USA Today Sports
There is a serious issue taking place inside the Cleveland Browns organization at the moment. It is an issue that completely transcends football, and probably one that many people inside the team are not used to dealing with. The teams 2014 first round draft pick, their polarizing quarterback, Johnny Manziel, entered a rehabilitation treatment facility on Feb. 2.
Que all of the begrudged “I told you sos” who were just waiting for Manziel to fail, to come out in droves and point the finger at a 22-year-old kid who clearly is at a crossroads in his life.
When people hear the word rehab, many things pop into their heads immediately, I’m sure a few just did for you, and most of the time those things are negative. Rehab is not normally a place where people who are “winning” at life, for lack of a better term, find themselves at. So for the most part, those connotations are validated. But what many people do not know, or just fail to recognize, is the immense courage and strength it takes to say “I have a problem” and take some action to follow suit.
I would know, I’ve been there.
Back in July of 2013 I myself entered rehab. Not even three months after my freshman year at Seton Hall, I found myself in the same exact position as Manziel. Just like Manziel, only on a smaller scale, I had life exactly where I wanted it.
I had just finished my first year working for The Setonian as their assistant sports editor, and secured my position as associate sports editor for the upcoming year. All the while, I was dealing with a crippling drug addiction. When it came down to it, I was nowhere near equipped enough to handle those responsibilities, or life for that matter, with the problem that I had. It seems now Manziel is recognizing the same thing, and for that I applaud him.
Too much talk about Manziel’s rehab stint revolves around people cutting him down. Calling him spoiled or selfish or irresponsible. All of those things may be true, they were for me, and I heard them plenty of times. But that is not where the focus should be for a kid who is currently struggling for his life. The focus needs to be placed on the good that can come from this. Everyone can see the potential in Manziel. If going away to treatment helps him see the potential in himself, I believe he will have no problem proving his detractors wrong.
Rehab saved my life. It gave me a second chance to live, and live happily. Finally back at Seton Hall, just under two years later, with 18 months of sobriety under my belt I now see the potential in myself that I always had others telling me I possessed.
Manziel is a talented player; you don’t just win the Heisman trophy as a freshman without being talented. But he has a unique and difficult problem lying ahead of him. I hope he takes this opportunity to find what his life value actually is, and makes the best decision for himself. Sobriety can wield beautiful things for a person’s life. I pray that Manziel can see that, and I hope the public encourages him along the way.