If you don't mind, Mr. Manziel, I'd relish it if you kept a yearlong diary of parties and then emailed it to me. It's not because I'm nosy. It's not because I would forward it around the 24 time zones; I most certainly would not. It's because you give me hope. It's because I have begun to see you as a welcome light, in a prudish nation of a rampaging tedium.
Through the bygone weekend, SB Nation had you getting shooed from a fraternity party in Austin, while Deadspin had you attending another fraternity party in a Tebow Jets jersey. A headline on yet another site termed this your "wild weekend."
It was a weekend.
You went to one of the most energetic cities in the United States, a city of excellent food, of excellent parties, of a university with -- holy mercy -- 52,000 students.
You went to one fraternity party on Friday.
They asked you to leave.
You went to another fraternity party on Saturday.
They did not ask you to leave.
Whew, boy! Such wildness! How do you even hang onto your stomach in such berserk wildness?!
A peculiar twist has swept into this era when everybody's a photographer. I always thought the constant cameras recording the reality of behavior would make everyone more realistic and more lenient, and less persnickety, make the once-outlandish seem less outlandish, normalize what was always normal anyway. Instead, we get surprisingly strong doses of the opposite, some unforeseen strand of Victorianism. You look out there on the horizon sometimes, and you almost think you can see petticoats and corsets beneath gowns. You, Mr. Manziel, have become a flashpoint of this. People sure are vaguely worried about you. You're a wild party boy because you go to parties and because you overslept one time at a football camp.
Well, if that's the wildest we can do, we do need to brush up on our national wildness. Young man! Lead us into less fussiness, more festivity, more capacity to cope with the grim, wretched world we inhabit! Help us tap our inner Brazil!
After all, we once had Namath, and while I'm not asking you to go completely Namath-New York-1960's on us, I do think you might constitute an evolutionary landmark. Once, we had quarterbacks who could have a rowdy time in life and succeed in the games. Then, the games got too hard, too fast, too technical, too laden with astonishing pharmaceuticals, too requisite of ceaseless homework. So the athletes had to become more serious, until there came a day -- today -- in which the culture seems to demand that every quarterback become, as Drew Magary complained on Deadspin, "a f------ android."
What if now we have somebody who can have the kind of big life I want you to have, John, while thriving on scoreboards as well?
If so, oh, Alleluia.
If we can produce a quarterback who can handle this game, as it has become, and still show us excellent serial grins from taverns amid lovely young people, then we will have fulfilled the Founding Fathers' concepts or some such. So oversleep more now and then, if you can, please, and then alert me to your oversleeping schedule. It would inspire me to think people can overcome oversleeping, and besides, your oversleeping might help us wake up.
For now, all the attention to your various "incidents" seems like shouting evidence of mass boredom. I might even be bored right now, writing about you, even as I take the anti-boredom position on the matter. Boring to the point of lunatic, though, is this ladling of moralizing upon college football, which has been as a pulsating festival of riveting sleaze for some 144 years. Any talk of "disrespecting" college football itself is automatically, unwittingly humorous.
Luckily, for all the outward fretting over you, John, the country does retain its share of parties, fraternity and otherwise. I believe you should go to them. I believe college students should go to them. I believe college students can learn volumes from them and from the possible consequences of them. Go out there and learn as much as you can, Mr. Manziel. Don't sit at home and stare at the Heisman. I thought I was tired of you, but now I want to see you and see you and see you, living the life. The only mothering I'd venture is that if you can and do have a drink or two, if that can fit into your schedule without foiling your football, make sure to remember all that is at stake and seek out a designated driver.
You are welcome to dial me.