Chargers shielding Te’o from media


While it’s unclear whether it’s happening at the behest of the team or the player, Chargers rookie linebacker Manti Te’o has escaped, to date, the reach of the media assembled at the team’s offseason workouts.

Yes, the guy who sat with Jeremy Schaap and Katie Couric in the immediate aftermath of the fake-dead-girlfriend-who-turned-out-to-be-a-dude scandal in January has been ducking the media, now that he’s in the NFL and the Lennay Kukua debacle has faded considerably from view.

Matt Calkins of U-T San Diego addresses the situation, arguing that Te’o should deal with the media sooner rather than later.  And Calkins is right.  The interactions can be delayed, but they can’t be prevented. 

Te’o has been made available to the press once, after the team’s initial rookie minicamp workout earlier this month.  Since then, reporters have had no access to Te’o.

Talking to the media goes with the territory.  The league wants teams and players to cooperate with the media because media coverage creates the best kind of marketing — organic and free.  And the money Manti will make under his rookie deal comes in large part from the machine into which the media helps shovel coal.

If Te’o has gotten to the point where he can show up at the party commemorating a list of the world’s 100 hottest women that includes Kukua, Te’o can handle the media.

Even if he can’t, he’ll have to.  Like it or not, it’s part of the price of playing pro football.

59 responses to “Chargers shielding Te’o from media

  1. Makes sense. Was cute at first leading up to the draft but ultimately no team wants that kind of media circus. Cut all contact now and eventually his play, or lack thereof, will be the thing that really matters.

  2. Memo to Manti–

    Guess what? Life in the NFL isn’t as protected and stage-managed as life under the Golden Dome. You should learn from the “preview” you got in the National Championship Game, that it’s not a carefully scripted soap opera now. You’re going to have to produce, and thanks to the fraud you helped perpetrate in your/your school’s desire to win a Heisman Trophy, you’re going to have to answer the questions.

    Memo to the Chargers–

    He’s supposed to be a big boy. Take off the swaddling clothes, get the media onslaught over with, and maybe you and he can concentrate on football. Keep shielding him and they’re not going to go away.

  3. Umm, like it or not, NFL players are not obligated to talk to the press at all. I’m not a Te’o supporter(he’s not the brightest), but you all started this and now he’s not playing your game, like it or not.

  4. Hes going to have to face the monster sooner or later. Better now than when the real games start.

  5. Good. Enough’s enough already. So the guy’s a little weird. Maybe a lot weird. Who cares? He didn’t kill anyone, and everyone deserves a chance to live something down—except in America, where the media bombards you with old transgressions until you go over the edge.

    What do you want the guy to do? Kill himself? Move on.

  6. It appears you media types feel some sort of entitlement. That being said, this kid is one weird dude and I’m glad he’s not on my team.

  7. I’d rather a player have an imaginary girlfriend than one who is known for their imaginary endeavors (Like Paris Hilton or any of the Kardassians).

    The draft is over. It’s not an issue anymore.

  8. Oh boy.

    How terrible it must be to be a media member covering the Chargers, and you’re not able to dredge up more questions about a stupid and irrelevant dead-girlfriend issue. Oh the horror, that he hasn’t been available to answer more idiotic questions.

    Yeah, dealing w/media goes with being in the NFL. But it’d be nice to think that the media wants access to him for something other than some past controversy.

    It’d be nice to think that. But not realistic.

  9. He’s can’t talk to the media because he is using his spare time to search for the real killers…

    Seriously though, I can’t wait for the season to start so we can see him play; if he plays well, that will make most of this go away…

  10. As it should be. He has a lot to learn in his rookie year and shouldn’t be distracted. He still has to prove his worth to the team and the media is a very self centered organization. We all know the media doesn’t care about Te’o, they only care about a story.

  11. Calkins should put some pads on and earn the right to interview Te’o, all media should have to

  12. Only interested in football related information regarding him everyhting else is overexposure. So media go find a real story.

  13. He should give one interview to a local paper just to get it out of the way and then go on with his career. The less he seems to hide or otherwise make a big deal about the fake girlfriend thing, the more people will just focus on his playing.

  14. The Chargers have gotten more media attention in the last month than in the twelve years I’ve been a fan. It’s great when you live in Florida.
    I didn’t know players were required to speak to the media. Good for Coach McCoy for making a decision that is good for the team and sticking to it. Whenever the media starts to spread its tentacles all over something or somebody, that entity usually takes a turn for the worst (i.e Tim Tebow)

  15. So you and your ilk (gossip-mongering, pseudo journalists) feel entitled to continue badgering and harassing this kid and the Chargers aren’t allowing it. Huh. Great story.

  16. That UT article was crap and so is this one. Just more media crybaby stuff. Wah…. Wah… Wah…. He won’t talk to me. Wah….. Its not fair. For crying out loud, go find a pacifier and leave the dude alone.

  17. I love how pompous, arrogant, and sensitive the media can act at times. He doesnt owe you a damn thing. If he’s not obligated by nlfpa or the NFL, why is this a story?

  18. I don’t even care to hear anymore about this guy’s imaginary girlfriend situation. At this point let’s find out if he can ball at this level and move on

  19. San Diego has some of the worst sports writers in the country. It was a stupid, whiny article. on one hand the writer admits the “girlfriend” story is tired, but yet he wants to keep it alive by digging at it. San Diego is a beautiful city but only their pro sports teams keep them in the national spotlight. They want to milk this story to death.

  20. glad to see you deleted my comment…. So here I go again. Why should he be made available? So you guys can beat a dead horse day in and day? It’s one thing to ask football related questions but all the media is going to ask about is the same stuff that he has already answered. And trust me, I don’t even care about Manti Te’o but seriously, the invisible girlfriend beatdown is kind of tiring.

  21. Leave the kid alone, just let him play football. What else is there to ask him that hasn’t already been asked and answered?

  22. Why? What new questions do you have to ask him? Maybe you, the media, will suddenly gain some new insight to OTA’s?

    The worst part about football is the low part of the season and how the media is desperate for page hits. Sorry, “news”.

  23. I cant say I blame the Chargers or Teo.

    The media has a job to do and that is report and I mean REPORT. I am so tired of hearing, on an objective sports event “I think”….Is it a strike or ball? No, “I think” should, for the most part, accompany this type of call. And, I am sure there are other simple examples in other sports. Everyone just believes folks want to hear their ‘two cents’. Ugh…..

    With regard to Teo, look at Tebow ( and mind you, I am a Jets fan). That kid’s career has been ruined by the media. Time and time again, all I hear from GM’s being interviewed on sports radio is how they “want nothing to do with the media circus surrounding Tebow. He is a decent backup but the media circus is not worth it.”

    I would be willing to take a few less major media outlets and nonsense (even less internet access if need be) in order to get more objective and not just sports reporting, but overall reporting in general. Nowadays, the media wants to sensationalize and opinionate every little headline/story just to have a reader on the web to point and click.

    As with other peoples’ post stipulating the same, this will go on deaf ears, but seriously, if I was an athlete, and a good one at that, I would want as little to do with the media as possible. There are just so few good reporters anymore.

  24. Why shouldnt he hide from the media? When a second round pick who was labled as a reach by the media becomes unavailable it makes me laugh. Well played sir….well played.

  25. Talking with the media shouldn’t come with the territory. No-one should have to put up with the BS, taking things out of context and generally the media being a tool. OR all the tough guys in the media go into a private room and ask your questions to the player. If there’s a problem there’s a problem. The media is full of phony issues . They make the WWE refs blush.

  26. I wish the off-season nonsense like this post would go away!
    The only thing that matters is what the player does on the field, so please shut up.

  27. Sour grapes by the media. And the “should” part about him having to talk about it more it is media OPINION.

    He said all he had to say about it. Media is just trying to keep it going to sell advertising.

    The White House controls the liberal media way tighter than this and you all love them.

  28. Here is the kicker!! No on gives a hoot about the chargers, the franchise is a joke, the only time those losers sell out a game is if the Broncos or The raiders come to town.

    He got exposed In the BCS Championship game.He’s kinda of a weirdo. Could he be the first gay athlete in the NFL?

    Yes I know my team (broncos) choked! Some Jack ass will remind me, I already know.

    Good luck to all three charger fans.

  29. The Chargers never should have drafted him in the first place. The Chargers needed to draft a LT to help protect that statue with cement shoes that they have as a quarterback.

    Not that it matters, because I think Rivers is done as a QB. I have watched him through his entire career, and I have never seen a QB regress so quickly. His mechanics seem to get worse year after year. I am surprised he hasn’t damaged his throwing shoulder/arm already due to his awkward throwing style and horrible footwork.

  30. I just think this guy is soft and weak, something is a little strange about him, he might just be a bust

  31. Who’s gonna protect him from the jokesters in the locker room? Lol. I think its cool to protect your investment right now, he’s young, if you can err on the side of caution do so, we’ve seen media meltdowns before, no need to risk it.

  32. San Diego is a great location for a young gay man to come out. Its unfortunate that he and Notre dame perpetrated this absurd lie which caused this silly media frenzy.

  33. As someone else questioned, is it only Teo, or are the Chargers keeping the rest of the rookies from the press? If the latter, this is a non-issue that Florio is trying to make an issue.

    If it is only Teo, then I am guessing this is on the part of the Chargers. Reports are that Teo was at the Maxim Hot 100 party, so I don’t think he is hiding out himself.

    Either way, who really cares anymore? He was either duped because he is gullible or lied to look like he had a girlfriend to the guys. Regardless, it only matters if he can play football at this point.

  34. It’s a story because he nearly lied his way to a sympathetic Heisman trophy. Stop blaming the media idiot charger/nd fans. He knew it was a lie and kept perpetuating the story you blind fools

  35. Florio’s just one monkey, arguing for the “rights” of other monkeys to rip into T’eo like a cookie.

    Sorry, Mike. I’m rooting for the cookie here. Back into your cages.

  36. I get answering questions with the media but who wants to answer the same question 10 times each interview, like find something else to report about on this guy that REAL football fans want to hear about. I dont care about his imaginary girlfriend NOT ONE BIT!!

  37. The Chargers are smart for not letting the media near Te’o. The kid needs to focus on his game, not on satisfying the media’s lust of turning players into circus beacons.

    Because they KNOW the instant the media gets a chance, they will ruin this kid like they did Tebow (who to date has, unlike Te’o, done NOTHING to be -for lack of a better term- crucified by the media as a distraction, save for his mere presence which I guess is distraction enough for people who are oddly obsessed with him). A circus isn’t a circus until the crowd shows up to cheer and throw peanuts, and the Chargers are trying to keep that crowd as far away from their football operations as possible. Jets West they be not.

  38. One bloodsucker whining for other bloodsuckers to have more access so the first bloodsucker can use the stuff they generate for his own purposes.

  39. Wouldn’t forcing Te’O to talk when he doesn’t want to be a violation of his rights?

  40. This idiot brought all of this on himself and now he needs to deal with it. When you go on national television and talk about how your dealing with the tragic death of your imaginary girlfriend and how her imaginary family is helping deal with the loss you have officially joined the biggest loser club. If he ever wants to get on with his career he needs to this behind him and stop this ridiculous “I am a victim” routine. What a joke!

  41. I would take the Honey Badger and all his off the field problems over this Bozo any day. At least Mathieu has owned up to his problem and is dealing with it. Teo never will.

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