To be rather cynical, no one in the NFL is happier about the Aaron Hernandez scandal than Manti Te’o as the word “murder” has much more bearing than the phrase “catfish.” With that being said, many predicted that the San Diego Chargers‘ locker room wouldn’t be very kind to Te’o and his imaginary girlfriend upon the rookie’s arrival. Thus far, No. 50 says he hasn’t been teased by his new teammates once — has he spoken too soon or is the tough football player mystique just a myth?
A second-round pick, Te’o has been able to slide under the radar as his new Southern California surroundings have allowed him to escape the national spotlight.
The sky is the limit for this 2012 Heisman Trophy finalist, yet the talk should be about whether or not this Chargers team is being too soft on the rookie. Veterans like Philip Rivers are known for the occasional joke, yet the scandal is reportedly old news and it’s a non-factor in San Diego. According to this bit, Te’o isn’t getting any of the hazing that we all expected:
“Lucky for me, I’m surrounded by guys in San Diego who really care about football and they really care about people.”
Although he did twist his once heart-wrenching story to garner more fame, I really do wish the ex-Notre Dame Fighting Irish linebacker well and expect great things from him in 2013-14. As long as he understands that he has a lot to learn about the NFL game, then Te’o should be supported in his professional endeavors.