Manti Te’o a new San Diego Charger
With the 2013 NFL draft this past weekend San Diegans are anxious to see how all our new Chargers will perform on the field. Only time will tell how these 7 picks will work with the San Diego Chargers team, although many have high hopes for the round 1 pick offensive tackle, D.J. Fluker. But the real buzz is surrounding the Chargers second round pick (38th overall), Manti Te’o.
Although his stats brought him attention from scouters and many NFL teams, the story that really attracted media attention was his girlfriend hoax in the fall of 2012. Who could forget an inspiring story of the football player whose girlfriend died of leukemia? Te’o spoke of his girlfriend, Lennay Kekua, during interviews, claiming that he played for her and that she was his inspiration. The nation was touched by this display until, in January 2013, it was revealed that an acquaintance of Te’o had created Kekua. The nation exploded with gossip about the fake girlfriend and how she was used to begin an online relationship with Te’o. The combination of this scandal and his poor performance in both the national championships as well as the NFL Scouting Combine really set the player back a few steps.
But how does San Diego feel about the new Hawaiian linebacker? This pick was overall widely praised as a smart selection and an asset, but we will need to wait until at least preseason before we can judge his talents as a Charger. For now though, it seems old jokes won’t die easily! San Diego Union-Tribune’s cartoonist, Steve Breen, tweeted this cartoon about Manti Te’o on Monday.
It seems that the jabs about his phantom girlfriend have not quite ended yet! Te’o has said to chargers.com, “it’s definitely made me stronger. Dealing with adversity, it can hurt you or make you stronger, and it definitely made me stronger. That’s how I feel right now.” Dealing with the jabs and bad jokes may be something Te’o will deal with for a while. At least until his performance on the field outshines this story!