First and foremost, if you’re one of the 16 remaining Americans who hasn’t read Deadspin’s incredible, mind-blowing investigative report on Notre Dame linebacker and soon-to-be first round draft pick Manti Te’o and his fake dead girlfriend, do it now. I haven’t read something so riveting since "The Berenstain Bears Go to Gitmo". That article should be taught on day one when the cool kids show up to J school.
That said, there’s no point in retelling the story, because it can’t be summarized. However, I do have 10 quick thoughts on this...
- I believe that Notre Dame’s statement is layered in BS. I believe that Manti Te’o’s statement is layered in BS. There are too many holes right now to believe that this is just a hoax. Te’o is scheduled to sit down for a 1-on-1 interview today with a reporter and he will have to give me a Magic Bullet presentation to make me believe he had no clue she was imaginary.
- Let’s play Devil’s avocado. Let’s say that Te’o really was the victim of a cruel hoax. How, in this Internet era, does someone still fall for this sh*t? How does he ramble on and on about this girl even though he never met her in person? How is someone this genuinely stupid?
- That said, how does someone think that we are all stupid enough to believe he’s that stupid?
- Warren Sapp Tweeted it best: “He never Skype w/ her?”
- Reagan Mauia is the getaway driver who showed up after the cops already arrested everyone.
- Then again, maybe Reagan Mauia was a past target by the guy running the fake accounts.
- As fascinated as I am by this story, I believe that unless the Deadspin duo carries this torch – and this is their story start to finish, despite other sites’ best efforts – this short attention span sports audience will forget about this once the NFL Draft passes. It’ll become a lost heckle by the time the 2013 season begins and someone will have gotten away with a horrible act.
- Some people are also trying to run with the conspiracy theory that Te’o is gay (an eloquently written example here) and created Lennay Kekua as a massive cover-up. To that, I ask: “Why?” Why on Earth would he go to such a ridiculous extreme to hide his true self? I understand the argument that maybe his parents aren’t tolerant or maybe he’s afraid of being ostracized by his teammates. But you’re telling me that he couldn’t just date girls at school and use his religion as a scapegoat for not developing physical relations? And I’m sorry if this seems insensitive, because I think that people should enjoy the right to be comfortable in their own skin, but if this was pulled off because he’s gay, it’s still just as awful to pretend that his girlfriend died.
- If Te’o is guilty of being involved as the Deadspin story very strongly suggests, I believe that Ronaiah Tuiasosopo will take the fall and admit to being behind the hoax, as someone slides a heavy envelope to him under the table. If Te'o is indeed just an incredibly stupid, stupid, stupid, STUPID man who falls in love with Internet girls he's never met, then he and his family should be all over Tuiasosopo like tribal tattoos.
- If Te’o really was a part of this and it was some sort of elaborate stunt to drum up Heisman PR, then he just needs to admit it and take the heat. Of course, that will likely never happen, but it’s nice to dream.
That all said, my brain feels a little less foggy now, which means I can enjoy the Internet’s response to this whole fake girlfriend hoax, which includes, as expected, the new meme Te’oing. Great job on this one, Tweeters and Tumblrers.
UPDATE: Sweet lord, the folks at Tiger Droppings are absolutely slaying Te'o right now. It's the greatest thing ever.