College Football

8 (Semi) Educated Guesses On What Johnny Manziel’s Hand Gestures REALLY Meant

(*Author’s note: Alternate title: Johnny Football’s On-Field Handjobbing)

Unless you’ve been living like Ted Kaczynski-style wilderness retreat up in your mountain shack for the past week, you’ve undoubtedly heard the rumblings.  You’ve heard the rantings.  And the ravings.  You’ve heard Mark May pull out his soapbox, climb aboard that piece like he’s mounting the final summit of Mount Everest, and get so worked up he’s out-lisping the lisp-master general, Lou Holtz.

Johnny Manziel made some hand gestures this past weekend.

He gesticulated frequently.  He hand-jived wildly.  He threw 3 touchdowns, ran for 19 yards, picked up an unsportsmanlike conduct call and was benched by his head coach after the situation boiled over.  All in a day’s work, for Johnny F.

But what was Johnny Manziel really saying?  I certainly don’t know American Sign Language.  It’s been more than a hot minute since I paid attention to any of the body language experts getting trotted out to analyze Brangelina’s latest red carpet appearance on E!  But, after sitting down and watching Johnny F. do the damn thing during his short stint at the helm on Saturday, I’m pretty sure I’ve narrowed down the list of what his potential hand gestures meant.

Here’s the first one, courtesy of the GIF-geniuses at SBNation:

So what was Manziel really doing here?  I have a few guesses.

1.  In an attempt at a sweet practical joke, Manziel climbed a pine tree only a few minutes before the game in an attempt to catch an owl to bring with him to the locker room.  His fingers proceeded to get super sappy and he was just trying to clean them off.  Don’t you hate it when you can’t un-sap your fingers?  See?!?!  He wasn’t referencing the straight-cash, homey.

2.  Manziel is afflicted with a very serious condition that affects 1-110 Americans known as congenital unsnapitis.  A heart-breaking disease, in which the patient firmly believes that they can snap along to college touchdown fightsongs only using their thumb and pointer fingers.  You keep fighting the good fight, Johnny.

3.  He was up all night studying for his online History of Modern Medicine class and his keyboard fingers are super overworked.  All those “F” keys and “G”s and those little finger-bumps that are supposed to help you type without looking have finally taken their toll on the over-studious Manziel.  If he doesn’t massage those babies to bring circulation back and increase the healing flow of blood to his digits, he might be in trouble.  Medical explanation?  Explained.

4.  If there’s one thing we can assume about Johnny Manziel it’s that he’s a vociferous reader.  Therefore, we can also assume that he’s gesturing about said love of books.  “Big ups to the Texas Library Association, ya’ll!!!”

5.  If there’s one other thing that we can assume about Johnny, it’s that he’s just a really, folksy, normal, down to earth guy.  So he is probably just signaling that he wants to “turn the page” away from superstardom.  He doesn’t seem to enjoy the limelight too much and he appears to be ready to get out of it.

And here’s the second gesture by Manziel that’s been garnering media attention

So, I’m sure this is all just a big misunderstanding on our part.  The Johnathan Football Manziel, we know wouldn’t be caught dead making a mockery of an alleged NCAA investigation into his illicit profiteering on his own likeness.  So what exactly was that gesture supposed to mean?

1.  It’s just a celebratory gesture.  Johnny’s famed for his love of needlepoint and it’s clear to me that he was just trying to give us all a sign that he was just “stitching” together a drive.  Crochet away, Mr. Football.

2.  This January would’ve been John Hancock’s 276th birthday.  Johnny was only doing what any America-loving, freedom-fan would do.  Giving a visual fist-pound to the Godfather of grandiose American calligraphy.  Johnny Manziel: Patriot.

3.  Johnny Football was mentally preparing for Texas A&M’s school-wide spelling bee.  It’s a well-known and oft-utilized spelling technique to try to write out the word as your attempt to spell it correctly.  (*Author’s note: see: below)

So if he maybe/possibly/sorta/kinda looked like he was autographing something?  That’s purely coincidence. You try spelling “appoggiatura” without writing it out in the air in front of you.


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