Antonio Smith: Texans’ locker room would laugh at Manti Te’o

AP

Rookie hazing is commonplace in the NFL, but former Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o may need to be prepared for a little more than usual.

That’s the word from Texans defensive end Antonio Smith, who said on Pro Football Talk on NBC Sports Network that if Te’o gets drafted by the Texans, his treatment in Houston will be brutal.

“Our locker room is full of clowns and, oh, man people would kill him. I mean he would be the butt of every joke for at least two, three years,” Smith said.

Te’o has been the butt of a lot of jokes since the news broke that his supposed girlfriend was imaginary, but once he becomes a player on an NFL team, isn’t he entitled to be treated with respect by his teammates?

Maybe, but Smith says the reality of life in a locker room is that Te’o will need to show he can laugh it off when people make jokes about him.

“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.

Fair or not, if Te’o wants to get along in an NFL locker room, he may have to suck it up and laugh with the teammates who are laughing at him.

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97 responses to “Antonio Smith: Texans’ locker room would laugh at Manti Te’o

  1. He’s exactly right. I worked with 99% men at my former job and they love to razz each other and have 0 sensitivity. I liked that environment, but not everyone does. And the ones who got mad when they got razzed got razzed even more. So yeah Te’o is gonna have to suck it up and laugh. If he becomes excellent at his job, the face to face razzing will decrease (but they will still make fun of him , just not in his earshot).

  2. In a related item, NFL fans everywhere laugh at the Texans when they have to take on an elite QB.

  3. This world has really grown to treat everyone like a bunch of pansies. These guys are pro football players, a linebacker nonetheless. Some of the toughest guys in the world, and apparently they cant take being asked if they like girls? Or being made fun of for things that, quite frankly, they deserve to be made fun of for? Give me a break.

  4. I think Antonio Smith is right. Most locker rooms respect their players, but you need to laugh off jokes when they are pointed at you. Even if Te’o doesn’t think the jokes are funny, just laugh it off and play good football. That’s the only way he is gonna get any sort of respect in this league.

  5. It’s gonna be rough for Te’o for sure. However, if Te’o works hard and produces his teammates will start to respect him.

    Ultimately winning is all that matters.

  6. I understand and agree with where Smith is coming from, but I have my doubts whether Te’o has the toughness of character he will need to deal with his own guys laughing at him, much less the crap he’s gonna get from opponents.

    And locker room hijinks aside, will his own team have his back against taunts from outsiders?

  7. The funniest part is that Matt Shaub is a LOSER and the Texans lay a big fat egg in the playoffs every year.

    Now that’s REALLY funny.

  8. Applying the term “hazing” to this is kind of silly. In fact, what Antonio Smith is saying runs counter to the idea that Te’o is going to be rejected in an NFL locker room. As long as he can handle a little good-natured ribbing–i.e. if he can “be a good sport” and “laugh with” the “locker room full of clowns” he’ll fit right in and be accepted. No reason to spin this as something terrible and negative.

  9. Survival 101 is not taking yourself too seriously or taking most things too personally.

    Smith is correct. He is basically saying Teo will survive if he adheres to the above…

  10. That’s all this guy wants. Get on a team and play hard. Whatever locker room he goes to will razz him but also defend him from outsiders once they realize how much he puts into the game.

  11. I am sure that Brian Cushing could come up with some way for Te’o to toughen up a little and improve his 40 time in the bargain.

  12. “Our locker room is full of clowns” Yeah, I wonder who was cracking the jokes on 1/13/2013? Id say New England was.

  13. Huh, that’s interesting, because after the double beat downs by the Patriots last year, there was plenty of laughing at the Texans.

  14. That’s not just Te’o that is every blue collar guy. The guys you work with tease you and you take it. Then they buy you a beer and you are one of them and then you all tease the next guy.

  15. I thought the NFL was supposed to be anti bullying? Maybe they should practice what they preach? And oh yeah, the Texans are not good. Go Hawks!

  16. If someone makes a joke on Te’o he should have a “jerk store” comeback. Shuts them up. Every time.

  17. Ok, I know it’s the off season but giving this juvenile behavior airtime is just inviting others to pile on.

    At what point do we recognize this as cruel and call it for what it is: bullying.

  18. If I was Manti I would just fire back and say hey Antonio, you are the one that couldn’t resist saying the word “butt” within like 2 seconds of saying my name. Are you trying to tell me I have a secret admirer and he’s you. Burn!

    LOL make all your lame jokes that you want guys, but it’s not funny unless your material is good, so come get me when you come up with a good one and I’ll be over here with the grown mature men whose sexuality I don’t have to question. 😉

  19. And to think that Teo could probably save himself from some hazing if he DID come out of the closet. NFL players might be less likely to outwardly haze a gay player because how it would look if he was caught…just a theory.

  20. Antonio, your middle name is a woman’s name. DeShonta!

    Lady’s and gentlemen will you give a big hand and welcome to the stage….DeShonta.”

    It sounds like a stripper that dances at a club that has a cheap buffet and all the women have bullet wounds in their azz.

  21. For an old dude who’s play has declined and was MIA in numerous games this year – he should be smarter and learn to shut his trap and worry about getting better. The Texans are perrenial “contenders” who choke because of their pathetic defense and and lack of leadership….maybe its time to do less clowning and get more players.

  22. The fans of opponents will be brutal to Te’o. I’m sure there are some great signs already being made. Jerry Glanville would leave tickets for Elvis and Manti’s girlfriend.

  23. The team best suited to handle the negative publicity a MLB can draw is the Ravens.

    And for almost 2 decades, the way they tenderize opposing offenses has been no laughing matter.

  24. Id love to know how Smith would react to “I’d rather have a fake girdfriend than do your momma”

  25. At this point how much “wrong kind of attention” ends up making teams want to avoid a player at all costs simply due to that alone.

    For Te’o we are probably there. I am guessing 2nd round for sure.

  26. smartest thing Te’O can do is show up on day 1 with a white sheet thrown over a mannequin strapped to his back and say, “you’ve had 4 months to come up with something good, let’s hear what you got!”

  27. Not a Te’o fan at all (I wasnt even before this all went down). To me, he reminds me alot of Paul Poszluzny in that he has a stellar college record, but his intangibles are so-so.Even if he runs a 4.6 at his pro day Im not interested…. That being said, if he comes into the league and plays well, this will be forgotten, or at least, forgiven, sooner than later.

  28. Anybody who has ever played football at ANY level knows this to be the case. Hell, even high school locker rooms are brutal, haha. This guy may have the tools to be a good ball player but may be broken down mentally before he even steps on a pro field.

  29. Smith is a moron.

    So suppose your team spends a first round pick on this kid…you know he’s already coming into the league with this dark cloud hanging over him. You should do whatever is in your team’s best interest…whatever you can to help this kid succeed.

    Clearly, this situation has shaken his confidence. Which any man, or any athlete, knows puts you at a disadvantage. So making fun of the kid for “two or three years” is not in his best interest and it’s not in the team’s best interest.

    What you should be doing is reassuring him that he’s a Texan now and that’s all that matters…that what he does on the practice field and on the game field is all that matters…not building up the walls in front of him higher than they already are.

  30. Antonio Smith thinks he is a ninja. He claims he trained at the Temple of Shaolin.

    Wu Tang used this gimmick in the 90’s and Antonio is not giving it up without a fight.

  31. I don’t see Te’o making it unless he ends up on some veteran team where the egos take a backseat to winning.

    It’s not just him being treated like punchline but there are plenty of guys who’ll resent all the attention he’s gotten, will question his playing ability, and want to prove they’re way tougher and better than him. And he just keeps pouring fuel on the fire with comments like how he was running a 4.5 before the combine pressure got to him. He’s going to get zero respect initially in any locker room he winds up in.

  32. Best thing he could do would be to show up for the first time with one of those “Invisible” dog leashes. He can then tell everyone he got the dog in their breakup.

  33. Dang.

    I was really hoping the Texans would draft Te’O and then cut him in 3 years, so the Ravens could pick him up and have him be the key piece to our 2016 Superbowl Run!

    hahah Texans.

  34. Teo needs to own this thing. He should show up Day 1 to camp wearing a T-shirt that says “gone but never forgotten” with a picture of the fake girl on it. Embrace the ridicule. Go on Twitter and ask if there are any ladies out there, real or imaginary, that would like to start something up.

    That or he can try to shrug it off and laugh it off. But man people are going to come after him.

    He also needs to go out and lay some big and borderline unsportsmanlike hits on the field. He has to go Suh style out there. Give people a different reason to hate him.

  35. It’s not MORE than usual. Guys get teased about dumb stuff in their past all the time. This is a non-story.

  36. 2 or 3 years lol????? Wow this guy who is obsessed with it will get laughed at more now. After Teo makes his first big tackle during the season it will be a dead issue.

  37. Funny is funny. David Cross, Louis CK are funny. Most NFL players are not funny they just talk ish in guise of being “funny”. If I were Manti and someone made a joke that actually made me laugh I’d go with it all day long but if it was just a meathead being stupid I’d step up. If you just let people bag on you all day long when it’s obvious the joke was tired months ago then they’ll never respect you.

  38. “2 or 3 years lol????? Wow this guy who is obsessed with it will get laughed at more now. After Teo makes his first big tackle during the season it will be a dead issue.”
    Razzing will stop after a couple of years. Te’o will be back home by then.

  39. People are attacking this kids character now? Wow.

    I don’t think it is shocking at all that he will be the brunt of many jokes in the locker room but this guy showed his character season playing how he did. He had one bad game against the best team in the country when he didn’t get much help.

    I hope he tears it up so all you haters can go back to talking about someone else. I think his numbers in 4 years at ND speak for themselves.

    Oh and I hope he doesn’t go to the texans. Must be tough being the “other” team in Texas even when the cowgirls are down.

  40. wildbillsrodeo says: Mar 5, 2013 3:21 PM

    Texans seem to be too busy clowning around than winning legitimate football games
    ————————————
    Yeah, 12-4 and a playoff win aren’t legitimate at all…troll…

  41. Classic bullying. Not only are we going to do it, but you’re going to have to like it.

  42. htown1035 says:

    Yeah, 12-4 and a playoff win aren’t legitimate at all…troll…
    ————————————————-

    You read it wrong……he said winning legitimate football games….. the texans cant even show up against a good team. Crybaby.

  43. sup with all the schaub haters? he was statistically a top 10 qb last year. #doesnotcompute

  44. frankdatank23 says: Mar 5, 2013 4:35 PM

    You read it wrong……he said winning legitimate football games….. the texans cant even show up against a good team. Crybaby.

    ————————————–
    Beating the Super Bowl champs by 30 – nuff said, crybaby…

  45. From a psycological point of view, if I were Te O i would want to get drafted by the Texans. After going through this crap; sounds like the Texans locker room would be a place of healing… laughing is the best medicine.

  46. It’s so stupid. Somebody who can help the team and the “upperclassmen” are going to make life hard on them.

    If I were an owner I’d clean this dumbness out of my organization in one week.

  47. rc33 says:
    Mar 5, 2013 11:39 AM
    “In a related item, NFL fans everywhere laugh at the Texans when they have to take on an elite QB.”
    ——————————————-
    that wasn’t joyful ribbing at all … just venom.

  48. If that’s the best joke those NFL players can come up with about Te’o, then they are short on imagination and creativity.

  49. Antonio said T’eo would be his “butt” of jokes. Bet he would be. Antonio liking some T’eo butt.

  50. How can anyone in the Texans locker room laugh at anyone. The real laugh would be your ga
    me tape in both games against the Patriots!
    Maybe a little less laughing at everyone else and a lot more preparation would be a little better for a team that has been a dismal failure in postseason play.
    Leave the laughing for the Ravens,Giants,Packers,Saints and Patriots….WINNERS!

  51. tsizzlesucks says: Mar 8, 2013 1:00 PM

    How can anyone in the Texans locker room laugh at anyone. The real laugh would be your ga
    me tape in both games against the Patriots!
    Maybe a little less laughing at everyone else and a lot more preparation would be a little better for a team that has been a dismal failure in postseason play.
    Leave the laughing for the Ravens,Giants,Packers,Saints and Patriots….WINNERS
    ————————————————
    You’re either a bitter Ravens fan or a Titans fan with those comments.

    Dismal failure in postseason play? They’re 2-2 in the postseason – not exactly a dismal failure.

    They were 12-4 and beat the Ravens, the Super Bowl champs, by 30. They were one of the best teams in the AFC at the beginning, and finished as one of the best teams in the AFC at the end.

    Those are just troll comments, nothing more.

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