The NFL scouting combine is an utterly useless event that exists for the sole purpose of maintaining the league's grip on the consciousness of the American sports fan as far into the offseason as possible. We only pay attention to it because we are told to pay attention to it. It's like the Valentine's Day of the sports calendar. The combine does serve one useful purpose, though, and that is to remind everyone that many NFL general managers are deeply stupid people.
Three years ago, it was Dolphins GM Jeff Ireland—hell bent on discovering whether or not Dez Bryant's mom was ever a prostitute—taking the combine and the NFL's sense of decency to new lows. So far, this year's combine hasn't produced any gaffes as knuckleheaded as that one, but if what Mike Florio said about NFL GMs questioning Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te'o's sexuality is true, we are edging pretty close:
Teams want to know whether Manti Te'o is gay. They just want to know.
It's been described to me as the proverbial elephant in the room and I don't think anyone knows how to solve this dilemma yet. It's just that they want to know what they're getting. They want to know what issues they may be dealing with down the road. We just assumed that at some point there would be an openly gay player in an NFL locker room and the team would have to work with the realities and make sure that everything's fine.
Now you have a situation where you have a guy who was in a relationship with a fake girl who ended up being a real man, and the man has said to Dr. Phil that he was romantically in love with Manti Te'o, it just raises a lot of questions that the NFL at some point is going to have to deal with.
Elephant in the room. Dilemma. These are words that are being used to describe the sexuality of a grown man by people who are supposed to be evaluating that man's ability to play football.