Johnny “Football” Manziel (2011-2013): An Obituary for the Career of the Most Entertaining Player in College Football


Johnny F. “Football” Manziel’s (2011-2013) college football career ended Tuesday, Jan. 7 after he announced his intentions to take 

his talents to the NFL.

The soon-to-be millionaire and 2023 Double Jeopardy answer (which all of the 

nerds on the show will disappointingly miss, closing out your best category ever) earned fame as the 

first (redshirt) freshman ever to win the Heisman trophy following a stellar 2012 season as the 

quarterback at Texas A&M University.

Manziel is credited with leading a school known more for its 

preponderance of brown-shirted fascists and funeral pyres national cache for the first time since it 

mashed Hannibal Lechter’s dinner.

In 2012, he had a hand in 47 touchdowns for the Aggies—26 passing 

and 21 rushing—while leading a squad many picked for a doormat finish in their first season in the SEC 

to a surprising 6-2 league mark including a win over national champion Alabama in Tuscaloosa.


shined brightest in Red America’s flagship institution (non-Duck Commander category), holding career 

marks in league passing completion percentage (68.9) and total yards per play (8.3) as well as single 

season marks in completion percentage (twice), rushing yardage, passing touchdowns, yards per play, 

total touchdowns, passing yardage and traditionalists pissed off (twice).

The wily quarterback—known 

for dropping back to pass, pulling the ball down, rolling out, looking downfield again, pulling the ball 

down, scrambling toward the sticks…. Wait no, finding Mike Evans 40 yards downfield for the score just 

before hurtling over the line of scrimmage—actually made my girlfriend like football. Like, she would 

put down Candy Crush to watch his every possession.

Manziel led the nation in forced pearl clutching 

following allegations over the summer of 2013 that he violated NCAA edicts against obtaining fair 

market value for his signature after his Heisman campaign.

Coach Kevin Sumlin bravely suspended the 

star for a single half to open the season against Rice before Manziel modestly opened his sophomore 

campaign with three touchdowns. Manziel’s presence at A&M coincided—as Michael Bay films and 

pooka shell necklaces coincide—with a $415 million renovation of the university’s football facilities and 

Kyle Field as well as the largest ever single-year spike in monetary giving.

His career also, sadly, 

coincided with that of the 2013 Texas A&M defense.

Playing no less than 10 true freshman over the 

course of the season, the A&M defense bailed quicker than a Kennedy at Chappaqua with the game on 

the line. The defense gave up a league-leading 474.3 yards per game, negating spectacular Manziel 

efforts against both Alabama (464 yards passing, 98 yards rushing, five touchdowns) and Auburn (454 

yards passing, 48 yards rushing, five touchdowns), each losses for A&M.

Manziel went on ahead to torture his new overlord, Roger Goodell, in the NFL. He leaves behind a 

University with every intention of squandering its reflected glory from the quarterback until a hip 

filmmaker speaking for Men of a Certain Age™ in 25 years resurrects Johnny’s story with a documentary. 

He is also survived by coach Sumlin, who will have to identify competent visors to cover a receding hairline 

driven north by the Aggie defense.

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