Johnny Foosball, maybe

It could be that there is something I don't get about Texas A&M football. 

I am an alum of the Big Ten, now a hostage in an SEC-mad world. How they do things in Texas may not be the way I am used to seeing things done. 

Maybe the "show me the money" air autographs of Johnny Manziel are how they roll.  

I'm sure it has been a long time since someone told Johnny Football no. The way he walked off in a pout from his head coach tonight is evidence of that.  

My 3-year-old gets sent to her room with no bedtime stories for behavior like that. But maybe I run a tighter ship than the NCAA.  

As a young journalist, I had an up-close seat for the Randy Moss era at Marshall University. I remember the fight at his high school that helped cost him his chance to play for Notre Dame; the positive pot test that cost him the chance to stay at Florida State University, which led him to little old Marshall in Huntington, W.Va. 

The school that gave him a chance when no one else would. 

And I remember the way he repaid that favor with the Sports illustrated interview in which he said the memorial to the victims of the Marshall University plane crash disaster of 1970 didn't make that much of an impression on him.

"I've seen the burial ground. I went up there and looked at the names. It was a tragedy, but it really wasn't nothing big," the article said. 

He could not have said anything more insulting to the Marshall family and the town that worships it if he had said all of their mothers wear combat boots to church on Sunday. 

He scorched the earth everywhere else he went. Because no one told him "No" often enough. There was always a second chance, or a third or fourth chance. When there wasn't Minnesota, there was Oakland. When there wasn't Oakland, there was New England. And Minnesota again. Then Tennessee. And San Francisco.

At every stop he let himself and his self-interest get in his own way. He could have been better at the position than the best who ever played. Instead he is a cautionary tale. 

So when Johnny Football peers into the mirror, he ought to look beyond his hair. 

That shadowy figure there in the mirror is the spectre of Ryan Leaf. And if he keeps up his antics, he'll be keeping Leaf company in the Flame-Out Hall of Fame.