Which look is worse for Te’o: Naivete or involvement?


The guys on ESPN’s Sunday NFL Countdown have engaged in an intriguing debate regarding the question of whether it will be worse for linebacker Manti Te’o at the NFL level if he was involved in the fake, dead girlfriend hoax — or if he wasn’t.

Cris Carter suggested that it could be hard for NFL players to respect Te’o, if the truth is that he had no involvement whatsoever in the hoax perpetrated on him over a period of years.  Still, most of the guys at the big desk think it’s better if the truth is that Te’o had no involvement.

Tom Jackson disagrees.

“If he’s part of the scheme, we can work on that,” Jackson said.  “I can deal with that.  But that amount of naivete, that’s hard to cure.”

“If he’s part of the scheme, he fits right into the fabric of the NFL,” Carter added.

“He ain’t seen no scheme yet,” Carter said later in the segment.  “He ain’t seen women to the liking of the National Football League.  If that got him duped, oh my goodness.”

Carter is right.  But there’s a pretty good chance that Te’o has learned a valuable lesson.

37 responses to “Which look is worse for Te’o: Naivete or involvement?

  1. Based on the info we’ve seen or heard, Te’o must be borderline Autistic. Not a good trait to have for an NFL player.

  2. “He ain’t seen no scheme yet,” Carter said later in the segment. “He ain’t seen women to the liking of the National Football League. If that got him duped, oh my goodness.”


    Cris Carter – Eloquent

  3. Going to this length to cover-up your sexuality, nobody is talking about it…typical media hiding the real story.

    Seriously? “Hiding the real story?” If he and nobody else will say anything about it, how is the media hiding the story? You’re just making unsubstantiated assumptions, and yet you’re calling out the media for “covering up” something that is totally made up.

  4. None of the above. What’s worse is when you are a football analyst and you are using fancy words like “naivete”. Who says that? Save that word for where it belongs, in a spelling bee, not for football commentating where it is not “congruent” with the fabric of the NFL culture. Who all is inclined to concur with the feasibility of this postulation? Hello? Hey football fans where’d y’all go? But for real I didn’t realize Dr. Tom Jackson was so astute. I hope he is able to develop the cure for this disease or condition.

  5. Look at the success of Cris Carter’s son. Do you think his advice or analysis of Teo means anything? “Hey Teo – want to succeed? Smoke some weed, underachieve, get kicked out of numerous college, don’t learn to read or write, and completely underachieve!”

  6. My first consideration in evaluating Te’o as a draft prospect would be how poorly he performed against Bama’s offense. Clearly he was overhyped. Otherwise, I’d prefer he were uber naive to devious. Naivete can be tempered by experience. Deviousness and an overwhelming desire to self-promote can be a cancer in a locker room. Just ask the quarterbacks who played with Terrell Owens.

  7. being involved wpould be way worse i dont what the hell they are talking about. if he is involved that shows an arrogance that i wouldnt want on my team, being naive means he is a good hearted kid and id never hold being a good person against someone shame on these fools for thinking so.

  8. What difference does it make? Geez, if he can play like a man on the field, the guys in the lockerroom are going to be okay with him. The crap that passes as news these days is just absurd, especially when the talking heads on the pre-game shows get to babbling.

  9. I still think it is better if he was just a big d-u-m-b kid than a liar – signed Lance Armstrong.

  10. Realistically, what is the likelihood that he will have any sort of NFL career based on his performances to date?

    I think his Heisman candidacy was contrived and his apparent lack of skill showed on BCS night.

    This has nothing to do with him being a nice guy, naive, nuts, whatever, but does he have the requisite skills to make it in the NFL?

  11. There’s something worse than Te’o’s naivete and involvement: ESPN serving as the public relations tool for Te’o and Notre Dame in this process. They gave both Notre Dame officials and Te’o the upper hand in this debate instead of asking them tough questions getting to the bottom of their deception.

  12. Well if Chris carter and Tom Jackson say its better to be a liar and a schemer than who am I to argue? No one has a better reputation than those two clowns !! In my opinion there’s nothing wrong with being naive. I’ve spent 30 years in the military and many times we would get young recruits who were naive, but over time they learned. I would much rather work with a young kid who is naive. I can help him a lot easier than someone who’s a liar and a schemer. A lot of these guys who have supposed street smarts also come along with some problems, like alcohol abuse, drug abuse, sexual abuse, etc. at some point all of us were naive about something. We just didnt have it exposed to the entire country on TV and the Internet. I still recall Jackson trying to play the race card when he claimed Vick was getting hit more than white QBs. What a joke

  13. Being naive isn’t really something that can be vilified unless its a false claim of naivety. You can easily vilify the intentions of intentionally leading people to believe you lost a loved one to cancer.

  14. He looks like a complete idiot either way because he has admittedly fabricated stories that never happened. He never met her after a Stanford game, never met up with her in Hawaii … I don’t care if he actually was dumb enough to be duped by this, or if he was complicit in it … either way he is a goof ball I wouldn’t want on my football team.

  15. The kid is already making big $$$ off the controversy he created. I don’t know how much ESPN had to pay him for the Schaap Slop, but now Katie Couric has beaten out Oprah ( and others) for the right to Te’o’s first on-camera interview. He’s pretty smart for being stupid…lol

  16. I prefer naive, but we should consider that naive and scheming aren’t mutually exclusive. There is also the fact that he played terribly against the big backs of Alabama which doesn’t bode well for how he’ll do when Adrian Peterson comes charing at him…

    I’ve been fooled online and I even let myself get involved. I’m not proud of it, but I admit it. I see where it can happen to someone a long way from home who may have strong religious beliefs about sex before marriage.

    That said, I don’t think these are our only two choices here and I suspect there is a lot more to this situation… not sure what it is, but there seem to be missing pieces.

  17. ESPN reported that Teo is in a relationship with another woman now. So lets stop with the gay talk. Like that is anybody’s business anyway. Stats don’t lie. He had a bad championship game. So did the rest of the Notre Dame team. Is it so hard to believe that someone could fall in love with someone they have never met? I would rather have a player who was naive, and not slapping women, into drugs and alcohol. Being questioned by police every off season like Kenny Britt.

  18. In this day and age a college student with all the means available in the teck field , Te’o was not able to contact this girl is really fishy. Yet he still after supposidly seeing this was a hoax did not tell anyone. He still gave interviews in a sad manner as his girlfriend died from cancer. Come on folks this 2013.

  19. ESPN trial balloons being launched. It’s now easier to throw Te’o to the sharks, since he left the school, as a diversion to keep eyes off the Notre Dame involvement.

  20. Everyone is leaving out the most important question here: Did Te’o interview the requisite number of minority candidates before selecting his girlfriend?

    For the real question here: Who cares? This kind of stuff happens all the time, it’s why sites like eharmony and countless other dating sites make so much money. It’s why shows like Catfish exist. Just cuz he’s a football player doesn’t mean he can’t fall in love with what he believes could be the perfect woman for him without meeting her. It’s quite common for the person on the other end to say “I can’t skype” or “I can’t afford a cell phone” so quit acting like this is a one in a billion thing here.

  21. If he’s that naive, he’s too stupid to be in the NFL (which is really saying something, given the low mentality of many players, coaches, and owners).

    If he’s that involved, he’s too devious to be trusted in the NFL (which is really something, given the Byzantine nature of the typical NFL organization).

    But not to worry, Te’uh-oh and Notre Dame fans. There will be some GM/owner/coach/whatever even more stupid, who will draft him, overpay him, and keep him around despite an obvious lack of NFL-caliber talent or brains. It goes with the golden helmet–hype, hoopla, cash, and lack of performance.

  22. What if, an NFL TEAM set this up in order for them to acquire Te’o … Of course Te’o’s agreement to do set this whole thing up on purpose so that he can fall in the hands of that NFL team..?

  23. What if, an NFL TEAM set this up in order for them to acquire Te’o … Of course Te’o’s agreement to do set this whole thing up on purpose so that he can fall in the hands of that NFL team..?

  24. What if, an NFL TEAM set this up in order for them to acquire Te’o … Of course Te’o’s agreement to do set this whole thing up on purpose so that he can fall in the hands of that NFL team..?

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