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Berry Tramel  


Johnny Manziel's salute: Welcome to Kevin Sumlin's nightmare

by Berry Tramel Published: August 19, 2014
Redskins defensive end Brian Orakpo enjoys a sack of Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel. (AP Photo)
Redskins defensive end Brian Orakpo enjoys a sack of Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel. (AP Photo)

Somewhere Monday night, Kevin Sumlin had to be laughing. Johnny Manziel is someone else’s problem now.

Of course, when Sumlin had Jonathan Gridiron as the Texas A&M quarterback, Manziel was a problem for Alabama and LSU and any SEC defense that happened to land on the Aggie schedule. So there was some benefit to that. We’ll see if the Cleveland Browns reap the same benefit, vexing the likes of the Steelers and Bengals and Ravens.

But Manziel’s immaturity is on full display even in the NFL. In fact, he’s graduated to grosser crimes, going from rubbing his fingers together as a money sign to now flipping off the Washington Redskins with his middle finger.

The obscene gesture always has fascinated me a little bit. How could a finger be obscene? Stick your index finger in the air, it means we’re No. 1. Stick the next finger over in the air, and it means something different. Something that not even ESPN can show on SportsCenter. It had to be blurred out. It’s a sign of low class, but I don’t know why it has to be banned from stage and screen.

Anyway, I digress. The Redskins got to Johnny Football in a meaningless expedition game in which everyone plays hard for their 10 plays but otherwise just stand and sweat. What’s going to happen come September, when the games take on the emotion of the crusades?

The Redskins laughed off Manziel’s salute.

“It was hilarious,” said linebacker Brian Orakpo, who played at Texas and thus has little use for Manziel anyway. Orakpo did the money sign after a sack of Manziel. “We were messing with him a little bit, just saying this ain’t college and stuff like that. We were having a little fun. Manziel flipped us off. It was something funny. We were all laughing on the sidelines.”

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell won’t be laughing. This is a league that monitors untucked shirts and untied shoe laces. This is a league that monitors celebration dances.

Unfortunately, this also is a league that gave Baltimore tailback Ray Rice a two-game suspension for dragging his then-fiance out of an elevator by the hair. So don’t expect any kind of harsh penalty for Manziel. Probably a fine, at which news Brian Orakpo will put his fingers together and smile.



by Berry Tramel
Berry Tramel, a lifelong Oklahoman, sports fan and newspaper reader, joined The Oklahoman in 1991 and has served as beat writer, assistant sports editor, sports editor and columnist. Tramel grew up reading four daily newspapers — The Oklahoman,...
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