Whether he’s Johnny Football or Johnny Heisman, he’s worth a whoop
Marie Bakken

COLLEGE STATION—I’m not sure if many of you have heard yet, but an Aggie won the coveted Heisman Trophy on Saturday night for the first time in 55 years and to beat all odds a redshirt freshman was the one to do it.

Johnny “Football” Manziel beat out Manti Te’o of Notre Dame and Kansas State’s Collin Klein to win the award as the nation’s best collegiate football player.

My young family and I were in College Station to take Christmas photos on Saturday evening and decided to watch the televised presentation with 1,000 of our closest friends. We all gathered at the Clayton W. Williams Jr. Alumni Center.

The ESPN feed from New York City was played on their 26-foot screen in the building’s lobby. There was a sea of Aggie there, almost 1,000 by some counts.

It was a special Aggie moment and we knew we wanted to be a part of it and that we wanted our children, just 7 and 4, to say they had witnessed it.

Aggies’ Johnny Manziel—not quite good enough to play for the Texas Longhorns. 
Texas A&M photo Aggies’ Johnny Manziel—not quite good enough to play for the Texas Longhorns. Texas A&M photo For son Bradley, he was more interested in getting his picture taken with A&M mascot, Reveille. The popular Border Collie and her handler were at the event. As were Aggie Yell leaders, U.S. Rep. Bill Flores and Texas A&M President Dr. R. Bowen Loftin.

For daughter Hannah, it was all about her first official crush—Johnny. Since we went to the A&M-South Carolina State football game in September she has talked about “Johnny.”

You ask her who her boyfriend is, she says “Johnny.” If we have the television on during news time and they say his name, she will bolt into the living room to watch him.

I can’t be upset with it. I had a thing for a little known Aggie quarterback named Bucky Richardson. He and Manziel’s style of play are a lot alike—give it all to win it.

Just a little FYI...Aggieland wasn’t Johnny’s first choice, he had wanted to play for the “other school” in Austin, but Mack Brown had no place or scholarship for him. Brown also turned down last year’s Heisman winner Robert Griffin III.

Back to Saturday...as soon as Manziel was named as the winner, the entire Alumni Center erupted. The place got very quiet as Manziel gave his speech. “Whoops” went out when he mentioned the 12th Man.

Aggie fans stood behind Manziel and the rest of the team all season and they were still standing for him Saturday night.

The event ended with the playing of the “Aggie War Hymn” and the important folks in attendance posed for photos.

Over in the corner stood a line of people. We walked over there and saw that Dr. Loftin was posing for photos. We decided to take one with him.

So to end a special night, our family took a picture with the president of Texas A&M University, with all five of us doing the Heisman pose.

Gig ‘em Johnny! marie@rockdalereporter.com

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2012-12-13 digital edition

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