Manziel comeback hits a bad rap

While he may be without a team or a contract, the social media and marketing components of Johnny Manziel’s self-branded “Comeback SZN” are already well underway.

At this point, that’s not a good thing.

The latest instalment features the controversial quarterback, who’s negotiation rights are owned by the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, rapping the lyrics from convicted domestic abuser Chris Brown while rocking his soon-to-be released “Comeback SZN” hoodies.

Manziel also appears to be back to his late-night ways. The two short videos were posted to his Instagram story early Thursday morning and feature Manziel singing along with two Brown songs in what appears to be a limo.

The optics of this are awful. Brown was convicted of assaulting then-girlfriend and fellow pop star Rhianna in 2009 and has since had numerous brushes with the law, many of them involving altercations with women.

The second clip features Manziel rapping the song “No Exit” from Brown’s “Heartbreak on a Full Moon” album. “There really ain’t no exit for me. So don’t be worried by my ex-chick, I know that you heard them stories…”

The line from “No Exit” feels like a reference to Manziel’s former girlfriend Colleen Crowley, with whom he was charged with hitting and threatening in January 2016.

He reached a dismissal agreement that required him to complete an anger management class, attend a domestic violence impact panel and participate in a substance-abuse program.

Add the hawking of the hoodies, the late-night posts, the limo ride and the outrageous contract demands made by his agent last week and it hardly inspires confidence that Manziel sees the Comeback SZN as some kind of redemption effort.

Manziel was largely absent from social media during his period of football exile and he was dead silent as the CFL conducted a review while mulling his entry into the league. He went eight months without posting to his Instagram account and tweeted sparingly (and innocuously.)

But he returned with a vengeance in early January, shortly after the CFL ruled it would allow him into the league.

His first post thanked his girlfriend. His second unleashed the #ComebackSZN hashtag while also chirping his former NFL team, the Cleveland Browns, for their winless 2017 season.

What’s been largely absent for Manziel’s social media presence is anything indicating that he’s interested in, you know, football.

The Twitter and Instagram accounts of many professional athletes — including CFL stars and Ticats — are filled with workout videos, references to the grind and statements about their love for the game.

Not particularly original, most of it, but a fair representation of their daily lives and commitment to their craft.

Manziel’s tone-deaf social media posts, coupled with agent’s contract demands, are rapidly eroding whatever goodwill and open-mindedness that surrounded his potential arrival in Hamilton.

Like most of Manziel’s missteps, they are entirely self-inflicted.

Better get those “Comeback SZN” hoodies quick. They may not last long.

Drew Edwards

Drew Edwards

Drew Edwards is into his eighth season covering the CFL and the Ticats for the Hamilton Spectator. He is the founder and editor of 3DownNation.
Drew Edwards
Drew Edwards
About Drew Edwards (1551 Articles)
Drew Edwards is into his eighth season covering the CFL and the Ticats for the Hamilton Spectator. He is the founder and editor of 3DownNation.

35 Comments on Manziel comeback hits a bad rap

  1. Stephen Fisher // January 21, 2018 at 11:04 am //

    Last winter SJ kept us up to date on his therapy. He worked so hard and it paid off

  2. He’s Donald Trump with a football helmet and spikes.

    • Trevor Levi-Wrangler Richardson // January 21, 2018 at 4:09 pm //


    • Sea of Dead // January 22, 2018 at 12:10 pm //

      Ya, both childish jerks that need to go back to pre-school or go for intensive remedial behaviour classes … both of which likely won’t change them anyway. We don’t need this clown on the team or in our league. Time to move on.

  3. Another slow news day?

  4. I cannot always say this Drew but I agree with everything you have written 100%! Someone commented to a previous article that the clothing line sold out – he either did not produce much in advance or there are a lot more Manziel fans than I could possibly imagine.

  5. Wow, the language used in those videos is atrocious. Are there any laws against abusing the English language?

  6. Oh no! He was in a limo!

    Sad, sad place.

  7. canadianfootballfan // January 21, 2018 at 2:17 pm //

    Drew… this is a football site, so why do you write as if you work for the Enquirer, or any of those trash papers.

    Have a bit of class and proper focus. If we wanted trashy news that offers nothing really to do with football, then we would go elsewhere.

    • Bit of irony here. Johnny Football has nothing to do with football – at least based on his public behaviour. And yet he is being actively courted by a CFL team. (That last part, BTW, is why you are seeing updates on this site.)

  8. Rider fan // January 21, 2018 at 5:19 pm //

    Johnny Football is good for the cfl right now. Look at all. The talk and discussion that we have had. Kevin glen Darian Durant Johnny Football.

  9. Supa Flea // January 21, 2018 at 5:41 pm //

    Yet Drew has said nothing about the Ticats GMs transgressions. But quick to tear down Briles and Johnny Football…

  10. Peter Griffin // January 21, 2018 at 6:56 pm //

    Nothing this clown has done so far suggests that he is “really” anxious to make a football team. I see little point in covering his every move until when/if he actually signs with the Cats or some other team, and then actually gets himself here to training camp. We all know what he is – a marketer trying to sell his so called “brand”. We need more actual football stories as we impatiently wait for the season to begin.

  11. Bum. … a silver spoon brat. I still think that he will not take a snap in the CFL.

  12. Yawn…how about those Patriots. Should beat Philly no prob, eh?

    • Yuck! Hope not. Seen enough of King Tom winning super bowls.

    • Sea of Dead // January 22, 2018 at 12:03 pm //

      Only if the balls are somewhat deflated. @Philski: We agree on most things when it comes to the Cats but hoping Philly gives the Pats a total beat down in the SB and that TB is nursing more than a sore thumb.

      • Heh, heh, heh…no prob my SoD friend! My association to the Pats goes back to 1985 hence the link…even miles away presently living in Lotusland. Your heart stays with a team no matter where you you end up in life…so too can be said about being a devoted TC fan (albeit FRUSTRATING!). Ditto for the Maple Leafs!

  13. Just shut up and play…. or not! You’ve got to back up your talk up.

  14. Talk about beating a dead horse.

  15. This Manziel circus atmosphere surrounding the team (as long as they keep hanging on to his rights) is why I did not renew my season tickets for 2018.

    As for Drew’s reporting – this site (Scratching Post) becomes more irrelevant with the passing of time.

  16. Philip Nicholson // January 22, 2018 at 11:55 am //


  17. Alex Droho // January 22, 2018 at 3:48 pm //

    Trade Manziel for a bag of old footballs….even up trade.

  18. The CFL does not exist in a vacuum. So you think Mr. Burkhardt is arrogant for asking for consideration for prior NCAA and NFL experience. Perhaps it is arrogant of you to think a player does not get any consideration for playing in a league in a different country. Other sports have leagues in different countries with slightly different rules and they jump back and forth. They are given credit for playing in those other leagues. I have a client in Australia and he said players jump between Rugby league, Rugby Union, Rugby Sevens between Australia, New Zealand, England, France, and South Africa. Most of the time there is no drop off in play. There are notable differences in rules between the codes. For example Rugby League has 13 players and Union has 15. Of course Sevens has 7 players. Someone with Rugby union experience in England is given credit for that if he wants to play Rugby League in France and so on. So you think it is arrogant that Johnny wants credit for 2 years of pro experience in a different country. But everyone else in the world thinks you are arrogant that you think there is no carryover between leagues in the same sport in different countries. In the NFL Manziel set a Browns (started 1946) single game Franchise record for rushing. Yes he needs help on his completion percentage but he can get a first down with his legs till he gets there. By the way his last five games were much better than his first five games. He was a decent NFL QB by end but got canned for off field antics. In soccer if you play for two years in England even if so so you get consideration for that in a smaller league such as in Holland. Everyone knows the English league is harder. Guess what the NFL is a tougher league. No the rules are not that different. In fact the difference between Rugby League and Union is much greater then the CFL and NFL. My Aussie client says player jump between them. The CFL, NFL, NCAA, and for that matter the X-League in Japan is the same game with helmets, pads and forward pass. Not much different then Rugby Union and Rugby League which has a two player difference but is still the same game with no helmet, no pads and no forward pass. I say some on this board are more arrogant then Mr. Burkhardt in thinking the CFL is so special that experience in other pro helmet Football leagues don’t count.

    • Sea of Dead // January 22, 2018 at 7:17 pm //

      Must be JM’s agent. Like, REALLY????

    • canadianfootballfan // January 22, 2018 at 10:49 pm //

      There are these new things called paragraphs. Try them out sometime… unless you like to seem illiterate.

    • Relax Bob. We all know Manziel’s agent is only posturing to get as much as he can for his client while the Ticats are trying to stick within their budget and salary cap. In the end its all a matter of supply and demand. If both parties are sincere about getting a deal done they will have to compromise. No compromise no deal.

    • Um, NayBob. Think most posters are trying to expound the fact that the CFL is a different league and unique in it’s own. Just because you are some hot shot player in the NFL (hello Vince Ferragamo) doesn’t mean you’ll cut it in the CFL. Same with college. Or arena. Or hell, USFL, XFL whatever. And personally? Yeah, I think the CFL is special, DAMN special!

  19. I think he will play in the spring league in austin tx and market the hell out of it.

  20. maybe he should try the lingerie bowl

  21. The CFL should pass on this guy and leave him south of the border. He’s a “drama queen” that will only bring our league headaches.

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