Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel, the most hated and polarizing college quarterback since Tim Tebow, had an opening day on Saturday that outraged gridiron fans around the country. According to a tweet by an opposing linebacker, though, the Heisman winner’s behavior wasn’t as egregiously awful as it obviously appeared to be on national television.
The Aggie quarterback had been benched for the first half of the opener against the Rice Owls after a summer of controversy involving autographs for money. In the second half of the game, Manziel threw three touchdown passes. He also got called for unsportsmanlike conduct for appearing to taunt the Rice defense.
At one point in the midst of Manziel’s jawing and gesturing, he pointed at the scoreboard.
Manziel’s coach, Kevin Sumlin, then tore him a new one on the sideline and promptly benched him again.
Rice linebacker Nick Elder, who was the subject of at least some of Manziel’s taunting, announced on Twitter that Manziel’s comments to him were not remotely unsportsmanlike.
@espn I was the one who johnny was talking too. He said “what’s up nick, nice hit.” True story
— Nick Elder (@NickElder1) August 31, 2013
The Daily Caller notes that Elder may not have gained admission to Rice based on his spelling prowess.
Texas A&M won the game by a final score of 52-31.
Manziel will paw mercilessly at lowly Sam Houston State next week before suffering the delicious humiliation virtually all of America craves at the hands of defending national champion Alabama.