Morning Briefing: Manziel is not a Johnny come lately anymore

Johnny Manziel
John Manziel
(K.C. Alfred / San Diego Union-Tribune)

Johnny Manziel wasted no time in dropping a bombshell during an interview Monday on the “Dan Patrick Show.”

He did it right after Patrick said, “Good morning, Johnny. How are you?”

After returning the greeting, Manziel informed the host: “I got a little update for you — I actually go by John these days.”



It was Johnny Football, not John Football, who won the Heisman Trophy with Texas A&M and crashed and burned in the NFL amid all kinds of crazy partying and off-field troubles.

More recently, the “-ny” was still attached to his name during a stint in the CFL before being barred from that league and another in the AAF before that league shut down operations last week.

And now we reprogram our brains and start calling him John?

“I’m just kind of turning over the page and moving forward a little bit,” he told Patrick.


Fair enough. As noted above, Manziel has a lot he’s trying to leave behind him as he attempts to “get back to what I feel like I was, a little bit of a surgeon with a football in my hand.”

He told Patrick, “I’m going to continue to keep my head down and just keep working on what matters most to me, and that’s football.”

Regarding the slight name change, Patrick asked, “So you’re all grown up?”

Manziel answered, “Getting there, I guess.”

Lost touch with reality

LaVar Ball is back. The man who keeps giving great material to comedians, late night hosts and “Saturday Night Live” is on the promotion trail for one of his sons, LiAngelo Ball. And LaVar Ball’s grasp of reality is still tenuous at best.

LaVar recently told TMZ that LiAngelo is a better player than Duke’s Zion Williamson.

“Man, if Gelo was coming out, doing the thing, he’d be the first pick. This year. He’d be the first pick. Can’t nobody hold a candle to that boy. Zion Williamson can’t hold a candle to that boy. Why? He’ll shoot his lights out, man. And he’s stronger than Zion…. He’s a Williamson. Williamsons ain’t stronger than Ballers!”


LaVar also said that LiAngelo would appear in the NBA Summer League and get an NBA contract this year. He said that LiAngelo is the “biggest and the strongest 2-guard in the NBA right now.” Of course, LiAngelo doesn’t play in the NBA, so being the best player there at any position would be quite a feat. Then again, LiAngelo was named finals MVP of the Junior Basketball Assn., a league founded by….. LaVar Ball.

Let’s make a pact never to quote LaVar Ball again.

Masters of their domain

Our friends at have released their odds for this year’s Masters golf tournament, which starts on Thursday. Here are the favorites:

Rory McIlroy, 7-1

Dustin Johnson, 10-1

Justin Rose, 14-1

Tiger Woods, 14-1


Jon Rahm, 18-1

Justin Thomas, 18-1

Rickie Fowler, 18-1

Brooks Koepka, 20-1

Jordan Spieth, 20-1

The long shot is Larry Mize, who is 60 and a member of the Champions Tour. He won the Masters in 1987 in a dramatic playoff against Seve Ballesteros and Greg Norman. Mize made an incredible chip shot of about 140 feet off the 11th green for a birdie, winning when Norman failed to make his birdie putt.

Mize’s odds are 2,500-1, which is probably better than the odds of making that chip shot. Since 2001, Mize has missed the cut 13 times and never finished higher than 30th.

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