From SNY Contributor Matthew Cohen:
Amidst the deluge of coverage of the Manti Te’o Catfishing story, there has been an underlying assumption about Manti Te’o that has gone unsaid. That assumption is that Te’o, like we assume most football players are, is a ladies man. It is that very assumption that makes it almost impossible to believe his story that he carried on a lengthy, long distance relationship with a ‘woman’ that he had never met.
Let’s face it, Te’o is a relatively good looking, prominent football player on an excellent team at a large university. One can surmise that he has his share of attention from (and experience with) the opposite sex.
There is, however, one fact that has not been discussed in this context: Manti Te’o is an active member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. In other words, he’s a Mormon. I’ve never met Te’o (and I’m not a Mormon) but I can tell you that practicing Mormons take the prohibition against premarital sex quite seriously.
If Te’o has in fact had minimal experience dating, the Catfishing story is far more plausible. While Te’o has not come out and said that he’s had limited experience with women, he shouldn’t have to. Not everyone has to be as open about their experiences as Tim Tebow. One’s dating history is one’s own business and Te’o could certainly be subject to ridicule by his teammates if he admitted that he was not a ladies man.
My point in all of this is that we, and NFL teams, should not assume that Te’o is either an idiot or a liar. He may just be inexperienced with women. In any case, he should be judged based on his ability to contribute on the gridiron.
John Fennelly, Lead Writer
And here is where I come in. I think I can sense when a player is overrated. Judging by Te’o's poor performance against NFL-level talent in the BCS title game vs Alabama, I don’t want him in a Giant uniform. He was simply overmatched and looked lost in that game. He appeared physically. mentally and emotionally unequipped to be a first-round selection in the NFL.
Personally, I don’t care what you do off the field (as long as it’s legal), but when you’re on it, you better be all business. First off, this kid has some growing up to do and then needs to exceed expectations at the next level – not tread water or struggle -for everyone to put his past behind him. He’s not good enough of a player to do that.
The Giants have a run-challenged defense. I don’t see him making them any better. If he can’t handle Eddie Lacy, how is he going to handle LeSean McCoy. Alfred Morris, DeMarco Murray, Michael Vick and RGIII? Please look elsewhere, Jerry…let someone else make the mistake.