Editor, White Cover Magazine
Manti Te’o is either someone who lied about a dying and then dead girlfriend for (inter)national sympathy and attention, or he’s the most emotionally invested online dater of all time.
It was yet another story broken by the Internet’s sports wonderbrethren — the site also known as Deadspin. Only a few years earlier, the site rose to mainstream prominence when it unearthed Brett Favre’s rather eroticized habit of texting photos of his junk to an adorably and yet painfully sexy (but grammatically challenged) sideline reporter named Jenn Sterger. (*Calling her a reporter is another example in the grand tradition of sports hyperboles.)
Here’s a photo of Miss Sterger while she was a student at FSU. I realize this has nothing to do with Manti Te’o, but it will probably get this story more clicks and Google juice.
Before I dive further into the tale of odd deceit about which you already know, let me first announces my overwhelming approval with Deadspin. I’m not the first to think this way, and I’m certainly not their foremost reader. But, sites like Deadspin — which has now become the flagship ship for its mother company of Gawker Media — have transformed the business of Blogs and Sensationalism into a truly journalistic practice. No other media group was willing to even look into this story. They wouldn’t have smelt the sh*t on the porch.
They wouldn’t have thought it was worth their time.
And so, there goes Deadspin again, and thank God they did. ESPN and CNN will barely credit them when they “BREAK” it on live television, but we’ll all know who really did the dirty work. We’ll all know who put their elbow grease to work while the rest were drinking coffee and smokin’ big cigars (thanks for the line, Mr. Cash).
Of course, Manti Te’o will have to answer for the tale of his now-fake girlfriend, Lennay Kekua. And, when I say answer to, I mean explain his past answers to it, because there are many. It wasn’t like it was news to him that he had a now-deceased girlfriend (who, again, turned out to be a fabricated character, much like Mickey Mouse or Jesus Christ) who was making him famous. Te’o had acknowledged her existence and her death. He even received the game ball after Notre Dame’s win over Michigan State… a game ball which he and his coach donated to Kekua.
“After Notre Dame’s 13-6 win over Michigan on Sept. 22, coach Brian Kelly awarded the game ball to Kekua. He gave it to Te’o and said, ‘Take this back to Hawaii.'”
Te’o told reporters that the support for him and his girlfriend’s family had been overwhelming.
Now, he’s claiming he was a victim of the hoax. He’s saying he had met her online. He’s saying he had been duped.
But, who gives a game ball to someone they met on J-Date? (Just kidding. Te’o is Mormon, not Jewish.) Who cries and cries for someone like they were a member of their family without ever seeing them?
We haven’t seen someone this in love with a fantasy since Ryan Gosling’s character brought home a blow-up doll in Lars and the Real Girl.
I’m not accusing Te’o of it. I don’t need to. Enough people are already doing that. Common sense inevitably asks the questions that Te’o has not yet answered. They’re the questions of reason and doubt. They’re what guide most of us to sane and logical conclusion. (They’re why I don’t believe in God.)
I don’t care about Manti Te’o’s personal life, really. This hoax doesn’t downplay how extraordinary a football player he is.
But, eventually, something will come to light. Something will be explained, and at least one currently innocent person will be pegged guilty for some kind of sin. (Damn. I said sin, didn’t I?)
I’d be very surprised if that person wasn’t Manti Te’o.