Sportress of Blogitude

Johnny Manziel signs on with fan-controlled football league

Johnny Manziel is back in football, but his return to the gridiron comes with one compelling, novel hitch.

The one-time Heisman Trophy winner and NFL flameout told ESPN this week that he has signed on with a startup league called Fan Controlled Football.

The name of the league speaks for itself. A hybrid of esports and traditional football, the 7-on-7 full-contact league will have fans set rosters, call plays and much more. The FCF intends to begin play in February.

“The more I heard about what this was going to be, the more I felt it was going to be something that was just very fun,” Manziel said. “It’s going to be very fan-oriented and something I could get behind without being extremely, extremely, extremely serious, the way that my football career has been in the past.”

Rumor has it that Manziel, whose contract terms are unknown — though it’s safe to assume his foray into the startup league is not financially motivated — will catch on with the Zappers, a team co-owned by New York Mets pitcher Trevor May and sportscaster Bob Menery, per TMZ Sports.

“Football has always been a huge part of my life, and the opportunity to join the FCF was too good to pass up,” Manziel said.

“FCF is doing something new and original in Sports, a league that is truly all about the fans and letting them call all the shots. I can’t wait to get started — this is going to be fun.”

Manziel’s last pro football action was in April 2019 with the now-defunct Alliance of American Football (AAF). He also had a brief stint in the CFL after his infamous release by the Cleveland Browns back in 2015.

The FCF of course will stand in stark contrast to other football leagues. The field will be 50 yards long with 10-yard end zones. Like the NFL, games will be 60 minutes long, but the similarities mostly end there. All FCF games will be live-streamed on Twitch and be held in a facility in Atlanta, Ga.

Manziel, 28, of course suffered a precipitous, scandalous and disappointing fall in a career that began with promise — not to mention hype — after the Browns with the 22nd pick in the 2014 NFL Draft out of Texas A&M. 

The quarterback formerly known as “Johnny Football” called it quits on resurrecting his football career years ago, but it sounds like the novelty of the FCF was too intriguing for him to pass up.