Today, Vanity Fair published an extremely in-depth article about Johnny Manziel’s long history of drug use and drinking in college and after graduation. It’s called “The Fight To Save Johnny Manziel From All-Out Self-Destruction” and let me tell you: it’s really f*cking depressing.
Yes, this is the guy who I have personally written multiple articles about (most of which were not complimentary). Yes, this is a person who we all knew clearly had some serious substance abuse issues. Yes, this is a person who was born on third base. That doesn’t mean that I don’t feel more than somewhat sad for Manziel after reading about all the ups and downs this guy had.
Sh*t, part of me thought that after everything he had been through, he was still going to be able to squeeze it out. Or maybe Manziel was just going to be a bust in the field. I never thought he’d burn out, get dumped by his A-List friends, and get caught partying at Coachella with Drake‘s dad…
But anyways, I digress.
The article uses statements from Manziel’s close-knit circle of friends and family to talk about just how Manziel started down the path. It talks about how he was a naturally gifted athlete at the age of 10 who could beat adults at gold and who always had to be staying active. The article discusses how some of his friends tried to help him and how some of them tried to hurt him.
But probably for me, the roughest part is what happened after Manziel graduated from college–specifically the end of his relationship with Coleen Crowley. To me, this is the part that gets me the worst:
On January 30, Johnny and Colleen Crowley were in his room at the Hotel ZaZa, in Dallas, when they began to quarrel about another woman, Crowley wrote in an affidavit. Manziel, she said, struck her on the left side of her head, so hard it ruptured her eardrum, said her lawyer later. “I thought maybe he was on drugs or having a psychotic break,” Crowley wrote.
According to the affidavit, when Crowley barked that she hated him, Manziel said he planned to kill himself. Scared, she said she loved him. According to Crowley, Manziel laughed. When she began crying, she wrote, Manziel told her, “Shut up or I’ll kill us both.”
Obviously, this quote is just Crowley’s testimony (not necessarily actual fact as it happened), but here is a man who has fallen so far that he’s allegedly threatening to commit murder-suicide. That’s the literal definition of the bottom of the barrel.
I don’t have any words of encouragement for Manziel or ways that this could have wound up better. For all purposes this kid had it made, Manziel just never finished the job. The only reason I suggest reading this Vanity Fair article in the first place is A) because it’s Johnny Manziel and you’re interested and B) because it’s a good story about the peril of drugs and how they affect everyone on a level playing field.