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“Silly Me”: Skip Bayless Apologizes to Johnny Manziel for LeBron James Comparison, Citing Added Pressure

Suresh Menon

Johnny Manziel Quotes What His NIL Value Would Look Like if He Played in This Era of College Football

Johnny Manziel was undeniably one of the most hyped college players in recent memory. We are talking about the Caleb Williams hype but on steroids. Manziel put himself on the map when he became the first-ever freshman to win the Heisman Trophy. His consistency in college, mindblowing arm speed, electric play style, and flamboyance for the Aggies made him get picked by the Cleveland Browns in the NFL draft. Skip Bayless back then was so bullish on Johnny’s prospects that he predicted the QB to be more popular than LeBron James in Cleveland.

But alas, things didn’t go that way. Marred with injuries, addiction, and off-field issues, Johnny’s career and mental health took a nosedive in just a couple of years after the 2014 draft. The QB has been on a self-discovery journey since then. He is much better now and has been making a host of media appearances of late. Last night saw Johnny appear on “Undisputed” with Skip Bayless. The popular analyst first apologized to Johnny for his outrageous prediction back then.


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He reasoned that on top of his exemplary college career, Johnny’s text, “Let’s wreck the league” to Browns’ Jimmy Haslam on draft day inspired much confidence in him. Add to the fact that Cleveland natives love football and thus Skip made the bold claim. He apologized to Johnny and asked for forgiveness for his words, which took the internet by storm and then added unnecessary pressure on Johnny.

“I got so fired up. I so believed in Johnny football that when you sent that text to Dowell Loggins, remember this on draft night, and you’re falling down the first round, but Cleveland’s sitting there with Jimmy Haslam in the war room, and you said, let’s wreck the league…”

So I thought if Johnny does what I think Johnny is capable of doing, you can own Cleveland, Ohio. And it didn’t go that way. So I guess I’m apologizing to you. I hope I didn’t increase the expectations to extraordinary levels that you couldn’t live up to.”

Johnny in response graciously denied that Skip’s words were an added burden on him. He made Skip feel better that it was only normal for people to have high expectations from me thanks to the performance he had put up in his college career. Johnny himself had high hopes for himself.

“No, I think it’s expectations from everybody, right? I think based on what I had done in college and where the Browns were at that point in time, I think it very much was the wrong fit just dependent on that saviour role, right? And I look back about it and laugh a little bit because, at the end of the day, I had high expectations for myself, Skip.”

The conversation organically then shifted to his NFL stint which was the lowest point of his career. The QB delved into it with Skip and reminisced about his lowest point with the Browns.

Johnny Manziel Recalls Questioning His Ability After Browns Debut

You can call Johnny Manziel a lot of names. But one thing you can’t call him is underconfident. Ever since the QB burst onto the scene, he has always been his flamboyant best. Timidity was never his best friend until he made his first start for the Cleveland Browns. Manziel recalled to Skip Bayless how for the first time in his career, a feeling of self-doubt crept into his mind when he entered the Browns stadium for his start. All the chatter around him finally got into him and thus began the troubles. “And when you question your ability and yourself, I think it oozes out into your play on the field,” said Johnny.

Things got from bad to worse for the QB and his team when the Bengals destroyed the Browns 30-0. Johnny being the lead QB had an absolute stinker failing to score a single point, let alone kicking a field goal. This match enforced the self-doubt in him. He started asking himself if the hype around him was even valid as his performances didn’t match them.

Manziel could only last a year more in the NFL as he saw himself get drowned in drugs, alcohol, and mental health issues. All said and done, it’s heartening to see the QB back in good spirits. Health is wealth and seeing Manziel healthy is the best thing possible for him!

About the author

Suresh Menon

Suresh Menon


Suresh Menon is an NFL writer at The SportsRush with over 700 articles to his name. Early in his childhood, Suresh grew up admiring the famed BBC of Juventus making the Italian club his favorite. His love for soccer however soon translated to American football when he came across a Super Bowl performance from his Favourite Bruno Mars. Tom Brady’s performance in the finals left an imprint on him and since then, he has been a die hard Brady fan. Thus his love for the sport combined with his flair for communication is the reason why he decided to pursue sports journalism at The SportsRush. Beyond football, in his free time, he is a podcast host and likes spending time solving the Rubik’s cube.

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