Johnny Manziel still has some growing up to do

The Texas A&M quarterback has been shielded and coddled, but someone needs to step up to help him mature.

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They started calling him "Johnny Football" as a kid because, when things didn't go his way on the playground, he took his ball and went home.

Now hit me with a rim shot and a "piling on" penalty.

Unlike the paid psycho-babble experts on ESPN, I actually haven't quite figured out Johnny Manziel.

Defend him, or suspend him?

Lump me with the linebackers who also have yet to get their arms around Johnny.

I sort of liked him in a crazy way, but not as much after Saturday.

How does he affect you?

Joe Flacco, quarterback of the Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens, told USA Today that Manziel is "quickly becoming my favorite player in the college football."

Yeah, just wait until Manziel spits in somebody's face.

I thought the Texas A&M quarterback showed remarkable comportment and maturity in the first half of Saturday's game against Rice.

Then they put him in the game, where he made "air signatures," rubbed his fingers together — "show me the money?" — and ultimately got benched for taunting.

We handed him the Heisman Trophy at age 20 and now wonder what went wrong?

It was decided in kindergarten, not Saturday that no parent, teacher, coach or university was ever going to stand in the way of Johnny Meal Ticket.

And now it's HIS fault?

Well, yes … and no.

Everyone in the know had to know this was going to happen.

Manziel has been co-opted, coddled and cuddled, but hopefully not beyond repair.

Texas A&M shielded Manziel from the media last season and only released his lips after it became clear ESPN was not interested in a mime act for the Heisman telecast.

Manziel came off as intelligent and personable on conference call with reporters just before fame and (his family's) fortune all apparently went straight back to his head.

Just like it might have done to … me.

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