By: Dan Hancock (@danhancock1978)
Has social media completely destroyed society? There was once a time, not that long ago, that we knew more about our president's stance politically than on his feelings on "Glee." Similar to that, there was once a time when the only thing we knew about our favorite college athletes, aside from their playing ability, was their college major. That's only because it was listed on the Golden Flake Player Spotlight on any college game on Saturday. EX: Rex Grossman, 6'1", 220lbs. Hometown: Bloomington, Indiana Major: Travel & Tourism.
Ten years ago, this is all we knew about the Florida Gator quarterback and we were fine with that. Even my mom was convinced that the Travel & Tourism degree was a smart choice, since he lived in Florida. Why didn't I pursue that track? Not to pick on Rex, but what if there was Facebook and Twitter back then? I imagine if there was, Rex Grossman would make Johnny Manziel look like Napoleon Dynamite.
This is purely speculation, but I think Grossman partied more than the average starting quarterback in college football. It wasn't until Rex made his way into the NFL that we started hearing more about his social habits. As long as Rex led the Gators to big wins, we left him alone. The "Slinging in the Rain" game in 2002, alone, afforded him a very long leash in Gainesville. Thanks to the lack of social media, we'll never know the extent of his celebratory rituals and conquests.
Was Rex Grossman the exception? Doubtful.
Is Johnny Manziel the only guy who likes to party in the NCAA? Absolutely not.
Is Johnny Manziel a dufus? No question.
What's unfortunate for Manziel is that he does live within the Twittersphere. He knows he's being watched with more scrutiny than anyone who has ever ran for public office. Is it fair? No. It's not fair that Johnny was blessed with a cannon for an arm and can run like a gazelle and all I can do is combine words and and sentences into a blog entry. Somewhere, though, someone is reading this and wanting to be featured on 1010XL's Gator coverage. With that, I know what I should and not say or else I will put myself in jeopardy of going back to writing jingles on the back of bathroon stalls. It's all about perspective.
Johnny needs football season to officially begin so that he can be in a controlled environment until draft day. Rex Grossman needs to thank his lucky stars that he was born right on time and was able to compete in the NFL for the past decade. We as sports journalists, or those trying to be, should be thankful for the material this summer. Thanks Johnny! You've spared us all from writing about our favorite sports movie and characters...again.
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