Back in my early 20s, I received some sound advice from the father of a girl I was dating at the time. One day, he pulled me aside and said, "Son, everybody plays the fool sometimes."
Well apparently, either Manti Te'o is one of the biggest fools to ever grace God's green Earth, or he thinks we're all completely incompetent.
|Photo by: Getty Images|
At this point, his character is in shambles either way.
The fact of the matter is, the "death" of Te'o's imaginary girlfriend was a huge factor in the momentum he received during his run at the Heisman Trophy. Yes, his play on the field was stellar, but the "tragic" story that went along with it only added fuel to the fire which eventually led to a second place finish in New York, the highest ever for a strictly defensive player.
Now you're saying, "But if he was the victim of a hoax, what does any of this have to do with anything?"
The answer is -- everything.
If Te'o somehow cooked up this whole scheme to garner sympathy votes and publicity for himself, it's game, set, match right there. But even if he were the victim of a cruel prank, he still milked the situation for all it was worth, and he still lied repeatedly throughout the process.
On multiple occasions, during one-on-one interviews and press conferences, Te'o stated that he met this girl, and even spent ample amounts of time with her. The story (pun intended) of how they first came into contact with one another is, or was, very well documented (The school newspaper along with many other South Bend publications have since removed anything that relates to Te'o and Lennay Kekua from their websites. Yeah, because in no way does that look suspicious or anything). Following the 2009 Stanford-Notre Dame game. It was the whole "love at first site" routine. Stayed in contact, eventually started dating, and the rest is history.
The problem is, none of it really happened. At least, not the way Te'o and his family says it did.
Now we're all expected to believe that the 'big man' on campus, who could have had any girl he wanted since he arrived on the scene, had a running 4-year online relationship with a girl he never physically laid eyes on?
None of this makes any sense whatsoever. There is one thing that is clear, though. If he made the whole thing up for the sake of publicity and a Heisman push, he's a liar. Or if he was played like a fool and actually stupid enough to call someone he never met his "girlfriend" for a substantial period of time, he's still a liar, because we were all led to believe the relationship was something it wasn't. As in, a real one.
As a diehard Irish fan, regardless of how this all plays out, it's a sad situation. But even more than that, it's flat out humiliating. It's humiliating to be a Notre Dame supporter right now.
And to think, I thought the National Championship Game was an embarrassment...