Now That’s More Like It – Special Reality Edition
Last week Kazzy wrote a post on the heartwarming story of “the remarkable relationship between an elite college football player and a girl.” And as remarkable as that story was, it wasn’t nearly as remarkable as the story of Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o.
Te’o made supplemental-story headlines in the run-up to the BCS National Championship, as the Fightin’ Irish senior took inspiration from the untimely death of his girlfriend, a Stanford graduate who perished from leukemia. But that inspirational storyline is only the third most remarkable thing about this story.
It turns out that the girl’s death – and in fact the existence of the girl herself – was a hoax. And even that is only the second most remarkable thing about the story. Because the most remarkable part of the story is that actual hoax may not have been perpetrated by Manti Te’o; Manti Te’o says he was the hoax’s victim.
In a story where the real facts will probably never be known, Te’o says that his relationship with his girlfriend existed entirely online and over the phone. It appears now that it was just an unbelievably cruel prank: create a fictitious online persona, hook a guy into an electronic relationship, fake a tragic death, and disappear.
It also seems quite likely that Te’o concocted the entire playing-for-his-dead-girlfriend tale on his own as a way to capitalize on the media’s need to create celebrities. After all, he only claimed to be a hoax victim when Deadspin,com reported that the girl the Irish Nation grieved for didn’t seem to exist.
Who knows? All I can say for certain is that January 17 seems way to early to already be reading what may well be the most bizarre sports story of the year.