Johnny Football is officially back. Set to appear in his first real professional football game since 2015, Johnny Manziel will make the start Friday night when his Montreal Alouettes take on the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.
In the United States, the game will start at 7:30 p.m. ET and will be broadcast on ESPN 2. If you don’t have cable or can’t get to a TV, you can still watch a live stream of the game (or DVR it) on your computer, phone or streaming device by signing up for one of the following cable-free, live-TV streaming services:
In addition to a Netflix-like on-demand streaming library, Hulu now also offers a bundle of live TV channels, including ESPN 2.
You can sign up for “Hulu with Live TV” right here, and you can then watch a live stream of the game on your computer via the Hulu website, or on your phone, tablet or streaming device via the Hulu app.
Additionally, if you aren’t able to watch live, “Hulu with Live TV” also comes with 50 hours of Cloud DVR storage (with the ability to upgrade to “Enhanced Cloud DVR,” which gives you 200 hours of DVR space and the ability to fast forward through commercials).
ESPN 2 is included in the “Sling Orange” channel package. You can sign up for a free 7-day trial right here, and you can then watch a live stream of the game on your computer via the Sling TV website, or on your phone, tablet or streaming device via the Sling TV app.
Additionally, if you can’t watch live, you can get 50 hours of cloud DVR storage as an additional add-on when signing up for your free trial.
The game can also be watched on your computer via ESPN.com, or on your phone, tablet or streaming device via the ESPN app. You’ll need to log-in to a cable provider to watch this way, but if you don’t have that, you can still sign up for one of the above options and then use your Hulu or Sling TV credentials to sign in and watch on the ESPN digital platforms.
After signing with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in May, Manziel spent the first five games of the 2018 CFL season backing up Jeremiah Masoli. He was then traded to the Montreal Alouettes, where he was slotted on the bench behind another former Oregon QB, Vernon Adams.
But his time behind Adams lasted just one game, a loss that dropped the Alouettes to 1-5 on the season, and on Tuesday head coach Mike Sherman confirmed that Manziel will get the start against his former team. It’s the fifth different QB who will play for the Alouettes this season.
“It’s good to be back in here,” Manziel said. “I felt like the thing I’ve been missing, even over the course of this year and a couple years, is reps. And as you guys have seen the last couple days, a chance to get with the 1s and get some reps is what I feel like I really need and what I’ve talked to a lot of people about.
“So I feel very blessed to be in this position, to be back in a situation where I’m starting again. It’s good. It’s a quick turnaround. But at the same time, I’m excited for the opportunity.”
Playing in a new offense on a team that has managed just one win this season, Manziel faces an uphill battle in his first CFL action. The Alouettes, even at home, are 6.5-point underdogs against the Tiger-Cats, who haven’t fared much better this year at 2-4.
Expectations for Manziel in his first real action in years should probably be tempered as he deals with potential rust and adjustments to a new system, but we know that probably won’t happen. No matter what he does, takes will be hot and conclusions will be irrationally jumped to. That’s just life with Johnny Football.
Still, it’ll be fun to see Manziel playing real football once again. While he can be erratic, and isn’t always exactly a model of efficiency, there’s no doubt that he plays an entertaining brand of football.