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Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Opinion

Over-emphasis on sports celebrities damage integrity of sports, news reporting


If you’re tired of fretting over our country’s self-injection into the Middle Eastern rapture, consider yourself avenged: Johnny Manziel has felt your tears. Or maybe he hasn’t. He’s too busy scoring four times a game. And signing the tops of NCAA sanctioned newborns’ heads. And re-tweeting Drake. But in lieu of his attention, CBS has picked up the slack: this upcoming Saturday, they’re devoting an entire camera to the Greek incarnate himself. They’ve anointed it the “Johnny Cam.”

This is real life. This is something that’s happening. Those curious about what he does when he’s not throwing touchdowns, gang signs or shout-outs to Rick Ross and the crew now have a means of acquiring the data. Craig Silver, the network’s coordinating producer of college football, has assured us.

“No matter where he is, and no matter what part of the game it is, we will have a shot of it. If he is anywhere in sight of the camera, we will catch it,” Silver said.

Johnny taking a knee. Johnny taking notes. Johnny taking a leak. America has spoken. This is what we want.

Anyone doubting the prescience of this gesture doubts the integrity of sports.

And so what if the naysayers are right? I mean, they’re wrong. Dead wrong. And they’re nerds. And Johnny is Football. Competitiveness personified. But, on the small off chance that the Johnny Cam is more detrimental than devout, the attention lauded on Manziel speaks more for the shallowness of college sports than its accolades.

It still wouldn’t matter. Because he is a student athlete, yes, but he’s also a celebrity, a pariah, a beacon of sarcasm on an otherwise untarnished page of history. There are chemical weapons in Syria, additives in our groceries and uncompromising heat indexes throughout the country, but none of this has anything to do with what really matters. CBS has seen this. The Johnny Cam will see it.

Johnny doesn’t need to attend your school to get into the party. Johnny doesn’t need to be 21 to dance in the club. Johnny doesn’t need to abide contractual regulations, exhibit sportsmanship or be the boy we desperately want him to be.

He just needs to win.

Senior staff columnist Bryan Washington is an English junior and may be reached at [email protected]

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