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Even in Loss, The Legend of Johnny Football Grows

And, fine, Alabama's A.J. McCarron was pretty good too.


Photo: Mike Stone/ Landov  | Licensed to Alpha Media Group 2013

In an epic sports weekend — Floyd Mayweather systematically picking apart Canelo Alvarez in the fight of the year; Peyton winning the Manning Bowl; The Red Sox sweeping the Yanks; Aaron Rodgers reminding everyone why he's the best quarterback in the NFL etc., etc. — the most exciting moment came in the second quarter of Saturday's game between number six-ranked Texas A&M and top-ranked Alabama. With all of the hoopla over Johnny Manziel's autographing controversy and off-field, off-season missteps, it was easy to forget why he won last year's Heisman trophy (as a freshman, no less). Saturday's performance, and this play in particular, was an eye-popping reminder:



In total, Johnny Football went 28-of-39 for 464 passing yards, five touchdowns, and 98 yards rushing on just fourteen carries. Of course he also threw two picks, one of which was tipped into the arms of an Alabama defender and returned for a touchdown. Alabama QB, A.J. McCarron, meanwhile, was the anti-Manziel, taking care of the ball, managing the game, going 20-of-29 for 334, four touchdowns, and crucially, no interceptions. So, yeah, Alabama stayed undefeated (Not that coach Nick Saban seemed happy about it. Is there a figure in all of sports with Saban's joy-deficit
 


But in racking up 562 total yards against the best defense in the country, Johnny Football proved once again to be the most exciting player in the country: an undersized whirling dervish and Houdini-like escape artist, who runs like a tailback and throws like gunslinger. So what if he signed a few autographs too many, or taunted the opposing crowd in the season's first week? And so what if he has a crazy, crazy (seriously, really crazy) family history. He continues to entertain us, he provides great GIFs and, week by week, his legend just keeps on growing. 

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