Johnny Rehab

Johnny Manziel has been a lightning rod ever since he burst onto the national scene at Texas A&M.  From the moment he was drafted by the Cleveland Browns and made the rubbing dollar bills gesture that opposing players then mimicked whenever they sacked him, “Johnny Football” has been the object of attention and controversy.

Manziel cashed in on his notoriety, becoming the only backup player in the NFL to be featured in national TV commercials.  He also became a complete pain in the ass to the Browns, missing meetings, hosting ill-timed parties, showing an utter lack of professionalism, and then stumbling in big games after being given the chance to play.

So when the Browns announced yesterday that Manziel checked into a treatment facility for unspecified reasons, and a family friend asked the public to respect his privacy, it was entirely predictable that Manziel would become the butt of bad jokes and cries of “Johnny Rehab” would be heard throughout the land.  You can even argue that, with his constant publicity-seeking conduct, Manziel has brought that kind of harsh reaction on himself.

But anyone who knows someone who goes into a treatment facility to try to turn their life around and grapple with an issue — whether it be alcoholism, another form of substance abuse, or some other kind of addiction or personal problem — knows that it is no laughing matter.  Manziel may have acted like a colossal jerk, and it looks like he will be the latest complete first-round bust that the Browns have selected, but he’s still a human being who obviously is struggling to grow up.  After all, he’s only 22 years old.

I could care less, really, about the appalling attention whore called “Johnny Football,” but maybe there’s still hope for the person inside named Johnny Manziel.  Good luck to him.

Weiner’s World, In Treatment Mode

These days, whenever a politician or celebrity engages in unacceptable behavior, they try to take the heat off by saying they are going to receive “treatment” for their condition.  I guess we are all supposed to feel sorry for them, applaud their courageous decision to seek treatment for their affliction, and lay off any further criticism for the behavior that landed them in hot water in the first place.

So it is with Anthony Weiner.  He is resisting an avalanche of calls for his resignation, and instead says he will take a leave of absence to “enter a psychological treatment center” where he will try to “deal with a pattern of reckless online behavior with women.”  No doubt his “treatment” at the Center for Reckless Online Behavior with Women will be paid for by the gold-plated health care plan that every Member of Congress receives, and then at some point he will spring forth and announce that he is “cured.”  And in the meantime, we will get more information about creepy photos that Weiner took and apparently sent to unsuspecting internet users, like photos of a towel-clad Weiner in the House of Representatives gym.  Evidently he honestly thought he was one of the hottest studs around.

Doesn’t Representative Weiner have any shame?  Shame may be an old-fashioned concept in this modern world, but it would be great for everyone if it came back into fashion.  It would save us the awful spectacle of this pathetic guy who is twisting in the wind and nevertheless hopes that so long as he clings to his job, despite all that has happened, he can somehow revive his dead political career.  C’mon, Congressman Weiner!  It is time to do the right thing, already!