ESPN had Johnny Manziel write a letter to Baker Mayfield because why though?

October 1, 2018

ESPN had Johnny Manziel write a letter to Baker Mayfield because why though?

CLEVELAND, Ohio -- There were plenty of weird moments on TV over the weekend, from Kanye West dressed up as a water bottle on “SNL” to the strange sight of LeBron James in a Lakers uniform in his preseason debut.

But the most inexplicable thing I saw was that “Johnny Manziel offers advice to Baker Mayfield” segment on ESPN’s NFL Countdown on Sunday.

I mean, what was that about?

The premise -- that people compare Manziel and Mayfield all the time -- is lazy and outdated at best. The idea that anyone would care what advice Manziel has to give the Browns rookie quarterback or that it would be anything enlightened is a bigger reach than that never-used Magic Bullet you keep on the top shelf.

Even stranger is the segment’s over-the-top documentary style-- you know, the kind of unnecessarily melodramatic schtick normally reserved for ESPN’s “Outside the Lines.”

“Dear Baker, if there’s one thing you already know, one thing that everybody already knows, you and I are not the same person,” Manziel says in voiceover in a scene straight out of a prison documentary or an Eminem video. “No matter how many people try to compare us, even before the same team drafted us, we know we are never fully defined by the way we play, or the uniform we wear.”

Manziel, shown deep in thought, wraps up the fake letter by wishing Mayfield the best.

“I simply want to wish you all the success that you deserve. I hope you don’t take a single day, a single snap, for granted. I hope you own the moment, and give the Browns fans every bit of happiness that they deserve.”

Alrighty then.

Twitter, as it always does, had thoughts.

Why are we treating Manziel’s thoughts to Mayfield like Letter From a Birmingham Jail on Countdown this morning?— Desmond Howard (@DesmondHoward) September 30, 2018

I have zero interest in anything Johnny Manziel has to say. It’s established that Baker Mayfield is not the same knucklehead he was. Different players, different people. Not news. Johnny blew a once in a lifetime opportunity and that’s on him.— Daryl Ruiter (@RuiterWrongFAN) September 30, 2018

There still people saying that Baker Mayfield is Johnny Manziel 2.0?— Chris Fillar (@ItsFillar) September 30, 2018

This is absurd.Manziel interjecting himself into this is effing absurd https://t.co/oI0Qa3wj1F— mike freeman (@mikefreemanNFL) September 30, 2018

Johnny Manziel didn’t say a single meaningful thing in that strange “Letter to Baker” segment this morning on ESPN, and if I’m Mayfield, I’d be upset it was run— Jordan Zirm (@clevezirm) September 30, 2018

Pretty bizarre that Johnny is inserting himself into this story, given that Baker spent all pre-draft demonstrating to teams that his work ethic, drive, attention to detail, ability and appreciation for the game is nothing like Johnny’s. https://t.co/iHdDn3Dbkz— Robert Klemko (@RobertKlemko) September 30, 2018

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