Did Manti Te’o Lie?
If you believe what Deadspin.com is reporting and I do, then yes, Notre Dame Senior Linebacker Manti Te'o did lie to everyone!
This season in College Football, the most intriguing and inspirational story was that of Te'o and his continued perseverance after the loss of his first his grandmother and then his girlfriend, all within a period of 12 hours.
Now come to find out, it was all a hoax and reports are that Manti Te'o was in on it all.
The article here from Deadspin.com details out the sick and twisted tail of the hoax and how it was played out to the media and those who were involved.
It is not clear yet the motivation behind the hoax, but no matter what it was, it was certainly demented. Anytime someone capitalizes off the emotions of others, especially with such a sensitive subject, it is easy to classify as sickening.
To essentially make up that you had a girlfriend and then to have her die of Leukemia is mind boggling.
With Te'o, we all thought it was different. We thought we had a good guy in sports, a guy who truly put faith and family first. Instead, we got a guy who saw an opportunity to increase his fame by using a "Death Hoax" to do so.
Sitting back over the last couple of hours and reflecting on all the interviews, soundbytes, articles and time we've spent praising Manti Te'o, it makes you just shake your head.
I joking said on my radio program earlier today that "I don't even know if Rudy is real anymore", but in a sense its a very compelling statement. What can we believe in sports anymore.
Was this nothing more than a extra tool to help vault Te'o to the front of the Heisman canidicy, or even more dementing to make him more money on the NFL level?
Whatever the motivation behind the stunt, the more that comes out only shines a darker shadow not only on Te'o but athletics and the popularity it gives its athletes.
Te'o has come out and released a statement.
This is incredibly embarrassing to talk about, but over an extended period of time, I developed an emotional relationship with a woman I met online. We maintained what I thought to be an authentic relationship by communicating frequently online and on the phone, and I grew to care deeply about her.
To realize that I was the victim of what was apparently someone's sick joke and constant lies was, and is, painful and humiliating.
It further pains me that the grief I felt and the sympathies expressed to me at the time of my grandmother's death in September were in any way deepened by what I believed to be another significant loss in my life.
I am enormously grateful for the support of my family, friends and Notre Dame fans throughout this year. To think that I shared with them my happiness about my relationship and details that I thought to be true about her just makes me sick. I hope that people can understand how trying and confusing this whole experience has been.
In retrospect, I obviously should have been much more cautious. If anything good comes of this, I hope it is that others will be far more guarded when they engage with people online than I was.
Fortunately, I have many wonderful things in my life, and I'm looking forward to putting this painful experience behind me as I focus on preparing for the NFL Draft."
The statement does nothing for me other than to discount his story even more. Who in their right mind would believe you had a relationship with a woman for years and never, ever saw her in real life once or even in a video chat?
It all now is a PR push to try and save face. But the damage is done. His draft stock in the NFL will fall as teams are now faced with the decision to overlook this demented hoax in favor of what he did on the field.
In America, we are a forgiving society and a society of second and third chances, but in this case does Manti even deserve that?