The Football.com Debate Team's First Argument Erupts
TJ Hatter: Thank you for clicking on Football.com’s Debate Team with Joe Scumaci & TJ Hatter. It's a joint column between myself and Mr. Scumaci that will start out as well-intentioned debate and degenerate quickly.
Joe Scumaci: I hate this idea already.
TJ Hatter: I know. But all the other kids are doing it.
This Week's Focus: Jadeveon Clowney or Johnny Football
1. Who Is Being Trolled Worse By The Media?
TJ Hatter: A quarterback who likes to party and is potentially undersized vs. a physical freak who it's become fashionable to call lazy. Fantastic memes. Good job everyone. To start, I completely endorse the Drew Magary position that when people talk about Clowney's "motor" they really are searching for things to talk about. It's the offseason and we're all looking for copy. I get it. But really it's nonsense. Is it necessary for a QB to love football more than life itself in order to succeed in the league? Probably. But a defensive player? Someone whose job it is to rush the passer on almost every play? As long as he cares enough to keep himself in the freakish shape he's in, he'll be fine. He's being trolled far worse by the media for this simple reason: there's just no compelling reason to pay this close attention.
In today's NFL, even a player with Clowney's potential is a reach at the top of the draft. I wrote about that a bit right here. This league is about one thing: Quarterbacks. Good ones tie up the majority of your cap space and bad ones set back a franchise years. Everyone has an opinion about Mr. Manziel and many of them are really good at engineering them to ensure ratings and page hits (Editors Note: We are trying to that here). But he's worthy of debate. He's worthy of being trolled. He could turn around a franchise that needs a QB. He's lightning in a bottle and he absolutely destroyed SEC defenses, which are stocked with people who Manziel will be playing against on Sundays. A great pass rusher is nice to have, but it does not a good or even competent defense make. As proof of that, I'd submit one DeMarcus Ware of the Dallas Cowboys.
Joe Scumaci: And despite all that hoopla you just spat out ... you still managed to throw in a zinger and troll the Dallas Cowboys! Well played, Mr. Hatter, well played! We still have five weeks (!) until May 8 rolls around and the media can still dissect these two athletes like I did that frog in my 8th grade science class. That being said and the detailed visual aside, the media is going to find it easier to troll Johnny Manziel and they’ll point to his baggage as the easy target. The TMZ cameras, beach parties and the thousands of autographs that he signed are ammunition.
Johnny Manziel is not what people want to see when they are looking for a blueprint for a quarterback. They want private life — Tom Brady — cerebral advantages — Peyton Manning — burning work ethic — Russell Wilson — and all the prototypical physical tools of Andrew Luck. Instead, you’re getting the ultimate antithesis of those examples and it's easy to pick apart.
So what if Jadaveon Clowney likes to press his foot to the gas pedal on the highway more so than on the football field? That's not as intriguing as a high profile quarterback tippin' back a few cold ones at a Texas barbeque or sitting courtside giving daps to Lebron James. Manziel is so easy to troll I actually feel bad. And with his pro day still to come and 1-on-1 interviews with John Gruden in the bus, all eyes will be on Johnny for the next several weeks.
2. Whose Agent Would You Rather Be?
TJ Hatter: Nothing is certain in life. Nothing. It's more likely that I won't be here tomorrow than I will be. The two industries that get this are both tied to money: Wall Street brokers and agents. The person poised to make more money in the short term is Mr. Football. He's easily the most marketable athlete since LeBron James. The world is his Cheers.
Is it possible that one of these two guys are going to be pitching Subway for 15 years and be a solid source of income and the pillar of your firm? Of course it is and one of them will be; but all you can do is cash checks now. Johnny Football will make you more money right now. I might not be here tomorrow, so I'm looking to make money today. Johnny Football will do that.
Joe Scumaci: No argument here. It helps that quarterbacks already get paid the most out of any position, but who dominates the Subway, Buick, NyQuil and Ugg commercials? Quarterbacks do.
He's the antithesis of Tim Tebow and people will draw to that the way they were polarized by “Tebowmania.” I really hope a franchise like Cleveland, who has had about 67 quarterbacks since the millennium turned, doesn't pass on a guy like this. He'll put butts in the seats and he'll give Cleveland fans a breath of fresh air.
Hell TJ, the kid made money while attending college — he’s definitely going to make some money now!
3. Who would you rather be?
Hatter: This is a sneaky good question. Based on the life he's been living, nobody has done college better than Johnny Football. But, as much as all of us romanticize our college lives, there is more to life than just the girls in college. Though not much more …
In the last conversation, I argued that Johnny Football was the person you'd rather be an agent for because the world could end tomorrow (or at least mine could) and that is all true. But I'd rather have, if I'm able to choose it, a long life filled with good things. Johnny Football's VIP status could end soon. He could go into a life in media to extend it, but that is different than the life of someone who just dominated on the field and is antagonizing Erin Andrews (by the way those jobs are miserable) and the person who looks like they'll be an unstoppable force in the NFL for years is Mr. Clowney.
Because Jadeveon Clowney can spend the rest of his life as Josiah Bartlett to his friends and family. He has the ability to change lives because he'll be on the field longer and has a home to go back to that needs his help. It's the romantic version of what Clowney could do with the rest of his life, a life that will likely include him having to say "NO" many times. But you have the power to do something in an area that you know well.
That beats going to meet Drake any day …
Joe Scumaci: The question-within-the-question here is: "Do you think Jadeveon Clowney could be a bust?" Because if you do, you have to be worried he can flame out like and be out of the league by 2017 or before he can even sign another contract.
I confidently say he doesn't, which tells me I should take Clowney's life over Manziel's in a heartbeat. He gets to hit people and dish out punishment, not take it. He's the hunter, Manziel is the hunted. Johnny is 6 foot — MAYBE — 200 pounds MAYBE — and if he goes to Cleveland, Jacksonville or even Oakland, he'll most likely be running around for his life until a solid offensive line can be built.
One bad injury and the career of Johnny Manziel as we know it could be over. Sure, injuries can happen to anybody, but I'll take my chances with Clowney's freakish ability and body specimen.
4. Which song fits the player?
Hatter: Johnny Football - Oasis "Live Forever"
Mr. Clowney Noel Gallagher "What a life"
They both have to be Noel Gallagher songs because that's the only way it's fair. Mr. Football plays and lives like the world could end tomorrow — and it could — and therefore he's more prepared than anyone I know to live forever.
Mr. Clowney, coming from such a humble — "humble" being a word for poverty that everyone can use without feeling bad for not donating to someone — background, the fact that he's made it to the point where he's going to be rich (not wealthy) this song is a perfect reflection of how great inheritance can be.
Scumaci: Johnny Football – Eminem “Without Me”
Clowney – Kanye West “Can’t Tell Me Nothin’”
I’ll give the hip-hop genre a nod here in two songs that exemplify making money, spending money and living the fast life.
Nothing says Johnny Manziel more than the chorus of the popular Eminem song. “This looks like a job for me so everybody just follow me, cuz we need a little controversy cuz it feels so empty without me.” Wherever JF lands, the organization will be in dire need of a quarterback and he’ll be tasked with the job of making that franchise relevant again.
But relevancy and wins won’t come without controversy. He’ll be on ESPN if he asks for more ketchup on his hot dog or only leaves 15percent gratuity on a dinner tab. Controversy follows Johnny like a shadow at about 7 p.m. in the middle of summer. Cleveland may feel empty now, but draft Manziel and the rest will take care of itself.
Kanye West said, “I felt the pressure…under more scrutiny. And what I do? Act more stupidly …” When Mr. Clowney was on full-fledged ESPN watch this past season he didn’t make it hard for his critics to keep quiet. Pulling himself from games with injures even the ‘Ol Ball Coach was unaware of helped grow speculation he wasn’t tough or was “checking out.”
Getting pulled over for doing dangerously high speeds on the highway didn’t help his cause either. And for the chorus …”Wait til I get my money righ t… then you can’t tell me nothing right.” If we couldn’t tell Jadeveon how to act when he was in college with no money, how are we going to get across to him behind millions of guaranteed dollars?
TJ Hatter: So before we close, we'd be remiss if we didn't mention that you've won an award Mr. Scumaci. Well done. I won't trust you with my gambling money, but well done.
Joe Scumaci: That’s smartest thing you’ve said this entire debate! Thank you, but it pales in the comparison to Writer of the Year for Football.com. That’s really something TJ, congrats! You enjoy that award as much as I enjoyed this debate. And let’s do it again sometime.
TJ Hatter: Next time, with drinks
Joe Scumaci: Next time with Scotch.