At Johnny's, saying Cleveland is now a blue-collar town mostly in spirit can get you tossed into the Cuyahoga. But the truth is, the brain-gainers have saved this town.Also, reading magazines is so 1990s, but whatever.
You won't find them in Cleveland institutions such as Sokolowski's restaurant just yet, but they're swathed in Manziel gear and are just a few blocks over in the hipster enclave of Tremont. (The joke in Cleveland is that it's now pronounced Tre'mon.) If these fans seem oddly blissful, it's because of the designer coffee and hops, and the fact that they don't carry the same psychic baggage as longtime Browns loyalists. Their dads didn't kick out the TV screen after Red Right 88. To them, shame and suffering as a badge of honor is so 1990s. Their main concern is to be entertained and to be relevant, now.
That's why, to the brain-gainers, the electric and unpredictable Manziel is already Johnny Cleveland. "We're flipping the script on Cleveland and Cleveland football by doing something unconventional with a QB like Manziel," says architect Jennifer Coleman, a Cornell grad, chairwoman of the Cleveland Landmarks Commission and one of Cleveland Magazine's Most Interesting People in 2013. "It's not about grinding him down to conform like we have with so many other quarterbacks but embracing him and his unique gifts. There's a vibrancy and uniqueness and a style to the way he plays that is very relatable to what's going on in Cleveland. But this is not a town blinded by glitz. He could be Cleveland's adopted son, but in this town, he's got to prove it."