The trouble with Johnny

I read this article when it came out after most people on twitter hyped it up. It was every bit as good as people said it was. It wasn’t even the access Wright Thompson had, but the fact he could observe all of the details and use the access as well as he did. I liked seeing Johnny Manziel through the eyes of people who knew him before he was a big deal. I like the structure as well, because he spaces out different sections when locations change. It helped keep me organized. Overall, it was great journalism through observation, not just facts.

http://espn.go.com/espn/otl/story/_/id/9521439/heisman-winner-johnny-manziel-celebrity-derail-texas-aggies-season-espn-magazine

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7 thoughts on “The trouble with Johnny

  1. Benjamin Wolk

    I repeat — Wright Thompson is the man. While most media outlets have been criticizing Johnny Football, Thompson found a way to more properly, constructively criticize him. I loved how he used the voice of Manziel’s parents because the story kind of had a parenting feel to it. He admitted, unlike most outlets have been doing, that Manziel “is just a college kid,” but doesn’t give him a free pass because of that. He shows that people around Manziel are worried about his future and that Manziel needs to begin erring on a side of caution. The narration of the article, though, makes you want to keep reading and reading.

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  2. tanyasic

    Wright Thompson is one of my favorite sports writers, and it’s because of pieces like this one. Thompson aims to humanize someone who the media often describes in terms of statistics and tweets. Johnny Manziel is my age. It often blows my mind just thinking about what this kid has accomplished already. But Thompson goes into a great amount of detail regarding how much he has to lose–and how quickly he could lose it. The angle that Thompson takes makes the great Johnny Football just another guy who gets frustrated on the golf course and sometimes disappoints his parents. Growing up is hard, but it’s even tougher when millions are watching you and that’s what Thompson so eloquently conveys to his readers with this piece.

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  3. jamiehannn

    Absolutely loved every word of this article. Wright Thompson is brilliant. This story makes the reader hate, then love, then sympathize for Johnny Manziel all that the same time. The approach of this piece is more than your average sports article with stats and a few quotes. It has the full cause-and-effect and time line of the whole Manziel history, what’s happening now and what to expect. This story is very well constructed and explains everything so well. As a reader, I left this article hating Johnny Football. Don’t get me wrong, he’s a phenomenal athlete and I can’t imagine the pressure he has on him but his life is a double standard. He expects to get treated like “any other 20 year old kid” but loves the VIP treatment at the clubs, meeting celebrities and all the bells and whistle that comes with not only being a collegiate football player, but being the Heisman winner. I’m very interested in seeing what happens this upcoming season and if he’ll be able to perform under pressure.

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  4. Loni Gibson

    Wright Thomas produced a quality piece of journalism with this article on Johnny Manziel. Thomas dives into the observations of Manziel and addresses the observations. As a 20 year old, my heart goes out to Johnny, he is so young, with so much more left to figure out, yet some look to him to have it all figured out. He’s 20! I can’t imagine many other 20 year olds that could possibly have it all together along with the pressure that he has on his very own back. I honestly, don’t think he should have it all together quite yet. He’s trying to live his life as he would, pre-Heisman. I don’t see this fishbowl that Manziel is in getting any better, but sadly only getting worse it due time.

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  5. connorsmo

    Wright Thompson is a genius. He delves into each part of this story with so much detail that the reader actually feels like they are there. He is able to paint a picture of Johnny Manziel on the golf course, and the quotes that he gets out of all the Manziel’s seem like something that they would only tell a close family member. The fact of the matter is that Manziel is a 20-year old sports icon, and he can’t handle it. He is the biggest name in all of college sports and is probably up there with LeBron James and Kobe Bryant. But can you blame the kid? He’s a sophomore in college, is trying gain a college experience and has a chance to do it better than anyone else in the nation. The question is can he separate his shenanigans from the football field. Manziel is just one interception away from even more scrutiny.

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  6. Maria Torres

    The level of detail in this article is incredible. Thompson’s access to the Manziels is what made this story. In fact, access is really what makes any of the features that were posted for this assignment. Thompson was able to spend so much time with Johnny that he could figure out most of what was going through the player’s head. It’s just remarkable how a person who has been such an enigma opened up to a writer working for an outlet that has hardly left him alone. Just to echo Ben’s thoughts, Thompson’s piece is a textbook example of great journalism.

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