An alleged assault, a helicopter and Johnny Manziel.
“Just when you think it can’t get any crazier with Johnny, it does,” Cleveland Plain Dealer Browns reporter Mary Kay Cabot said on CBS Sports Radio’s Tiki and Tierney. “I mean, they sent a chopper out to look for him in Texas. That was very, very strange. Supposedly after there was some concern that there was an assault that took place, (his ex-girlfriend) was worried about him. Then they went by air and by land to find him and eventually they found him and he was safe and sound. But now he is still under investigation by the Fort Worth police and the Dallas police for this possible assault against the ex-girlfriend.”
The Browns have not issued a comment on Manziel’s latest antics. Neither has Manziel. Neither has anyone associated with the troubled quarterback.
“No one is saying anything,” Cabot said. “I’ve tried to get ahold of his agent, his publicist, his lawyer, family members, and nobody really wants to speak on Johnny’s behalf. I just don’t think that’s a good strategy whatsoever. Someone needs to come out and tell people what’s going on, what’s being done. Someone needs to say, ‘Hey, you know what? Johnny is going through some things right now, and we’re trying to help him get a handle on those things.’ Somebody needs to speak up on his behalf.”
Based on photos and videos over the last year and beyond, Manziel, it is clear, is struggling with substance abuse. Those substances may or may not be limited to alcohol.
“Obviously I know and I hear a lot more than I can write,” Cabot said. “Unless I’m able to write it, I’m probably not going to say it. So I will just say this: I do believe that Johnny came out of the rehab center feeling like he could have some drinks – like that wasn’t going to take him down the rabbit hole again. But it has, in my opinion. I have watched the downward spiral. During that (October incident), he admitted to day drinking and he got into a road-rage argument with Colleen Crowley. That day, I came out very strongly with a column saying he needs help, he needs to go back tor rehab, the Browns cannot count on him either on the field or off the field, and they need to move on. I took a lot of grief for that.”
Tiki Barber and Brandon Tierney cannot believe Cabot was criticized for taking that stance, but she was.
“Oh, yes,” Cabot said. “Johnny has a very strong cult following locally, nationally and for sure in Texas. I took a lot of grief, including (from) one of my own colleagues. It was just a weird thing. I took a lot of grief for what I said from the Browns. They felt I was inappropriate with what I said and wrote. But you know what? I believed it. I firmly believed it back then and it’s absolutely in my mind true that he needed help back then, he needed help long before then, and that we’ve all let this go on too long. I felt like I needed to make a stand then and let people know what I thought needed to happen. I don’t think people in his life are responding quickly enough to the help that he needs.
“Now, you can’t always grab a 23-year-old by the scruff of the neck and get him the help that he needs,” Cabot continued. “But I feel like he’s alienated some of his old friends. I don’t know that his family has been able to really get through to him, but there needs to be some kind of strong intervention. And for me to watch him since the day he left this team in January, here we are and there’s been three more weeks of just insanity out there. At this time last year, he had checked himself into rehab. I thought it would have happened again by now, and it hasn’t. So I don’t know what’s going on out there, but the people in his life need to gather together and do an intervention and get him the help that he needs before somebody gets hurt.”
Manziel, however, has the charm and personality to get out of the stickiest of situations. That’s part of his appeal. That’s part of what made him great at Texas A&M.
It’s also, unfortunately, one of his biggest downfalls.
“He’s got an enormous amount of charisma, which is why he has the following that he does,” Cabot said. “He can talk himself out of things. He can look you in the eye and tell you that he’s absolutely fine. He can be outraged at you for writing that perhaps he’s not fine and almost make you feel like you are overstepping your bounds at times. So he’s very good at this. He’s really, really good at just kind of conning his way through some of this stuff. The Browns definitely don’t need this. Hue Jackson doesn’t need this. More so than anything, I think the Browns probably still thought that maybe they could either get something out of Johnny as a player or get something for him in terms of a trade. But right now, there’s nobody in their right mind that should trade for Johnny Manziel. There is no way that a team should do that. He needs help and he needs to go get it – and after he gets himself together, then people can start thinking about whether or not he can make it in this league.”