Manti Te'o opened up on how people's perception of him changed following the catfish scandal Oct 21, 2018; Baltimore, MD, USA; New Orleans Saints linebacker Manti Te’o (51) stays on the field before the game against the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Anyone wondering how Notre Dame football fans really feel about Manti Te’o 10 years after his infamous “catfishing” saga, one 32-second video clip should explain all you need to know.

The former star linebacker for the Fighting Irish presented the U.S. flag to the color guard on the field Saturday before Notre Dame’s game against California. The crowd met Te’o with a thunderous ovation. Te’o’s wife, Jovi, stood with him as he appeared to wipe tears from his eyes during the ceremony.

Te’o endured widespread ridicule in 2012 after he was the victim of a hoax involving an online impersonator pretending to be his girlfriend. That person then conspired with others to convince Te’0 she’d died of leukemia. Even after he learned he’d been scammed, he kept the “dead girlfriend” angle going in media interviews.

Te’o has shared his side of the story in a new Netflix “Untold” documentary, “The Girlfriend Who Didn’t Exist.” The show has been met with positive reviews and generated great sympathy for the former Notre Dame star. Te’o shared an Instagram video last month thanking fans for the outpouring of support.

“It’s been amazing to me to hear the battles that we’re all facing, the challenges that we’re facing in our lives at this time, and how the documentary has given some of us hope, the extra push just to keep going,” he said. “If there’s anything that I wanted from this thing was just to give some of us hope who needed it, to tell those who needed some love that they’re loved, and to help them to forgive.”

A second-round pick by the San Diego Chargers in 2013, Te’o played eight seasons in the NFL.

[Mike Berardino, NDI]

About Arthur Weinstein

Arthur spends his free time traveling around the U.S. to sporting events, state and national parks, and in search of great restaurants off the beaten path.