Neither AJ McCarron or Johnny Manziel are likely to forget their Nov. 10, 2012, matchup anytime soon. The loss was McCarron’s lone blemish on his way to a BCS title and Manziel was eventually propelled to the Heisman Trophy on the back of his performance in Tuscaloosa.
The Sept. 14 rematch between the Alabama Crimson Tide and the Texas A&M Aggies has already been circled by every SEC fan as a potential national championship eliminator. However, despite all the tension on what’s mounting up to be a dynamic new rivalry in the SEC West, it hasn’t stopped the two star quarterbacks from developing a friendship off the field.
As a matter of fact, the two SEC superstars are apparently planning a vacation together to some tropical destination–either Key West or Cancun– at the end of next month. There, McCarron and Manziel will presumably bond over unexpectedly becoming tabloid stars and the pressures of quarterbacking in the SEC.
AJ McCarron, of course, found himself sucked up into the TMZ culture when his camera-friendly girlfriend, model Katherine Webb, became the apple of Brent Musburger’s eye during the BCS national title game. Meanwhile, Johnny Manziel has unashamedly lapped up the attention that comes with college football’s most prestigious award, occasionally finding himself in hot water for quite simply not giving a damn.
The two rather unexpectedly became household names, and so it’d make sense that they’d feel a rather unique sense of kinship. But, don’t be surprised if their planned getaway ruffles a few feathers in SEC country.
Rival fanbases in the Southeastern Conference very rarely see eye-to-eye, and despite all that Johnny Football and McCarron may seem to have in common, I’d be willing to bet that a vocal minority of A&M and Bama fans see this as some form of consorting with the enemy. And while hospitality may be looked upon as a staple of the South, that very rarely applies to football.
You’ll surely find a few message board yahoos who take exception with Manziel and McCarron’s friendship.
In reality, it’s probably no big deal that Johnny Manziel and AJ McCarron spend a week working on their tans and shooting the breeze both literally and figuratively on some sandy beach. However, with the amount of attention that they now seem to attract, they’ll certainly have to be on their best behavior.
Both McCarron and Manziel have developed a reputation as real “bros”, so I’d suffice it to say that the two probably toss back a few Natty Lights and maybe even a Four Loko or two. However, they probably shouldn’t forget that there are 12 other SEC fanbases armed with camera phones that certainly wouldn’t mind catching a glimpse of either or both McCarron and Manziel partaking in slightly more nefarious behavior.
AJ McCarron and Johnny Manziel are 22 and 20-year old kids, respectively, who have enjoyed an enormous amount of success on the field and want to be treated like normal college students off the field. Unfortunately, their status doesn’t normally allow for that.
Hopefully they can have a relatively normal vacation. Even prominent SEC quarterbacks deserve that, but I certainly wouldn’t hold my breath.
Regardless, it’s still a little weird to see this budding bromance between two people that are supposed to be at each other’s throats as competitors. It has an odd buddy-cop movie feel to it and I wouldn’t mind being a fly on the wall for that week.
Plus, I could use a little sun.