Party Animal Johnny Manziel Follows Some Big Footsteps

Top 10 NFL Party Boys

I'm getting a little tired of all these self-righteous goody two-shoes writers moralizing on Johnny Manziel's partying.

Question: Let's say you're 21 years old, like to have a good time and you just signed a multi-million dollar contract.

You going to spend your free time in church?

Manziel has been spotted living it up in Vegas, swilling champagne in Austin and partying hard with a rapper named Drake.

Those are just the known incidents, and I say good for him. Let the boy have his fun without hypocritical sportswriters getting all weepy and preachy.

It isn't like people can't enjoy a good time and still do their job. Ask Winston Churchill. Or Dylan Thomas. How about Babe Ruth? Or even Benjamin Franklin.

NFL history is chock full of players who lived hard and fast on the field and hard and fast off it.

So all you milk-drinkers and patty-cakes back off, not that you would have much influence on him anyway.

In the meantime, here is my Top 10 list of all-time pro football hard partiers.

Jim Thorpe

Jim-Thorpe.jpg
Jim Thorpe. Getty Images

Thorpe tops this very impressive list. He's often called "the world's greatest athlete" despite drinking like there's no tomorrow.

He led a team protest once, refusing to play until his team's locker room was adequately stocked with liquor.

John Riggins

John-Riggins.jpg
John Riggins. Getty Images

Riggins was a legendary hard partier, and his highlight came when he got drunk at a National Press Club salute to Congress, told Sandra Day O'Connor to "lighten up, baby," then fell into a drunken stupor under the table.

I'll bet that livened things up for an otherwise tedious gathering.

Art Donovan

One of the old-school drinkers. "We didn't have steroids," is one of Donovan's famous quotes. "If I wanted to get pumped up, I drank a case of beer." 

Paul Hornung

The original Golden Boy, Hornung liked women and whiskey and had plenty of both.

In New York he drank with Frank Sinatra and Jimmy Hoffa. In California, he drank with Steve McQueen and other stars.

Ken Stabler

Stabler was a hard-partying Southern man. No celebrities for him. He was more the backwoods honky-tonk, jukebox type.

"Just stay in the fast lane and keep moving, Stabler wrote in his autobiography. "You cannot predict your final day, so go hard for the good times while you can."

Joe Namath

Namath may be the most famous football partier/womanizer. He's a former Alabama quarterback like Stabler, but "Broadway Joe" Namath took to the New York nightlife like a moth to flame. 

Fuzzy Thurston

Another beloved, old-school hellraiser. Thurston said he used to get ready for those freezing Green Bay games by drinking multiple shots of vodka.

John Matuszak

Several players from the old Raiders teams of the 1970 could have made this list, but we're giving the nod to the "Man Beast."

Matuszak and his buddies headed straight for the nearby Hilton lounge after training camp practices, where they worked harder than they did out on the field.

He'd walk into a bar, rip his shirt off and roar like a centaur fresh from the kill. He liked to mix his liquor with a .357 handgun, shooting up traffic signs.

Max McGee

McGee showed up for Super Bowl I with a ferocious hangover, not expecting to play. Packers coach Vince Lombardi made him play and McGee responded with seven receptions for 137 yards and two touchdowns.

Brett Favre

Favre was a throwback, a guy who could stay out all night drinking and then show up for the game and beat you.

They played the 1997 Super Bowl in New Orleans, the best drinking city in the world. Favre took full advantage up until game time, when he vomited on the sideline.

Then he led the Packers to victory.