Hopeful to start a new chapter, whether in the NFL or the CFL, the Heisman Trophy winner realizes had it not been for mom, Michelle, the book of Manziel might have been closed for good.
“I got so low to the point where I questioned what I was doing and if my life was probably really worth living to a point anymore and got really down and really had to sit and reflect and look on what I was doing every day,” Manziel, 25, said Wednesday in an interview with ESPN.
Cut from the Cleveland Browns in 2016 after two seasons, the former first-round pick spiraled out of control. He struggled with substance abuse and was charged with domestic violence in a case that he settled with ex-girlfriend Colleen Crowley.
“I have a great family. I was always raised the right way. I knew the difference from right and wrong, but for whatever reason, I just liked to choose wrong,” Manziel said. “And I got in that rut.
“It’s nice to wake up with a smile on your face and not be down and out.”
Woody Johnson calls into the war room during a fish-and-chips snack with the queen to tell GM Mike Maccagnan: “Listen, I don’t care if this guy eats with his hands, this is Backpage Broadway Baker, touchdown maker. … Is it too late to raise ticket prices?” Maccagnan, asked about Christian Hackenberg, says: “Christian is making progress. At the end of the day, knowing what he knows now about being an understudy, he can be a patience coach for Baker.” (Eye rolls behind Maccagnan). Blame Brian Costello if this isn’t the pick.
The scrutiny surrounding Kapler stems in large part from a California-based, new-age persona that spells “culture clash” with hard-core Philly. Personality profiles inevitably make reference to Kapler’s six-pack abs, fondness for Norah Jones music and scented candles, and the lifestyle tips he once dispensed through his personal blog. Kapler is more inclined to quote Simon Bolivar than Sparky Anderson, and his pledge to take a more “holistic” approach to managing is a radical departure for a city accustomed to the managerial stylings of Dallas Green, Larry Bowa, Jim Fregosi and the master of fractured syntax, Charlie Manuel.
But it’s more complicated than that. The world sees Kapler as the embodiment of the clinical and analytically obsessed modern manager. He sees himself as a baseball rat who’s in the trenches daily with the “collection of men” in the clubhouse, as he likes to call them.