I’ll start this off by saying that I do not believe that Manti Te’o created this whole hoax. It just doesn’t make sense. Te’o is an emotional guy that wants to believe that everyone is sincere and that everyone has a good side to them. I don’t think that he faked all of the emotions. And honestly, after all of this, I don’t think that there is a chance in hell that Te’o is bright enough to have pulled this off for as long as it lasted.
In reality, this whole thing is pretty much meaningless. I mean, long story made short, this dude had a girlfriend that never existed. No one actually died. There was not any real crime done. In the grand scheme of things, none of this actually matters.
However, it still is a huge story because Manti Te’o truly was the heart and soul of this year’s college football season. He was THE story. He led one of the most talked about programs in college sports to the national championship game. And he did so while captivating the hearts of America.
With that being said, this whole thing just bothers me. It makes me upset. Manti Te’o makes me upset.
What upsets me the most is that people and many mainstream media sources will and are making this whole thing into a, “Manti Te’o got played” type of thing. He was duped. He got tricked.
Although this is the case, people need to realize that this guy deserves a lot of the blame. And he deserves all of the criticism that people will and already have dished out towards him.
He is a liar.
First off, he claimed that he met a Lennay Kekua (Which he admitted to tonight that this never actually happened). He fabricated the story and he made it dramatic. This whole thing was made into the biggest story in college football. When in reality, he talked on the phone with a girl and never once even saw her.
Second of all, the media really isn’t talking about how stupid this guy actually is. Instead, they are making it known to everyone that he was tricked and deceived.
I don’t know about any of you, but if I loved someone or even cared about them a little bit and they were about to die, I would probably go and seen them.
Also, Manti skyped with Lennay many times. Wouldn’t he think it’s weird that she never showed her face in any of these calls? Wouldn’t he think it’s a bit odd that her screen was always pitch black every single time?
It also is extremely annoying that this story was the heart of Manti’s Heisman campaign. Sure, he had a great season and is a special player. But I don’t think that anyone would argue that all of what Manti was dealing with at the time was the driving force behind all of the Heisman talk involving the Notre Dame linebacker. I am sure that some people voted for him because of his story. I mean lets be honest here, there have been many defensive players over the years to have racked up over 100 tackles in a season and have had some interceptions. Manti Te’o would have been the first player ever to have won the Heisman trophy as strictly a defensive player. Charles Woodson did it in 1997, but a lot of his big plays were as a kick/punt returner and even as a wide receiver. Defensive players also won the award in 1936 and 1948 but again, both of those players played both sides of the ball. Needless to say, his story helped him tremendously. Aside from it, he had a very good year. A year that many other great defensive players have had in the past.
Another thing, this story broke on Wednesday and it took him until Friday night to finally talk. And when he did decide to talk, he does so only under the agreement that there will be no cameras. Are you kidding me? First off, that does not help your situation at all. Man up, dude. Tell these people “face-to-face” that this incredible story that everyone believed in was fake. Instead, you do it behind the scenes. It just rubs people the wrong way.
Another thing that I found to be mind boggling was that he told ESPN that he didn’t know for a fact that Lennay never existed until Wednesday. Like seriously? How dumb can you be? This is after he received a call on December 6th from the voice and number that he associated with Lennay. She said that she faked her death (That happened months prior on Sep. 12) to get away from drug dealers.
And you believed this call and ridiculous story (And the whole thing for that matter) to the point that it took you until just now to know for certain that this whole thing never existed? Wow.
Manti also stated in his ESPN interview that he let this whole thing affect his performance in the National Championship. To me, this is pathetic. And knowing the facts now, it is a complete joke. A fake girl affected his play in possibly the biggest game of his life.
But even at that time. Even if you believed that this girl was alive. It’s the National Championship for crying out loud. I don’t care what happened. Playing for a National Championship is a once in a lifetime type of thing. And you couldn’t clear your mind for 3.5 hours? Instead, you missed tackle after tackle en route to your team getting completely destroyed. You owe it to your teammates, to your school and heck, to yourself to put aside your troubles and to focus on playing in the biggest game that college football has to offer. Any decent athlete knows how to clear their head before a game. Brett Favre played arguably the greatest game of his career just a day after his father died. He didn’t even let a regular season game go to waste, even though the man closest to him passed away no more than 24 hours prior. And you played the worst game of your season due to the fact that you couldn’t pull yourself together on college football’s biggest stage because of a girl that you never once even saw?
I understand that serious relationships can start online. But go and see her once things get serious. Go and see her once you are telling the South Bend Tribune, ESPN and your own parents that you already have seen her. Go and see her once she gets in an accident and is in a coma. Go and see her once she is diagnosed with leukemia. Go and see her when she is in the hospital. Go to her funeral when she dies. His response to why he never did? “It never really crossed my mind. I don’t know. I was in school.” That was his quote from the off camera ESPN interview done by Jeremy Schaap. It is laughable, really. You did not get played, you were that dumb and you played yourself.
I can only imagine how stupid the Notre Dame fan base feels. They are the real victims here. They donated thousands of dollars in charity for Lennay’s leukemia efforts. And as a colleague’s buddy of mine, who attends Notre Dame, told him the other day, “The students are the victims for waving those damn leis around and buying into this whole sob story.” Their whole season centered upon a story that partially didn’t exist. I’m not taking anything away from it. And I know that it was their play on the field that actually matters, but it is pretty sad to think about.
I can understand that Manti Te’o is not a criminal. And after all, it is unfortunate that all of this happened to him. I am sure that he is a great kid and I know that he probably feels incredibly embarrassed about the whole situation and I’m sure he feels bad about it. But it is just beyond annoying that everyone is constantly hearing that this dude was a victim. It is more annoying that this is basically the only angle that is being presented.
Manti should be forgiven. Heck, even I will forgive the guy. But people should know that all of this could have been prevented if Manti showed some intelligence, or even some common sense. The guy goes to Notre Dame; he shouldn’t have been this clueless.