Media from San Diego did not waste anytime in welcoming one of their newest players to their professional football team. Notre Dame football player Manti Te’o was drafted in last weekend’s NFL draft to the San Diego Chargers. The controversy surrounding the player has been well played up over the past few months where it was uncovered that he deceived the public to believe that he lost his girlfriend to cancer only to find out that he himself was being deceived the whole time.
When the hoax was made public a couple months ago, people had their fun and fill of imaginary girlfriend jokes and naive college boy pokes. Unfortunately for Manti Te’o, a new team and new career could mean new jokes, or a rehash of the old ones all over again.
On Tuesday, the San Diego Union-Tribute laid out the welcome wagon for Manti Te’o with a cartoon picture depicting the matter of his fake companion in an unfavorable light. The cartoon shows the football player walking alone on the beach with his arm slung out in the air, seemingly around an invisible girlfriend where he utters, “Honey, I think we’re going to love living in San Diego…” This, the latest of many attacks of isolation in regard’s to Te’o.
In January 2013, a sports blog Deadspin posted an article claiming that Te’o’s girlfriend, that died a day after his grandmother, did not exist. Te’o has since admitted that two months after the alleged death, the conspirator admitted to him that he had made the story and the girl up. He, nor the University of Notre Dame knew how to handle it until it all came to light from the Deadspin article.
Since then, Te’o has received an onslaught of criticism, and some support here and there. But there was no lack of social media meme’s that made its way around the internet. There were questions about his social skills, how it would affect his playing career and even questions about his sexuality. This, and poor performances in both, the National Championship game and the NFL Combine, caused his stock to drop in the draft. The Chargers general manager is obviously hoping that his worth on the field will transcend his personal life criticism.
Not for nothin’ but if the jokes are starting already from his own team, what is he going to expect from other teams and fans alike? Not only that, what should we expect when the season starts and he actually starts playing. He’s definitely not going to get a warm welcome from an opposing team. The hoax first reared after the final game of his college career. There was nothing else to talk about when came to Manti Te’o. It’s often said that winning cures all, but if Te’o excels on the will we see the end of these jokes?