Manziel Claims Infringment on “Johnny Football” Name
Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel is making headlines again. This time, he’s going to court to protect his name–his nickname, that is. According to our friends at ESPN, Manziel is suing a man who has been selling shirts that say “Keep Calm and Johnny Football.” The worldwide leader reports that the Texas A&M is claiming trademark infringement despite not filing for the trademark long after the shirts were made.
For those of you wondering about NCAA regulations regarding trademarks and money: Manziel can’t profit off the trademark while a student, but he can benefit from any legal claims he might file.
Money issues aside, I find this to be a bit absurd and a bit presumptuous on Manziel’s part. Sure, he was the hottest quarterback in college football last season and got a lot of exposure because of
the SEC’s ridiculous television contracts his success. But latching onto the name as quickly as he has is a slap in the face to other football players whose careers in the college and professional games make them more deserving of it. John Unitas, John Elway, John Stallworth, and John “Paddy” Driscoll (a charter member of the NFL) are all hall-of-famers who, in some way, innovated the way the game is played. They are the embodiment of what “Johnny Football” should be.
Manziel has had one good year. Can he reach the aforementioned legends’ level? Absolutely! But with all due respect to Manziel, he’s got much to prove before he can even think about using, let along trademarking, “Johnny Football.”