If Manti Te’o intends to enjoy a successful NFL career, he is going to have to carry with him some pretty thick skin. No matter what the former Notre Dame linebacker says or does, he is never going to escape the embarrassment of the fake girlfriend hoax he supposedly fell victim to.
Houston Texans defensive end Antonio Smith reminded us of that this week. According to Smith, Te’o had better be prepared for some serious heckling in the event that he gets drafted by the Texans.
“Our locker room is full of clowns and, oh, man people would kill him,” Smith told NBC Sports Network’s Pro Football Talk. “I mean he would be the butt of every joke for at least two, three years.”
By that time, Te’o should be more than used to being ragged on. If Te’o's NFL teammates keep quiet about the hoax, there is always going to be an elephant in the room. Once he begins his professional career, the best thing Te’o can do is just accept the verbal beating and laugh it off.
“You just got to be a good sport, man, it is what it is and you know it is out now, it’s out in the papers and on TV, so all you can do now, you can’t worry about it, you can’t change it, all you can do now is laugh — laugh with us while we’re laughing at you,” Smith said.
Terrell Suggs recently said the Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens would welcome Te’o into their locker room, but that doesn’t mean they wouldn’t give him a hard time. Te’o has already heard it from airline companies and hotel chains, so what’s a little more ribbing? Lord knows he already has enough to worry about with that disappointing display he put on in the 40-yard dash.