Backstory: Johnny Manziel gets flak for being young, famous, and — when he isn’t playing football — getting so drunk that he can’t participate in a camp run by Peyton Manning, among other things.
Mark May is a former standout at the University of Pittsburgh (disclaimer: I — me, the writer — am also a Pitt graduate) and current ESPN college football analyst. May tweeted this yesterday:
Alright Johnny Football enough is enough this is your last wake up call STOP BRINGING SHAME TO THE GAME !
— Mark May (@mark_may) July 16, 2013
Now, you can take umbrage with this tweet for a number of reasons. Here’s one: Johnny Football is a young guy, and young guys get drunk, and the make mistakes, and they don’t need television personalities giving them shit about it. Here’s another one: Mark May, mind your business, you’re not the judge and jury of football.
Now, for the track that Deadspin took: Posting this article from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette in 1979:
So Mark May was a troublemaker in college.
Does that make him unable to comment on anyone else who runs afoul of the law and/or the public?
Does that mean he’s not allowed to pass the lessons of his own mistakes forward?
Yes, May was being a bit of a hypocrite. But if only people who never made mistakes were allowed to tell Johnny Football that he’s fucking up, no one would ever be allowed to speak to Johnny Football again.
Parents tell their kids not to drink underage or use drugs — not because they themselves never did, but because they know the dangers of doing so. This is a similar situation.
Elder statesmen of football rarely attain that status without a blemish or two on their record. In fact, knowing that they’ve been through bad situations is what gives their words weight. Why do you think Adam “Pacman” Jones talks to incoming rookies about staying out of trouble, and not Tim Tebow?
Mark May could have found a better way to express his disappointment. But his feelings are valid, and throwing the man’s past in his face is hardly a sound comeback.
I welcome your opinions on this matter.
Photo via Getty