Why we like Johnny Football

May. 15, 2014 @ 03:54 PM

Here’s why we like Johnny Manziel — aka Johnny Football; aka Johnny Flame; aka Johnny Ca$h:

He’s a white guy with black swagger.

That’s why we like him, and it underscores the racial olive branch that is hip-hop music.

Couple Manziel’s swag with the fact that he is a straight-up baller, and — voila! — when’s the kid’s next McDonald’s commercial with LeBron James?

Think about NBA contemporaries Michael Jordan and Clyde Drexler — straight-up ballers, both of them.

But Jordan did his thing with more flare, and everybody wanted to be like Mike, although there certainly would have been nothing wrong with desiring to glide like Clyde.

Nobody in this year’s NFL draft had more flare than Johnny Flame with his money signs.

Manziel’s swag is genuine. The guy’s not trying to be cool. He is cool, and the brotha — am I allowed to go there? — is so authentic that you might forget that his family is loaded and that he comes from money and doesn’t need any owner of any professional sports franchise to support him and give him food and clothes and cars and houses.

On that note, have you wondered what we’d be dealing with right now if Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling had his hands on an NFL team?

Anyway, part of the point here is that Manziel has street credibility without being from the streets that have been credited with driving so many young, black men toward channeling their athleticism toward careers in pro sports.

Yet Manziel, a rich kid, still shows up with the drive to get on a field and ball out to the point of winning the Heisman Trophy as a freshman, and that’s attractive.

John McCann on Twitter is @johntmccann; email him at jmccann@heraldsun.com.