From the editor’s notebook …
With today’s news that Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel has entered a treatment facility, we have reached the point where we no longer know what to think, feel or do in regard to Johnny Football.
The one thing we do know is, just like Josh Gordon before him, we hope that Manziel can find a way to chase away whatever demons are plaguing him.
We also sincerely hope that Manziel is taking this step because he truly wants to getter better, either mentally or physically, and he’s not doing this because his handlers believe this move will help his image. We know that sounds cynical, but that’s not the way we mean it.
And just like Gordon before him, we hope that general manager Ray Farmer and head coach Mike Pettine are working hard to figure out the quarterback situation and are going into the upcoming off-season with no expectation that they can count on Manziel.
Because at this point right now, there’s no way anyone can argue that Manziel can provide anything positive to the Browns – at least not in any way that actually matters to the team’s on-field success.
Right now Manziel needs to focus on getting his life in order, the Browns needs to focus on improving the team, and the rest will take care of itself in due time.
Putting the Super in the Super Bowl
With the Browns opting to sit out the Super Bowl for the 49th consecutive season, we were left once again without a rooting interest, meaning all we could hope for was an entertaining game and Seattle and New England delivered on that front.
While we’re still terribly vexed over Seattle’s decision to throw the ball from the one-yard line rather than hand it to Marshawn Lynch, we’re not ready to reach the levels of hysteria that some are.
Grantland’s Bill Barnwell did a nice job trying to break down the decision-making process along the Seahawks’s sideline, but it was a Tweet from ESPN’s Kevin Negandhi that caught out attention, as he pointed out that the pass thrown by Russell Wilson was the 109th time this season a quarterback attempted a pass from the one-yard line — but it was the first time a pass was interception in that situation.
We suppose it should come as no surprise that New England quarterback Tom Brady was named the game’s MVP, but it wouldn’t have been the worse misjustice in the world if the award had gone to wide receiver Julian Edelman (of The Kent State University), who finished the game with nine receptions for a game-high 109 yards and a touchdown.
Oh well, Edelman will just have to enjoy knowing that he caught the Super Bowl-winning touchdown pass from Brady.
Not a bad night for the former Golden Flashes’ quarterback.
A (mostly) quiet day on Merseyside
It was a quiet close to the January transfer window at Anfield, as Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers decided to ride out the rest of the Premier League season with the roster he has.
The biggest news came with the announcement that the club has agreed to a long-term deal with Philippe Coutinho, and that Rickie Lambert rejected a transfer to Aston Villa (who can blame him?), preferring to stay with Liverpool despite scoring just three goals in 24 appearances.
Daniel Sturridge’s return to the squad over the weekend probably helped curb any urges Rodgers had to shake up a squad that, while disappointing at times this season, still finds itself just four points out of fourth place.
“(Daniel) is a genuine, top European talent and if you get (him) on the field everyone knows about his pace and that will always frighten teams,” Rodgers told The Guardian. “He lights up this team. He provides the light for this team. When you add a top-class player like him to it you can go to another level.”
Rodgers if right, of course, as there wasn’t anyone out there that Liverpool could sign who would be as dynamic as Sturridge.
But that’s contingent on Sturridge staying healthy, something he hasn’t been able to do this season as Saturday’s game against West Ham was Sturridge’s first game action for the club since August.
(Julian Edelman photo courtesy of The Associated Press)
(Daniel Sturridge photo courtesy of Getty Images)