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The “next big thing” is always the best thing in American sports and entertainment. Young superstars burst onto the scene and enamor us. In just the past several months, names like Johnny Manziel and Yasiel Puig have embedded themselves deep in the public consciousness.
Manziel is the scintillating quarterback for Texas A&M who, as a mere
freshmen, led the Aggies to wins over national powers like Alabama and Oklahoma and earned the nickname “Johnny Football.” Puig, a 22-year-old Cuban, burst into the major leagues straight from double-A ball for the Los Angeles Dodgers by hitting .436 in June and breaking the team record for hits in a single month, falling just four hits shy of the all-time MLB record set by Joe DiMaggio. Manziel, Puig, and others like them capture our attention, are compared to all-time greats, and get heaped with superlatives.
We saw the same kind of elation over Tim Tebow and Jeremy Lin not even two years ago, and where are they now? Not in the public’s imagination, that’s for sure. That’s what happens when young athletes are elevated to hero.
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