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Manziel's Final Four Blunder

Johnny Manziel completely blows his vow to be low key at Final Four: Another ridiculous NFL red flag?

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Johnny Manziel at Final Four
Johnny Manziel didn't exactly make a low-key entrance in this Final Four Saturday night. Even the mom of Kentucky star Julius Randle felt compelled to stop Johnny Football. Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images
Matt Schaub Texans Broncos
The Oakland Raiders traded for embattled Texans quarterback Matt Schaub. But that isn't stopping them from bringing Johnny Manziel in for a two-day interview. Photo by Michelle Watson/CultureMapSnap
Aaron Harrison Kentucky shot
At least Johnny Manziel saw some great basketball — including Aaron Harrison's shot for the ages. Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images
Johnny Manziel at Final Four
Matt Schaub Texans Broncos
Aaron Harrison Kentucky shot
News_Chris Baldwin_managing editor_arms crossed

ARLINGTON — Johnny Manziel wears a baseball cap pulled low. Maybe, he thinks that will be enough to help him stay incognito. OK, Manziel knows better.

Johnny Football can't hide. Not in plain sight of 80,000 sports fans and hundreds of cameras.

Drake giving you a shoulder rub probably doesn't help the whole under-the-radar thing either. The burly bodyguard shadowing you also might be a slight giveaway.

Not that there's any real reason for Manziel to try and stay out of sight — or at least mind — at the North Texas Final Four. Except that he's been promising NFL teams that he's 100 percent committed to football and has little use for the limelight. No, he's not a long-lost male Kardashian with an almost pathological need for attention, Manziel insists.

"If I’m not in the neighborhood, and I’m in the house, nothing can be said about me," he actually insisted during his pre-Draft media blitz.

 Drake giving you a shoulder rub probably doesn't help the whole under-the-radar thing either. The burly bodyguard shadowing you also might be a slight giveaway. 

Maybe, Jerry World is now Manziel's House?

This whole homebody thing is a farce Manziel only needs to maintain until an NFL team selects him in prime time on May 8 — with Manziel hoping it's the Houston Texans with the No. 1 overall pick. For the most part, Manziel's done a good job of keeping his no flashy celebrity stuff vow.

He's sworn off those club pictures where he's inevitably surrounded by a a bevy of wanna be Paris Hiltons. He's forsaken Twitter.

The lure of the Final Four in one of his favorite stadiums proved to be too much to resist, however. Especially when an invite came from Jerry Jones to hobnob in the Dallas Cowboy tycoon's suite.

Jerry's Suite may not be at the same level as Jerry Buss' Forum Club during the giddy, party paradise 1980s heyday of the Showtime Lakers. But it's still captured plenty of modern day imaginations.

"It'd be cool to check out," Andrew Harrison muses in the wake of Kentucky's last-second 74-73 win over Wisconsin, one of the most thrilling Final Four games of all time.

Johnny Manziel checked it out and ended up getting shown on the famously mammoth scoreboard that represents many spectators in the stadium's best view of the basketball — and the celebrity games too. Manziel is seated next to a hot blonde of course.

It's one of the hazards of the business.

Johnny Football Double Standard

Surely, NFL teams can't hold this team up against Manziel though. Heck, Jerry Jones' people invited him.

Plus, NFL luminaries present and past could be found all around AT&T Stadium. There's Tony Dorsett, Russell Wilson and J.J. Watt.

Held in Jerry's palace, this Final Four almost seems like an officially endorsed NFL event. Right down to the $75 parking.

 No, he's not a long-lost male Kardashian with a pathological need for attention, Manziel insists. 

Think again. No, Johnny Football's not getting the deserved pardon.

The furor and fascination with Manziel is so strong that even something as innocent as a Final Four night is parsed and examined. Certain franchises would kill to have a crossover attention grabber like Manziel. Other more conservative organizations that should embrace such publicity seem committed to firmly standing in the past, unaccepting of any message that's not the club's message.

It's ridiculous to hold something as completely unthreatening as a high-profile Final Four night out against Manziel. But some team executives no doubt see the reports of Manziel dominating another round of celebrity sightings as another sign of an obsession with sticking out.

At least Manziel is putting football before the national championship game between Kentucky and UConn, a clash of power programs masquerading as underdogs. Johnny Football can't be there on Monday night.

He has a job interview to attend. Manziel jetted off to California Sunday to spend the next few days with the Oakland Raiders. The Raiders are a franchise that just traded for high-priced Houston Texans quarterback Matt Schaub. But this is also a team that loves the celebrity star — one that holds the fifth overall pick in the NFL Draft.

Oakland coach Dennis Allen may ask Manziel for tips on getting a Final Four inner sanctum VIP experience.

Manziel politely declined requests for interviews in Jerry World. He seemed chagrined when his mug showed up on that giant screen and not just because of the boos Dallas fans showered him with. He came across as more flattered when the mom of Kentucky star Julius Randle corralled him as he moved by with his entourage, but still a little dismayed at the cameras clicking away during their quick chat.

It's high time Johnny Football dropped the charade of wanting to go unnoticed. He protests too much.

Manziel should embrace his inner diva — and only worry about those who appreciate the show.

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