Throw on your jerseys and bust out the grill because college football kicks off in a couple hours. In a hat tip to the reigning Heisman trophy winner—the only college freshman to ever win the award—I thought it would be fun to take a peek at some Johnny Football related web data.
For those of you not following, Texas A&M college freshman Johnny Manziel defied odds last year, and quickly became what ESPN called “one of the best college quarterbacks of all time.” These are of the most popular related search terms in December leading up to, and including the week he won the title. As you would expect, people want to learn more about him. There are some good shout outs to his eye-candy girlfriend, and his Scooby Doo Halloween costume.
Unfortunately, since he won the title in December he’s managed to have the craziest offseason in college football history, and is approaching the first game with a half game suspension following an NCAA investigation into whether or not he sold his autograph. In just eight short months, interest in “Johnny Football” looks more like TMZ than ESPN. (Disclaimer: that is not an original analogy and I can’t take credit for it.)
Still, if you believe in all press being good press, it’s certainly kept college sports, the NCAA and Texas A&M top of mind across the web even during offseason. Though he’s (wisely) taken a personal hiatus from social media himself, there are hashtags on everything from #johnnyfootball to #johnnysfirsthalf full of commentary. And, it’s not just the SEC doing the talking. This is a geo breakdown of where the most “Johnny Football” related social engagement is happening:
Guess we’ll have to wait and see what’s in store for Manziel and the Aggies. We’ll be watching the social web!