Johnny Manziel is ready to put “football” back in Johnny Football.
Manziel plans to join the startup Fan Controlled Football League, according to ESPN. The new league will feature a 7v7 game where fans make rosters and phone calls in an interactive experience. Fan-controlled football is set to begin in February.
“The more I heard about what it was going to be, the more I felt it was going to be something really fun,” Manziel told ESPN. “It’s going to be very fan-driven and something I could support without being extremely, extremely, extremely serious like my football career has been in the past.”
Manziel last played football in the Alliance of American Football in 2019. Since the Browns started Manziel in 2015, he has also played in the Canadian Football League and the Spring League. FCF co-founder and CEO Sohrob Farudi said the new league aims to allow Manziel “to be authentic”.
“He got into these other leagues and, I hate to say it, but it’s like the handcuffs have been put on,” Farudi told ESPN. “You had to act differently. You had to walk and speak differently. He couldn’t be himself. That’s where we want to be different as a league. We really embrace this idea of being more than an athlete. … We are very comfortable with the players being great personalities off the pitch and doing whatever they want to do. For us, these are all opportunities off the pitch to get away from it all. connect with the fan base that football field. field. “
Now 28, Manziel told ESPN he had no plans to return to organized football, but felt that fan-controlled football gave him a chance to do so in his own conditions. He connected with the new league through a mutual friend.
“Life sometimes gives you the opportunity to do something that you would still love to do if it were in another capacity”, Manziel told ESPN. “It has a lot of potential to be just a good time while still being football centric.”
Manziel told ESPN he currently lives in Scottsdale, Arizona, and although he kicks off football with his friends and watches football on weekends, he’s had a “normal, laid back lifestyle” in 2020. .
The rise and fall of Manziel came quickly. He won the Heisman Trophy at Texas A&M and captured the imaginations of football fans with his indie style of play. The Cleveland Browns took him with the No.22 overall selection in the 2014 NFL Draft.
Problems off the field led to Manziel’s release from the Browns in 2015 after playing 14 games. He said in 2018, he was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and abused alcohol to fight depression.
Manziel’s newest football venture is in the fan-controlled football league, which will feature four teams and honor owners including Marshawn Lynch, Richard Sherman, Austin Ekeler, Quavo and Mike Tyson. Matches will be played at a league-rented facility in Atlanta and streamed on Twitch.
If there is one thing Manziel has proven in his career on the court, it is that the appellant may not be too important. The fans will give him the coin, and then he can just do some magic.