First of all, let me say this about the Manti Te'o story: If you are a company that has a major or minor sexual harassment case or money laundering issue, NOW is the time to 'leak' it to the public. PR 101. Like in a sneaky way I'm sure Notre Dame wishes this story would have come out during the Penn State scandal last year. Would have barely been a blip on the radar.
Alright so for those that aren't following this story here is a crib notes version of the story that took over the world late yesterday (and if you've read a bunch about this there are random facts and differences EVERYWHERE so if I get this even 60% accurate I'm fine with that, basically any standard day at Strange Brew International Headquarters)
So Manti Te'o, stud linebacker at Notre Dame, Heisman trophy finalist blah blah blah made a lot of waves earlier in the season with certain 'tragedies' about his family. First his grandmother died, and then 18 hours later his 'girlfriend' apparently passed away from leukemia. Now not even I will take shots at that if it's real. Tragic doesn't even begin to describe it. But then yesterday it was revealed that this girlfriend isn't even real. And was potentially fabricated by Te'o in an effort to publicize himself and gain more attention for potential awards and draft stock*. Now the other side of the story, and the one that Te'o and Notre Dame is running with is that Te'o was set up in an elborate hoax by someone who fabricated this 'girlfriend' and killed her off for reasons unknown.
First of all: wow. I mean whether this is a lie Te'o put together or he is at the center of a hoax, what a story line. Like you know somewhere a writer for Days of Our Lives or General Hospital is wondering how long is an acceptable time frame to steal this idea as a story line. I guess the cynic in me probably thinks that this was all a ploy by Te'o or his family to get some run for Manti publicly-wise. I mean he did a whole radio/tv tour when this thing first hit in fall. And the other part of the story that doesn't make sense is that he is claiming to have never seen this girl. He says he just wrote to her and talked to her on the phone. Really? In an age of Facebook and Skype and Instagram you never ONCE saw her? Seems suspect to me. I guess more details are supposed to come out today. But my gut tells me his story gets blown up like Dwight's Dentist Crentist story. All I know is that this is going to be a HUGE month for Oprah. First she gets Lance Armstrong in the trust tree tonight, and I'm sure it won't be long until Manti is sobbing to her and telling his side of this story. Just goes to show you kids, no matter what happens in life, all roads inevitably lead back to Oprah.
*I've got to say, as a fellow liar and fabricator of stories, like 3% of me kind of respects this move. I mean I would never lie about a fake dead girlfriend having leukimia to win a Heisman trophy. I'm pretty sure. But that is a bold, bold move.
PS: Props to Deadspin by the way who broke this story. And I guess it was an intern than broke it? Can you say career made? I mean not to many people get to say that a star college football linebackers's made up story about a fake dead girlfriend broke his career but that guy can.