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Te’o: “I’m focusing on football and the combine”

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Having had his personal life dragged through the national talk show circuit and turned into a punch line by every two-bit comedian, Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o didn’t want to rehash it Saturday.

After an appearance in the media room that was delayed by two hours, Te’o tried to put the whole fake dead girlfriend thing behind him.

“The incident, I said all I need to say about that,” he said, after joking about the number of cameras that ringed his podium. “I’m focusing on football and the combine.”

Good luck with that.

He said of all the teams he’s interviewed with, none have failed to ask about the catfishing incident.

“They want to hear from me what the truth was,” he said. “They haven’t said anything about it affecting me.”

He said the questions usually take up 30 seconds, then “the next 14 minutes plays and getting down to business.”

He’s trying to keep the topic at arm’s length as best he can, but this this isn’t five minutes old and it’s already less than comfortable. He’s handling it as well as possible, but he’s obviously been coached up by a crisis-management team.

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52 Responses to “Te’o: “I’m focusing on football and the combine””
  1. benroethlisberger7 says: Feb 23, 2013 2:22 PM


  2. polapea says: Feb 23, 2013 2:24 PM

    I think him pretending to show up in BCS Championship game is a bigger red flag than the fake gf.

    Guy was eaten up all day by Bama’s o-line. Have to be able to get off blocks to be an effective LB.

  3. vincentvega513 says: Feb 23, 2013 2:25 PM

    He’ll love that October gear.

  4. green41563 says: Feb 23, 2013 2:28 PM

    “With the 12th pick in the 2013 NFL draft, the Miami Catfish select . . . .”

  5. vinceofdarkness says: Feb 23, 2013 2:29 PM

    I heard he’s gonna be the number one pick overall…in the FANTASY draft.

  6. stoney18 says: Feb 23, 2013 2:37 PM

    Dear Members of the Fourth Estate:

    Enough already! This isn’t news. The news will be does some team believe that he can play at an NFL level. Please report that from a reliable source who is authorized to make the news known. (That would be news in itself!)

    Like the topic says, …. “focus(ing) on football and the combine..” Please do!

    Thank you.

  7. mhs8031 says: Feb 23, 2013 2:37 PM

    I think the LOL is for the people who think this issue is something they are qualfied to criticize. Give the breaks to the kids who have multiple failed drug tests, but let’s harrass the hell out of a kid who got caught up in a prank. Sorry if putting him down makes people feel better about themselves. Losers.

  8. manilovethepftcensors says: Feb 23, 2013 2:37 PM

    Did “every two-bit comedian” really do that? Does that mean he or she is worth 25 cents? Did any one or three-bit comedians do it?

  9. osiris33 says: Feb 23, 2013 2:41 PM

    Dude, just admit you’re gay and you made up the fake girlfriend to cover it up. It will go easier for you that way.

  10. ncs115 says: Feb 23, 2013 2:42 PM

    This guy is either gay or crazy in the head. Either way, it has been proven that he is a liar. With the combination of that and the national championship game performance, how can a team draft him with a first round pick?

  11. calhounlambeau says: Feb 23, 2013 2:42 PM

    Anyone who thinks Teo got caught up in some prank needs their head examined.

  12. abninf says: Feb 23, 2013 2:48 PM

    San Francisco would be the best fit for him. He would be accepted there.

  13. stratus5ss says: Feb 23, 2013 2:54 PM

    News Flash: Te’o is not the only player that struggled against Alabama.

  14. Obama's Ballsack says: Feb 23, 2013 2:54 PM

    Is this the guy who was having phone sex with a dude?

  15. sdemp says: Feb 23, 2013 2:58 PM

    Gotta be one, to know one.

  16. haken87 says: Feb 23, 2013 3:00 PM

    Te’o actually looks like a catfish.

  17. kiopta1 says: Feb 23, 2013 3:08 PM

    Wow most of you are pretty pathetic…and considering how most seem to be responding to this presser, this article is pretty weak as well.

  18. mikebrownfaux says: Feb 23, 2013 3:08 PM

    Its amazing how a girl can wreck ones career… Wait.. What?

  19. hatesycophants says: Feb 23, 2013 3:19 PM

    You folks still defending this genetic flaw are a comedic goldmine. Thank you!

  20. logicalvoicesays says: Feb 23, 2013 3:19 PM

    We don’t this loser in DC. He’s perfect for the Cowboys or Eagles though. Those fans can be tricked into anything.

  21. j0esixpack says: Feb 23, 2013 3:24 PM

    I like a good laugh as much as the next guy, but I think this is a non issue with every GM.

    He’s actually dealt with this onslaught of media obsession quite well in my opinion

  22. stratus5ss says: Feb 23, 2013 3:24 PM

    What are you going to say when he gets drafted by your favorite team? All the NFL people know he is the best inside linebacker in the upcoming draft. This guy will have a great career. Yeah, he made mistakes in his personal life. So what? He’s not running for president. He is a football player. He wasn’t convicted of any crimes.

    He lied? Really? Get over it.

    Gay cover? What does that even mean? Whatever.

    Wake up and smell what you have been shoveling.

  23. wte1 says: Feb 23, 2013 3:27 PM

    That would be funny if a fake G.M. called him on Draft Day…….

    Ring Ring. “Manti. ARRRRRGH! This is Bill Belichick!”

  24. donmega72 says: Feb 23, 2013 3:28 PM

    Is that Lennay standing behind Te’o in the picture above?

  25. etoharin78 says: Feb 23, 2013 3:29 PM

    I’m predicting his career will resemble Rey Maualuga V2.0, given his ineffectiveness in the Alabama game.

  26. lilrob10201 says: Feb 23, 2013 3:33 PM

    Why do people really care that he faked his girlfriend ?I don’t see why people are making such a big deal of it.

  27. baymac408 says: Feb 23, 2013 3:36 PM

    I thought he interviewed as well as he could.. Aside from all this crap.. That is really nobodies business, he is pretty good.. I think he will be a solid pro.. Besides bcs game he played good all season and led his team. This is about football not catfishing

  28. nickp91 says: Feb 23, 2013 3:38 PM

    Manti Te’o had the largest press conference of the scouting combine

  29. mazblast says: Feb 23, 2013 3:39 PM

    Maualuga is known for his fondness for underage girls. That appears to not be a problem for Te’o.

    I’ve been thinking about this subject a bit, and it’s not the “I was deceived” routine that gets me, although it points to having really poor judgment at best. It’s the way he and the school used this unverified death of an unverified girlfriend to gain sympathy and award support. It was crass manipulation. Rather than rise or fall on his football prowess, everyone felt compelled to fall in line with The Narrative–and no one bothered to see if there was a lick of truth to it.

    I want no part of this guy. He got steamrollered by Alabama’s line and backs. Not just beaten, hammered into the turf. He’s a known liar. He played for a school (one of many, but certainly one of the most renowned) known for its shameless promotion of ordinary players.

    If my team takes him, shame on them. I may have to reconsider 50 years of rooting for them if they exercise that kind of bad judgment.

  30. siggtacular says: Feb 23, 2013 3:40 PM

    Who cares about his personal life, ill take him as a football player.

  31. cfbfan2013 says: Feb 23, 2013 3:45 PM

    Yes Donmega72. I see Lennay in the photo as well. LOL.

    Seriously, he’s naive and messed up in the head but his play bothers me more.

    How could anyone say he is the best LB in the draft? Rumor around NFL circles is that the guy was a late 1st or early 2nd round pick even before this. Te’o didn’t look average against Bama, he looked awful. I think that game hurts his stock more than anything.

    It’s time someone finally said it. Notre Dame did not deserve to play Bama. UGA, LSU, Florida, Clemson, South Carolina, Texas A&M, Oregon, and Kansas State were all just as worthy or better. I would have rated ND #9 or #10, at best. I said before the game it would be 17 points at the closest and many of my friends even agreed. Nobody who knows football believes ND was the 2nd best team in the nation or that Te’o is even the best LB. There are 3-4 LBs in the SEC who were better this year than him.

  32. oakfosho says: Feb 23, 2013 3:46 PM

    This boy is a STRANGE feller.

  33. raiderapologist says: Feb 23, 2013 3:49 PM

    benroethlisberger7 says: Feb 23, 2013 2:22 PM

    Brilliant commentary once again. Thank you for taking the time to post it.

  34. outtherebad says: Feb 23, 2013 3:49 PM

    What if he’s imagining the nfl, and we are all just figments? Anyways, who cares. Can he run, tackle, hit, and lead? People love worrying about the most insignificant and trivial of things

  35. sb50 says: Feb 23, 2013 3:53 PM

    I watched the whole interview. I thought he presented himself well and tried to keep it as brief as possible while trying to talk about the combine and football the most. However, I remember on NFL network someone saying that there are way more people that have bigger issues than Te’o does in this draft such as criminal records and drug problems. Which is true. Alec Olgetree just got into a DUI, Tyrann Mathieu has a drug problem, Da’Rick Rogers also has had a problem with drugs, and probably a lot more. Te’o just needs to forget about it, laugh it off, and play good football.

  36. coltzfan166 says: Feb 23, 2013 4:00 PM

    “……And I’m focused on finding a real girlfriend.”

  37. rcali says: Feb 23, 2013 4:01 PM

    I’m surprised Katie Couric wasn’t there for an exclusive combine interview.

  38. Deb says: Feb 23, 2013 4:15 PM

    He handled himself well in the press conference. Credit him for refusing to use his personal drama as an excuse for his poor performance in the championship game. After the facts came to light, it seemed he probably was the victim of a hoax. Now he has to go forward and focus on football. From that perspective, I think he was overrated during the season–largely because he played for a re-emerging Notre Dame team and was caught up in the Irish hype. He’s a good player–just not the great player the sports press proclaimed him to be. But he’ll get an opportunity in the pros, and we’ll see what he does with it.

  39. bobleblah says: Feb 23, 2013 4:20 PM

    I wonder if he played poorly against Alabama because he was distracted by an impending scandal. No way this kid makes it past New England in the first round.

  40. youcantmakemepickausername says: Feb 23, 2013 4:29 PM

    It’s time someone finally said it. Notre Dame did not deserve to play Bama.

    Holy narcissism Batman!!! Do you honestly think that you, today, are the first person that has said that?!?!

  41. shieldsisland37 says: Feb 23, 2013 4:33 PM

    “doesnt that make you gay”
    “well when you put it like that”
    “wait, im confused.”

  42. ubpinaz says: Feb 23, 2013 4:45 PM

    Someone should’ve asked him what “faaaaaar from” gay means.

  43. imaduffer says: Feb 23, 2013 4:45 PM

    Notre Dame was over hyped all year and so was Te’o. 3rd round if he’s lucky.

  44. nofunleague says: Feb 23, 2013 5:32 PM

    This just in Tim Tebow and Te’O have just announced their engagement. Tim will become Mrs. Tim Tebow Te’o. They will both play for the Jets and share the same closet.

  45. sixjak says: Feb 23, 2013 6:38 PM

    He handled a pretty embarrassing situation poorly and foolishly. Stupid him for not fully understanding how national enquirer out press is. And pathetically THEY exist because of the hoards of morons who need train wrecks to point and laugh at to distract themselves from the Loserville they slum in..

  46. WatchThis says: Feb 23, 2013 6:44 PM

    I bet the media is not embarrassed about piling on to imply Te’o knew about his fake girlfriend and that it had something to do with the success of their season. They’re not.

  47. granadafan says: Feb 23, 2013 6:53 PM

    Anyone who fell for Teo’s and his handlers’ lies have been catfished themselves. Like Teo they’re not very smart and/or very naive.

  48. joeytorontosucks says: Feb 23, 2013 8:50 PM

    I see a New York Jets 2-3 rounder spent on this guy. Match made in heaven; Manti gets his attention he covets and Jets get another headliner.

  49. bamboozle99 says: Feb 23, 2013 9:21 PM

    I still want to know why ND and Manti himself pretended this girlfriend to be real even after it became clear this was a hoax?

  50. pappyjoe69 says: Feb 23, 2013 11:46 PM

    Keep your head high, Te’o…you’re above this…good luck to you in your pro career, brother! Make ’em eat crow.

  51. brassknuckles47 says: Feb 24, 2013 12:09 AM

    Manti…..focus on learning how to tackle. ie: eveyone in the Alabama game.

  52. fahmundamahbalsaq says: Feb 26, 2013 4:32 AM

    “I’m focused on the Combine.” but NOW I’m stressed and ran 4.8. He needs a hug, and not a fake one.

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