Johnny Manziel's tango with the NCAA rules captured the attention of the sporting world as allegations and side-stories painted Manziel as a money-grabbing cowboy without much respect for authority. Though the "will he, won't he" questions of suspension remain, the picture of Manziel as a dude who really enjoys listening to "Blowing Money Fast" by Rick Ross is coming into focus.
Deadspin got their Manti Te'o investigation skills out and put them to good work, tracing the Manziel family tree back to crooks, thieves, oil men, cock fighters and cocaine dealers. All of them exploited opportunities to make extra dollars illegally, a trait that seems to run in the family.
It turns out the Manziels are a much more colorful and interesting bunch than any of the profiles thus far have indicated. Their fortune was indeed made in oil—wildcatting, specifically—but there were also family sidelines in cockfighting, small-time grifting, match-fixing, and, if you believe the federal indictments, cocaine-trafficking and murder. In fact, the first great sporting success under the family name wasn't Johnny Football; it was the Manziel grey gamefowl, bred by Johnny's great-grandfather. The Manziels arrived in Texas after cockfighting was outlawed, but they wound up with a breed named after them anyway.
That's the story of the Manziels in America. It's the story of making money just this side (and occasionally that side) of the rules.
The full column is very long, but certainly worth skimming just to see how much the Manziels enjoy chasing paper.
Oh, and it turns out the Manziel autograph session count is now at six.