By now, almost everyone is aware of the Manti Te'o "hoax."
But in case you have been stranded on a deserted island for the last year and just came back to civilization, I'll recap it for you.
Whether it's true, or just an elaborate lie, the media has led us to believe Te'o, a former linebacker for Notre Dame, was duped in a clever prank. In the fall of 2012, Te'o told media outlets of the death of his "girlfriend," whom had been battling leukemia.
|Photo by: Peter Kramer|
In fact, despite what he had previously told the media on numerous occasions, Te'o had never even physically laid eyes on the woman. The relationship had merely been an online thing, with a few phone calls between the two.
This story led to total media frenzy. Widespread rumors of Te'o being gay quickly flourished, and a fad known as "Te'oing" (a homage to "Tebowing"), where one would put their arm around an invisible person beside them, became a favorite joke among sports fans around the globe.
I do not wish to revisit the Te'o story. As funny as it was (trust me, it's funny), the yarn has been given more than its share of attention in the last 3-4 months. This background information is for the purposes of another story.
While it no way rivals the laugh factor of the original tale, this little tidbit should give you a chuckle as well.
A Virginia man by the name of Craig Gilmore, inspired no doubt by a beer or ten, named his March Madness bracket on ESPN's website "Lennay Kekua." This was the same name that Tuiasosopo gave to his alter ego, the non-existent future Mrs. Te'o.
The name in itself is hilarious, but that's not the best part. The Lennay Kekua bracket actually won the annual contest, finishing as the best bracket out of 8.15 million entries. "Lennay" correctly called Monday Night's final between Louisville and Michigan, and predicted Louisville would cut down the nets when all was said and done.
ESPN advertises that the winner of said contest "has a chance" to win their grand prize, a $10,000 gift card for Best Buy.
Upon receipt of an email from the network saying he would be entered into a drawing for the prize, Gilmore went on record stating, "You're telling me I beat out over 8 million other people and I'm not guaranteed anything?"
The ultimate irony will be if Gilmore doesn't win. A fake girlfriend, winning a fake prize.
You simply can't make this stuff up.