FanPost

An Open Love Letter to Jonathan Paul Manziel

Ronald Martinez

I can't believe your SEC playing days are over. I'm not ready for it, Johnny. It seems like just yesterday we were playing the Florida Gators in Aggieland. By that time, those who hadn't watched you play in HS had watched the tape, and a lot of us thought we might be getting something special. We didn't know how special you'd be. In two short seasons, you've cemented yourself as one of the most electrifying and talented players ever in college football. Anyone who disagrees needs to check themselves before they wreck themselves.

That day in September, you were just a scout team legend from Kerrville, Texas getting his shot at the big time. Little did we know that one of the greatest players of all time was inside that 6'0, 200lb body. Every muscle, sinew, and fibre of you is incensed with competitive fire. And then it happened. Kanye West's Power started playing at Kyle Field. Our beloved Kyle Field was blaring rap music. You and this team were about to usher in a new era, and as I spotted you giving them the "come on" in the tunnel, I just had to let loose an f-bomb as loud as I could. It was that powerful. In that game we saw flashes, brief glimpses of the mercurial talent you possess and by the time we played Karl Malone and the LA Tech Bulldogs, the leash had come off. You were like a pitbull drunk on Miller High Life that had just taken two tabs of mescaline and a handful of uppers. You were rabid, wild eyed, and ready go on a spirit quest. A spirit quest for all purpose yards and touchdowns. But most importantly, you were ready to MESS. PEOPLE. UP. And mess people up you did. You literally ran circles around people at one point.

Then, on a chilly day in November, when the spotlight was at it's brightest, you put the Agricultural and Mechanical College of Texas back on the map. 10 years and a day before, Reggie McNeal and the Fightin' Texas Aggies upset the number one team in the country, and in a display of physical poetry and sheer force of will, you did the same against the Crimson Tide. You put up more yards than the collective amount of teeth of Alabama fans in that stadium. We had arrived. We plowed through the rest of the SEC and capped it off by beating the shit out of a familiar foe in the Death Star in Dallas and you earned the highest individual achievement there is in college football. This video still gives me chills, and your speech makes me a little misty eyed.

After a tumultuous summer, and a suspension of exactly one half (HAHAHAHAHAHAH), we chanted your name as you stepped back onto Kyle Field. The brilliance was still there. You still helped light up the scoreboard in ways only you can, and in fact, you had to point that out to a confused Rice player.

Things weren't looking great against Alabama in our house, but that didn't stop you from trying your damnedest. I questioned if you were actually human after this play (even with the help of Edward Pope):

After that game, I wasn't worried about the offense with the comeback you helped engineer, even if we just ran outta time. I knew you had our back when the chips were down. The moment I knew that was the absolute truth was "The Smile" during the game at Ole Miss.

When that happened, my dad was pissed, but I knew better. I knew what The Smile really meant. It meant we were going to win the game. Even when we went down a score with just a few precious minutes left, I was never worried. I had witnessed the come from behind victory in Oxford last year in person. I walked out of Vaught-Hemingway, cigar in mouth, with some of my best friends, feeling like Acie Law IV after he hit the shot. In 2013, we were rewarded handsomely for our faith in JFF and the Fightin' Texas Aggies.

It's been an up and down season this year, but the off season commentary from the talking heads on ESPN has turned from irrational hatred to effusive praise because everyone finally knows what I've always known. You're a once in a lifetime talent.

I know you've been banged up and you're probably ready to go get paid. And I don't blame you. If you're a first round pick, that money is too good to resist. But hear me out, Johnny. Stay. Stay for us. Hell, stay for yourself and make yourself into a top 10 pick. Show them why you deserve to be the number 1 pick. They won't love you out there like we love you. They'll turn on you in a second. Yeah, we've got some bonehead fans too, but at the core we all love you deeply. I know you feel it when you're gallivanting across the tender grass of Kyle. It envelopes you like a soft, warm maroon blanket, much like the one you can buy at Aggieland Outfitters. You're gonna miss it when it's gone, so just stay a little while longer. Toss the pigskin around in Aggieland just one more year with your boy Mike Evans, if he wants to stay too. It's an experience you're never going to have again. Help lead this team as far as I know you can. To a National Championship.

I love you, Johnny Football. I love you so dearly. Through joy. Through pain. Through adversity. I am going to relish these last moments we have together. I might even shed a few tears, but I am not ashamed. Strong men also cry and a wise man that you know once said, "Showing emotion don't ever mean I'm a pussy(cat)." You will always have a place in my heart. Seek refuge in it when you can.
Thank you for everything Johnny,
Breakfast Pizza

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