Some of you are wondering what in God’s name are those two doing in the same headline. Others are wondering who Justin Bieber is. If you fall into the latter category, God bless you.
Bieber, the young pop sensation who’s angelic voice captured the attention of teen girls in the late 2000s, recently began getting some negative press for things like urinating in a janitor’s bucket, cursing at a picture of Bill Clinton and getting busted for marijuana. He also wrote in the guest book of the Anne Frank museum in Germany that he was sure Frank would have been a fan of his.
But, why would I been mentioning Justin Bieber in a sports column in the sports section of a small community paper? Because there is a similar situation brewing in the personality of a well-known college athlete.
Johnny Manziel, otherwise known as the Heisman Trophy winning Johnny Football, has been having some similar issues, though mostly centered around alcohol. He left the Manning Passing
Academy because he wasn’t feeling well and many attributed that to some binge drinking.
Manziel was also at a frat party in Texas and was ushered out amid boos and… well, booze (people were throwing beer at him).
For Bieber and Manziel, the problem comes down to them being young and famous.
Manziel, specifically, should be a role model to kids. He’s got a great story that climaxed with a victory over Alabama in a 29-24 game. But, his meltdown after winning the Heisman is a testament to what fame and recognition to someone who isn’t ready for it. The trophy is typically given to a player who doesn’t have much time left in the NCAA. He’s off to bigger and better things. But for a young player with years left in the college spotlight, it has proven to be a psychological burden.
Now, he is a very talented player, and I don’t want to take away from that at all. But Manziel is walking a very thin line and is a major scandal away from something that will deal a long-term blow to his athletic career and any professional career he could have had.
I am looking forward to seeing him play, mind you. And, I think (or maybe it’s that I hope) he can get back to where he was with a stricter schedule and the discipline of a football program back in full swing.
But, whether it be Justin Bieber or Amanda Bynes, Johnny Manziel or Jeremy Hill, one thing needs to be noted, and it’s something I’ve said before: Our role models ain’t what they used to be.