This open letter is a format painter version of Austin American-Statesman columnist Cedric Golden's note to Johnny Manziel. You can read that here if you'd like.
Cedric Golden, this is your conscience calling.
Why are you doing this to yourself?
Did it just kill you to see some dude named Johnny Manziel win a Heisman Trophy in College Station when he could have been playing in Austin?
Did you see your career and your entire industry slipping away and decide you needed to convert Longhorn hate for Manziel into cheap page views instead of trying to explain why Charlie Strong propped up Shawn Watson for so long?
How about your phony concern for Johnny Manziel’s drinking habits? You know, the guy you watched pick apart SEC defenses every week while the Longhorns spiraled the Big 12 drain? Do you really want Johnny to get better and turn around his career or were you just spitting out platitudes to get some laughs and feelings of moral superiority from your core audience?
Had you played your cards right, you may have been able to write a story that actually contained depth or insight into real problems related to alcohol, self-control, and fame. Instead, it’s just another shame on you open letter to someone you don’t remotely like or care about. I should know because I am writing one now.
You’ll be back with another Manziel story soon, but will you be ready? Will you continue to pander to Longhorn readers or will you act like a credible journalist? Will open letters become part of your career story? Will anyone even know you had a story? Will you one day look at this question you posed—Why is alcohol so damned important to you?—and feel embarrassment? I sure hope so.
When does this madness end: with you realizing you have no business writing about Manziel’s issues with alcohol or with the scores of people taking cheap shots at him? Do you want to be mentioned with Geoff Ketchum, Chip Brown, and that longhorns12 guy on Twitter?
Johnny Manziel isn’t going to read your note or mine. The only thing you’ve accomplished is inciting your own fanbase to hate a guy they already hate with more fervor.
Listen to your conscience, Cedric. It’s well past time to grow up.