FOUR DAYS AFTER
the tweet, Johnny Manziel did what many boys do when they're in trouble. He went home. The farm roads and state highways between College Station and Tyler blurred under the wheels of his black Mercedes-Benz, the one he wanted so badly that his dad finally bought it for him. Paul Manziel didn't want his son to do something stupid to get it for himself. A jagged line marked the back left quarter panel; even before Johnny tweeted that he wanted to leave College Station, someone had keyed his car. When Johnny arrived at his grandmother's house in Tyler on this Wednesday, Paul leaned over and silently ran his finger along the length of the cut, seeing what someone had done. He felt helpless. Building tension from the past week, and from the seven months of scrutiny that preceded it, had left his son on edge and exhausted. Maybe here, outside the siege walls of College Station, Johnny could exhale. He needed space to retake the control he'd lost over both himself and his new persona. Johnny Football is a growling grown-ass beast of a human. Johnathan Manziel is a boy trying to become a man.