I've spent the last few days trying to find someone to compare Manziel to, and keep drawing a blank. I mean, there have been career busts, for sure. But none that came down in a tremendous heap of tragedy-inspired flames like this guy's has. I'm not sure you can even compare him to Aaron Hernandez or Rae Carruth - because both players at least exhibited some real potential earlier in their respective pro careers before their reckless lifestyles put them behind bars.
Outside of football - maybe. But even at that it's tough... Anthony Kim - world of promise, lost it at the ripe old age of (early-mid 20's). Loved the Vegas nightlife a tad too much, kinda like Daly but no majors to overshadow his lack of maturity, rendering him effectively done. He's lucky in that a $10 million insurance policy helps offset the coulda-shoulda-would'ves. Even at that - Kim reached at least a modicum level of success. Daly? He got there, but it was short-lived. Which is more than a lot of pro golfers can say, granted.
Tyson? He was most certainly a self-destructionalist, but that happened later in his career - not right at the beginning.
The closest comparison I can offer is the unfortunate, tragic story of Lenny Bias. As most of you recall - a Maryland basketball player who broke out of the projects and into collegiate stardom, only to lose his life to a cocaine overdose the very night the Boston Celtics drafted him as their #1 draft choice back in 1986. As a personal aside, Bias was one of my favorite college players back in the day and I was taken quite aback at the tragedy that unfolded.
At least Manziel lived long enough to get his money, which is more than Lenny can say. But Manziel is heading into a dark abyss where few people return from. I guess the good news, if there is any, as that most who do return from this self-destructive abyss get reality shows on tv nowadays. I reckon within the next year you'll see Lamar Odom kicking it live on E-tv.
So at least he's got that going for him, should he survive it.
And that's a mighty big IF at this point. Even his own father agrees on that point. Sadly.