Why Manti Te'o Will Not Succeed in the NFL

By Mike Atkinson
Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Manti T’eo, star linebacker of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish during the 2012 college football season spoke earlier today at the NFL combine.

He spoke about how he will be able to use his hoax scandal to help him perform well at the next level. He used phrases like “it’s all part of the process” and “it’s pretty crazy” when talking about his hoax.

It’s old news that Te’o was involved in a Catfish hoax where he was dating a woman on the internet who turned out to be a man.

Te’o thinks that his situation is embarrassing, but that he can brush it off and move on with his life. He thinks that once he gets to the NFL everyone will forget about what happened and let him live his life.

This is where he is wrong, and it is the exact reason he will not succeed in the NFL. Michael Strahan, former New York Giants defensive end, on page 14 of his book “Inside the Helmet- Life as a Sunday Afternoon Warrior” spoke about the environment inside of an NFL locker room.

“We need practical jokes. It’s the only way to get through a week after a loss like the one we had to Manning and the Colts that opening week. It’s how we get through the pain of losing, soreness and repetition that mars our days. We truly live to mess with each other, and in an NFL locker room, nothing is off-limits. White guys, black guys, big guys, small guys, thugs, nerds, rich dudes, vets, rookies, coaches and even owners are far from exempt from our juvenile hysteria. More often than not, we’re just plain mean about it. The meaner we get, the funnier it usually seems.”

On page 24, Strahan says this:

“The more embarrassing the situation, the more the boys inside the locker room and throughout the NFL will circle like vultures to rub it in.”

Does that sound like an environment that Te’o will be able to step into and forget all about what happened to him?

Te’o, even if successful on the field, will not be able to survive inside of an NFL locker room. He’s trying to move on by pretending the whole situation did not happen. NFL players will not let him forget about the hoax. Every day of his life once he steps into a locker room he will hear jokes about it, and become the butt of pranks related to his hoax.

Te’o is simply not emotionally strong enough to handle what is going to be thrown his way in the next few months. He has no clue it’s even coming.

Don’t be surprised if Te’o makes an early exit from the league once he enters.

Follow Mike on Twitter at @MikeAtkinsonRS or visit his Rant Sports Author Page.

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