Johnny Manziel caused quite the internet stir recently when photos of him throwing up the Hook ’em Horns’ hand sign, while rocking a temporary tattoo of the Longhorns logo, surfaced from his Spring Break escapades.
The thing is, the first freshman to ever win a Heisman Trophy does not understand what all the hubbub is about. The way he sees things, throwing up the Horns or wearing a temporary tattoo should be the same as if he were wearing a big Oregon “O’ on his torso, or if he made his two hands into a ‘W’ for Wisconsin.
The two teams don’t play anymore, so in the mind of the new-school Manziel, there is no more rivalry. He addressed his recent repping of the Horns with Brent Zwerneman of My San Antonio:
“I understand the rivalry between the two … (but) for me it’s not a rivalry,” Manziel explained. “We got out of their conference, and we’re not playing them anymore, so it’s not a big deal.”
Manziel was recruited by Longhorns coach Mack Brown, but as a defensive back. Thus, and in spite of the fact that the young man grew up a Longhorns fan, Manziel went to Texas A&M, where he dominated the SEC in 2012 en route to becoming the one and only Johnny Football.
But here’s where he’s wrong in his opinion that the rivalry is not a big deal: Marketing and recruiting.
His Aggies are going toe-to-toe with Longhorns for some of the best recruits the nation has to offer, and most will be forced to decide between old-school loyalties to Texas and the new-school hotness that is coach Kevin Sumlin and the A&M program.
Thus, even though the two schools may not be squaring off on the field any time soon, their paths will most certainly continue to cross. For better or for worse.