Alabama-Texas A&M Rematch: A Pretty Big Deal, Apparently!
Unless you’ve been living under a giant soundproof rock for the last year, you’re well aware that Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel is kind of a big deal. In fact, he may be the biggest deal, in the biggest sport, from one of the biggest states in the country.
Johnny Football came out of nowhere last season to become the first freshman in history to win the Hesiman Trophy, college football’s top honor.
Along the way he led his Aggies to an upset win over the University of Alabama, who’ve won three of the last four BCS Championships, handing the Tide their only loss of the season. It was a stunning feat that very few saw coming.
And he did it in Tuscaloosa too, making it just the fifth home loss for Bama since coach Nick Saban took the reigns in 2007.
Not bad for a freshman…not bad at all.
All-in-all 2012 was one helluva a year for Manziel. So what does that make 2013? We’ll have a better idea in a few short days.
After the BCS Championship, college football players who have not declared for the NFL Draft tend to fall off the radar entirely until mid-summer. That’s just the natural order of things.
The national radar, that is. Many remain year-round obsessions in small towns that would cease to exist absent their university. [Seriously—I’ve been to Penn State on a gameday—if you’re not dressed in blue and white, you’re burned as a witch]
Such is not the case with Manziel. His meteoric rise, which spanned barely three months, transformed him from relatively unknown into one of the most buzzed about athletes in history.
Clearly he found his new home in the spotlight very much to his liking and had no plans to cede it to anyone. Your disdain is Manziel’s Oxygen.
The offseason hijinks of Johnny Football were well-documented—not to mention, greatly overblown. A few of the highlights include:
In June Manziel tweeted that he “can’t wait to leave college station.” Wow! An NFL bound college athlete who can’t wait to leave college—what are the odds?
In July his stay at Manning Camp was cut short. There were reports that it was due to an illness. There were other reports that it was due to a hangover. Manziel said it was because he overslept. Heck, maybe it was all three.
In fact, it was probably all three—this kid does like to party.
Throughout the summer Manziel was spotted at various frat parties, at various schools. Sometimes he was just chilling, other times he was getting kicked out. Every time it was being well documented on the internet.
Then, of course, there were those pesky allegations that Manziel was profiting from the sale of signed memorabilia.
A charge which the NCAA ultimately conceded it didn’t have enough evidence to support, but still inexplicably decided to suspend him for half of A&M’s season opener against Rice.
Because of course they did. Gotta love the NCAA!
[Kidding! The NCAA is THE WORST]
All of that inconsequential nonsense was just generated to feed the growing national obsession with Johnny Manziel. Think of it as a warmup act to the big show.
The big show, of course, being the big rematch with Alabama this Saturday at 3:30 PM. And this time it will be held on Manziel’s home turf, College Station’s Kyle Field—the place he can’t wait to get out of.
The winner of which will be considered the likely favorite to win a BCS title in January. Creating potentially serious ramifications for the loser which have not been lost on fans of either team, nor the media.
This week Forbes reported that tickets are the most expensive college football regular season game in history. They’re selling “for an average of $763 on the secondary market—$50 more than the Game of the Century,” which was the LSU-Bama game in 2011.
That’s the average cost, but if you’re looking to spend a lot more money, there are plenty of people on StubHub willing to take it. Of the 193 tickets still available, over a dozen are priced over $1,000.
The highest being $5,555—although that seems a bit high for the upper level. You can sit field level near the 50-yard line for half that price.
CBS came up with their own plan to capitalize on Manzielmania. On Monday it was announced television viewers would be treated to “Johnny Cam,” a camera devoted entirely to Manziel throughout the game.
Alabama quarterback—and reported Johnny Football nemesis—A.J. McCarron must be thrilled.
If Manziel goes to the bathroom at halftime—we won’t have to miss a second of it! Phew. Surely we’ll all sleep better tonight.
Honestly, it’s hard to believe the game is still two days away. This matchup has been discussed, analyzed and carefully dissected ad nauseum in recent weeks—the coverage has reached a fever pitch this week.
But we already know the story. Manziel wants a repeat. Bama wants revenge.
If that doesn’t sound like a recipe for a killer afternoon of college football, then I don’t know what does.