At 4:59 PM eastern time on January 16th, 2013, I finished reading one of the most unbelievable articles I have ever read in my twenty years of living on Earth. The article was titled, “Manti Te’o’s Dead Girlfriend, The Most Heartbreaking And Inspirational Story Of The College Football Season, Is A Hoax”. Now when I first read this article, I was already questioning it because it was published by Deadspin. That website would sell out anyone for clicks on their page. I figured, “Well, I opened the article. I might as well read it.” That was when I was frozen in my chair. Manti Te’o’s legendary story of heartbreak, tragedy and sorrow…was fake?
I continued to sit there and follow this ridiculous timeline that began on November 28th, 2009, when the Irish almost single-handily won Toby Gerhart the Heisman Trophy by giving up 205 yards and three touchdowns on the ground. Oh, and the Heisman runner-up threw a touchdown pass as well. Sorry you had to relive those awful memories Irish fans, but back to the issue at hand. That was the supposed meeting between Manti Te’o and Lennay Kekua. They exchanged numbers and had a conversation after the game.
Listening to the coverage of this story since it became worldwide news a few days ago; I think I can safely say this is the most bizarre situation in any level of sports. Te’o has a girlfriend that had an accident and then it was brought to the light that she had leukemia. She passes and he does not attend her funeral? But wait, there are no police records of the crash and no hospital records of her stay. For me to cover this whole story in this article would take about as long as the coverage has been.
Here’s another good question: if Pete Thamel and Gene Wojciechowski could not find information on this “Lennay Kekua”, why not dig deeper? Thamel wrote the famous article that was featured in the Sports Illustrated issue with Te’o on the cover and Wojciechowski interviewed Te’o in October that was featured on ESPN. I understand you do not expect lies of this proportion, but if you do not find anything on this girl, why would you just push it to the side like she does not exist? Oh wait, she doesn’t. For myself personally, I am not mad at just Manti Te’o for this situation. The media members that surrounded this story for months did a horrendous job researching this issue. I still do not think all the answers will be clear after they supposedly come out. It was a gutsy move by Notre Dame AD Jack Swarbrick to back Te’o just hours after this issue hit the presses. With today’s news reported by ESPN’s Shelley Smith that an anonymous woman told her that Ronaiah Tuaiasosopo is truly the mastermind behind this whole hoax and Te’o is truly the victim like he claimed on Wednesday. However do not expect this to go away any time soon. This chaos is long from ending. Buckle up. This is going to be a crazier train that Ozzy Osbourne could have ever dreamed of driving.