CLEVELAND — Floating on an inflatable swan was one thing. Being hunted by a police helicopter was too much.
Johnny Manziel’s hijinks have driven some fans of the Cleveland Browns to the edge, and they are sacking the headline-grabbing quarterback for a month — or maybe longer.
Tired of Manziel’s off-field transgressions, the latest being a possible assault of his ex-girlfriend over the weekend in Texas, fans have started a "Johnny Free February" movement on Twitter.
"I’m done with him," said Chris McNeil, a diehard Browns fan whose 8-year-old daughter, Riley, came up with the idea for a social media boycott after hearing about more bad news involving Manziel.
"She asked me what we discuss on Twitter and I told her Johnny Manziel," he said. "She rolled her eyes and said, ‘Why don’t you take the month off?’ Out of the mouths of babes."
McNeil kicked off the campaign on Saturday night "not to tweet, retweet, or mention Johnny Manziel on Twitter in February or until he is no longer a Cleveland Brown." As of Monday morning, McNeil said more than 1,000 people have signed up with some using the hashtag JohnnyFreeFebruary.
"It didn’t take very long for it to take off," McNeil said.
The tipping point for McNeil and others was the latest news concerning the 23-year-old player, who arrived in Cleveland with a party-boy reputation — he was photographed swigging champagne while sprawled across the swan in an Austin, Texas, nightclub — and has had two turbulent seasons with the Browns.
On Saturday, police in Fort Worth, Texas, were called to an apartment complex where an unidentified woman said she was involved in a disturbance with Manziel, who was not at the scene. She told the officers she had concerns about his "well-being."
Police attempted to call Manziel and searched for him with assistance from the department’s helicopter, Air One Unit. Manziel was later found to be safe and in no danger.
"You just get tired of it," McNeil said of the constant drama around Manziel. "You can’t make up helicopters. There are 32 quarterbacks in the league and ours is being searched for by a helicopter. That’s a Saturday night. It’s gotten to the point where it’s cliche. We’ve had enough."
Fort Worth and Dallas police are working to determine if a crime occurred. A Fort Worth spokesperson said there was nothing to report on Monday.
Manziel also could face discipline from the NFL, which is investigating the second domestic incident involving the 2012 Heisman Trophy winner. League spokesman Greg Aiello said in an email that the investigation "is ongoing."
Manziel was cleared in October of any wrongdoing by the league after it looked into a fight between Manziel and his girlfriend, Colleen Crowley. She told police that Manziel was violent and struck her during their confrontation, which took place as the couple was driving near the QB’s home in Avon, Ohio.
Manziel was not arrested.
It’s not clear if Crowley is the ex-girlfriend involved in the latest matter.