Monday, June 24, 2013
Keown: Johnny Manziel Inc.
By ESPN.com staff
The Memorial Student Center at Texas A&M is quite a place. It's a testament to the nothing-is-too-good-for-our-kids philosophy of college architecture -- glass, stone and steel, with luxurious sitting rooms and restaurants and whatever else you might need to escape the infernal College Station heat.
There's a little social commentary going on inside the official student bookstore, too. It's evident from the moment you walk through the door that one sport -- and one young man -- runs the show. The most prominent clothing items are "No Heisman without the MAN" T-shirts and "Heisman Football" T-shirts and No. 2 jerseys and No. 2 T-shirts and No. 2 baseball caps. It's all very careful: no direct reference to Johnny Manziel and no mention of "Johnny Football," the nickname Manziel has attempted to protect -- and eventually monetize -- through copyright.
I walked through the bookstore on a quiet and hot June afternoon a couple of weeks ago, and I thought about it again when I read the uproar over the ridiculously minuscule controversy regarding Manziel's ill-advised tweet after a parking ticket last weekend. And then I thought about it again when reading about the upcoming decision in what has become known as the O'Bannon lawsuit against the NCAA, which could change the dynamics of far more than the racks at the Texas A&M bookstore.