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posted: 7/19/2013 6:30 AM

Advice to Manziel: Have fun, kid, but take it easy

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  • Texas A&M quarterback and Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel has been in the news lately, and not for anything good.

    Texas A&M quarterback and Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel has been in the news lately, and not for anything good.
    Associated Press


It's July and the dog days of sports are on us.

When you cover sports for a living, either for newspapers, the web, TV or talk radio, if your baseball teams aren't contending, it's usually the time we search for an engaging story.

Fortunately in the world of sports it does seem something interesting happens almost every day.

Even right now the British Open is on. There's the latest scandal about illegal pharmaceuticals in baseball. There's a fabricated NBA story that the Los Angeles Lakers plan on acquiring LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony. And Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel is missing appointments.

But I guess it could be worse; we could be covering the regular news and telling everyone it's hot or talking about the Zimmerman trial.

Sports is where it's at, and even though it gets a little dramatic at least it's better than talking about the weather.

TD Johnny oversleeps:

Now back to Johnny Manziel: He's a stud, and he knows it. He's young and really good at what he does, and he said "I want to live my life to the fullest."

Manziel was at the Manning Passing Academy and left early because of dehydration. He also missed a morning meeting.

I don't really buy his story about the phone being dead or the alarm not working. Didn't someone knock on his door? My father used to tell me if you're going to hoot with the owls, you better be able to fly with the eagles.

In other words, my dad meant if you party at night, you better honor your commitments the next morning.

I have been sober for seven years, but when I did drink I never missed a day of work or was late. I always knew in my mind if I did miss because I was out the night before, I had a problem.

Manziel claims his tardiness and early departure had nothing to do with the night before, but if you are 20 years old and you can't get up to play some football and hang out with Peyton Manning and adoring kids, then something isn't right.

I think most of us would have been there bright and early.

If Manziel hadn't been drinking, why did his dad say he was dehydrated?

Too much drinking eventually will cause problems whether you are on time or not.

Touchdown Johnny just might have more serious issues down the road. It might be 10 years or 20 years from now. I'm not lecturing him, I'm just saying: plenty of things pulling at him from different directions.

My advice: Have fun, kid, but tighten the reins a little. I've been there, so I know, but I always made it to work!

Upcoming event:

The 16-inch Softball Hall of Fame is having its inductee day Sunday at 11 a.m. at Forest Park. There is a noon game between the Hall of Famers and a 1:30 p.m. game between the Chicago police and Chicago firefighters.

•Mike North's column appears each Tuesday and Friday in the Daily Herald, and his video commentary can be found Monday, Wednesday and Thursday at For more, visit

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