby.
And that's all I have to say about Google's favorite Johnny.
In my opinion, we can save all the talk – about a Heisman repeat, about what happens to Johnny Football if junior tackles Jake Matthews and Luke Joeckel lumber into the NFL, about Kliff Kingsbury's pretty outside and rotten Raider core – until we've survived another Texas summer. Right now, the biggest story out of Aggie football is the impending Cotton Bowl matchup with Oklahoma.
I try not to get too worked up over football; for one thing, I'm a woman, and rabid aggression is unbecoming of a certain gender, especially after a certain age. But 2013's Cotton Bowl matchup may be enough to make even Ryan Tannehill's robotic heart flutter. For the Aggies, a post-season bout with perennial Big 12 power Oklahoma is ideal.
Why? Friday's game in Dallas gives Texas A&M a chance to demonstrate the superiority SEC fans like to claim outside of a Texas vs. Texas A&M situation. Had bowl officials denuded A&M of the prestige they earned in the regular season and set up the in-state rivalry Texas had already rejected, the Aggies would have come off as apologetic acolytes to Mack Brown's media machine, despite the big new badass conference.
But if the ninth-ranked Aggies beat the 11th-ranked Sooners, they establish themselves as a new force on the national stage and further separate themselves from the 2011 Ags that went 4-5 in the Big 12. Texas A&M is just 2-11 against Bob Stoops. Saturday's Cotton Bowl Classic gives A&M a chance to show the Sooners how times have changed.
Things aren't quite so rosy for the boys in Crimson. "The Aggies have done too much," writes Berry Tramel for The Oklahoman. "They played their way into the Cotton Bowl, and now they offer the Sooners little bounty. The Big 12 will get no credit should OU be fortunate enough to win."
I doubt Stoops and his overfed pioneers feel quite that way, but even better if they do. Kevin Sumlin's team has thrived in a Scooby Doo underdog costume, carrying the emotional edge through much of conference play. I'd think Manziel's Heisman might put the Aggies on Oklahoma's radar, that all that glitz and bling should give Landry Jones and company reason to play. We saw in October what can happen when the Sooners want to win: Oklahoma embarrassed Texas 63-21 before a less-than-neutral Dallas crowd.
Friday's game, if it lives up to the "Classic" in its name, will go to the team that wants it more.
Copyright © 2013 Austin Chronicle Corporation. All rights reserved.