LeBron, Manziel attend screening for TV comedy

Staff Writer
Columbus Monthly

CLEVELAND (AP) — Johnny Manziel felt as if he was watching himself.

As the lead character in "Survivor's Remorse," a TV comedy being produced by NBA superstar LeBron James' company, dealt with the whirlwind of instant celebrity, social media and the trappings of sudden fame, Manziel could easily relate to his own experiences over the past few years.

"It's real life," Manziel said, "especially for me."

On Thursday night, the Browns' rookie quarterback and James attended a private screening at a local movie theater of "Survivor's Remorse," a Starz network series about the rise of a young basketball player.

After the first two filmed episodes were shown to an audience for the first time, James and Manziel took part in a panel discussion along with James' business partner, Maverick Carter, and Boston Red Sox chairman Tom Werner, who also produced TV hits like "Cosby Show" and "Roseanne."

Manziel was struck by the parallels between his jolt to stardom and that of Cam Calloway, the lead character who tries to balance his family, fame and new responsibilities. Manziel was widely criticized for his behavior in the offseason, and he even joked that his partying was more prevalent than on the screen.

"I tried to squeeze it all into 2 1/2 weeks," he said.

The series is scheduled to debut on Oct. 4 on Starz. Werner said the show is about "greed and gratitude" and isn't a typical comedy in that it "has heart."

Carter and James said they intend to produce and film other future projects in Northeast Ohio. James is home after re-signing with the Cavaliers this summer. He spent the previous four seasons with the Miami Heat, winning two NBA titles and making four consecutive finals.

Carter wanted to have the initial screening in Cleveland, and he invited Manziel as a guest because the 21-year-old's experiences mirror those of the show's lead.

Manziel went from a third-string quarterback at Texas A&M to a Heisman Trophy winner in a four-month span in 2012.

"There's no way to describe it," Manziel said. "It all happened so fast."

Manziel said he could not have handled it, and he admitted to making some mistakes, without his family's support.

"I've lived that and it's tough," he said. "But I have a close-knit family that has helped me stay on the right track. And at times, it hasn't been easy and I've ventured off and gotten into a path with a little bit of fame and a little bit of being young. I've lived that."


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