don't trust either of these two
don't trust either of these two
This comment is the best summation I've seen. Albom sucks, and according to Te'o's comments, he stayed with the lie after it was shown to be a falsehood to him. I hate everyone.
There is no such thing as a reasonable conclusion in this whole thing, and anyone who would say they know exactly what happened and why it happened that way and everything else must be wrong is lying. Ask me to and I can make a plausible argument for any conclusion you like (within the realm of the story, in case you're thinking of involving aliens or something), which is why the whole thing is so bizarre to begin with.
Remember, the "affair" did not begin in December, or even in September when "she" "died." They were supposedly "together" for much longer than that, which makes what Albom said most likely true.
The more incredible thing here is that you of all people read a Freep story.
Disagree. There is a reasonable conclusion. The reasonable conclusion is that Te'o knew all along and did it purposefully to fuel a undeserved Heisman campaign and keep ND getting votes in the polls. It is reasonable to conclude this because it has been scientifically proven that ND is actually made up of evil space aliens trying to enslave us all from within our own society. It's obviously working in Albom's case.
I think you might be wrong..not sure though...
The more incredible thing here is that you of all people read a Freep story.
I don't limit myself to any particular cocoon of like-minded thinking. I read and observe a lot of news sources that I don't trust, or for which I might be critical. I never want to be accused of having a too-limited base of information.
I often read what is in the Free Press because it is the biggest newspaper in the state, and lots of other people are reading it. Many of them believe what they read in the Freep. And Mitch Albom is by far the most visible columnist, with the most prominent page-space, in Michigan's biggest newspaper.
You, Wahoo, happen to be a smart and well-informed guy, from my reading of your MGoBlog contributions. (I have a strong prejudice in favor of UVA folks.) I hate to be presumptuous, and I fear it may be onerous, but since you suggested it, can you make a clear and concise case for the notion that Te'O was "duped"?
It's not onerous at all. Keep in mind, though, that what I'll try to do here really is prove a negative, which is to say, prove he wasn't in on it from the start. His motives for being in on it supposedly are the Heisman campaign and keeping Notre Dame afloat in the polls. Yet the "relationship" goes back to 2009. It's a lot more logical to believe he was being catfished that whole time than that he was faking it that whole time - there's no motive at all to do so.
After that it's a question of when he really found out about the whole thing - and not only found out, but came to grips with it. (It would help if I knew whether you felt he stopped being duped in September, December, January, or was in on it from the very beginning, even in 2009. I think it's plain, though, that what he didn't do was fake an online girlfriend in 2009 to boost his 2012 Heisman campaign.) Let's keep in mind also that he doesn't have to know she's fake, in, like, October in order to use it for a Heisman campaign. He could certainly have been playing up the story and been totally fooled at the same time.
People offer up as evidence he was "in on it" that he talked about his dead girlfriend two days after "learning" she was fake all along. It doesn't help that he's been obviously less than truthful about the whole thing. But either way this has got to be completely the most embarrassing thing ever; it's not hard to believe that it took a little while to sort through things in his head and try to save face. People are expecting Te'o to go, "oh, it was all fake then. Right, I guess that's that," as if the revelation that people you thought were your friends were leading you through an emotional three-year relationship is supposed to be that easy to swallow.
To say he was in on it and not duped is also to say that Swarbrick and Notre Dame are lying about the PI report they commissioned, which is moving into conspiracy theory territory. We're not talking about ignoring something that did happen, a la Penn State, we're talking about concocting a whole new fable. Conspiracy theories rarely end up true.
There, that's my attempt at a plausible case. Please don't take too much out of the Freep jab, either, I only meant that as a throwaway joke.
Well, you failed miserably and made no sense whatsoever. You seem like you are trying to explain something you really don't understand, which in this case no one does.
There is no plausible conclusion because none of us have discernible facts. We only know what we have been told by deadspin and the msm via Teo. Frankly, I was over this in less than 24 hours. He is a dumbass, ND proves once again to be schumbags and the media will do anything for page clicks even if it is slanting to the wrong side or ignoring the obvious.
When you say "no one understands" do you mean nobody but you? Because you make some awfully strong statements about "the obvious" and "the wrong side" for someone who claims not to understand and to have no discernible facts.
I have a hard time understanding how you can claim in one paragraph that Wahoo's explanation makes no sense because he doesn't know the facts, then say that this proves ND are scumbags and the media is in on it based on what I can only presume are your own opinions.
Honestly, this is a sad tale for all involved. But unless you believe in super-long cons with no discernible payoffs, the timelines involved here point to Te'o either being duped for a part of this ordeal OR a complete psychopath, which could be the case but seems less likely.
I'm missing something here. Do we have any evidence that this really did start in 2009, as opposed to being something that was invented this past year? I know the backstory is that this supposedly started in 2009, but is there anything to that besides the say-so of those involved?
Great question, succinctly articulated.
This is a good discussion, and yours is a good contribution.
I'm like you. Conspiracy theories are practically made to fail. My instinct is to disbelieve anything that sounds like a conspiracy theory.
If you have engaged in all of the facts as to how far back there is a record of communication between Te'O and a fake internet girlfriend, you know more than I do and I respectfully defer to you.
I'm still sort of dumbfounded about what a guy does and says when the national media is doing huge feature stories on my "girlfriend," when she's been no girlfriend at all.
In your own pro-Te'O retelling of the story, you acknowledge that Te'O could very well have been cognizant of how phony it all smelled, but went along with it, even without full knowledge of the depth of the fraud, because it helped his Heisman candidacy. And to that I say, you betcha.
Anyway, thanks for writing.
There are no records of him talking about this girlfriend before 2012. His "story" is that he met her after the ND game against Stanford in 2009.
He concocted this story with the ND PR machine in 2012. Why are people assuming "facts" like ND learning about this on Dec 26? That is not a fact..only part of the web of lies.
Considering the PI report consisted of mainly google searches I don't see how that moves into conspiracy theory territory.
but they're mostly old dudes who are 40+ and don't understand how the internet works. Everyone under 30 seems to be decidely more skeptical because it would require an incredible amount of stupidity and gullibility (is that a word?) to truly fall for that trick for a year
The ESPN and SI people are because they have to seeing how awful their reporting was. He still hasn't explained how he could go a couple of years without actually seeing his girlfriend. His skype excuse was pathetic. She's a Stanford grad and has no webcam on her laptop?? Or how she was in a car accident, diagnosed with cancer, and died, and he still didn't go see her. Or the fact that several of his teammates have spoken to the media and said they suspected him in September.
The vast majority of twitter responses you see are from people who don't believe him. The fact he has taken so long to speak and refuses to speak to anyone who might actually ask a tough question makes him look guilty.
Yeah, us old dudes who are 40+ and built the internet don't understand how it works.
I'd say most of us old dudes who are 40+ a) are also skeptical and b) have seen more of life and so understand that just about any damn thing is possible.
but I know many a dad who would say "SON. TODAY ON THE INTERNET I READ THAT OBAMA IS AN ALIEN FROM JUPITER. Stupid dems..."
That sounds more like a function of your social circle than the age of any particular members of it.
Yeah, I was thinking the same thing. Still a bit younger than 40, but old enough to remember the internet as mostly colleges and cranky 2400 baud modems.
The notion that kids who "grew up" with facebook and social media outlets are too wise to be duped like this ignores the myriad examples of people falling for false identities and clever ploys. I'm not saying Te'o isn't in the wrong here, but this idea that 21-year-olds are immune to falsehoods seems to be emanating from that part of the internet that thinks everyone is a sheep while they scour 4chan and reddit for funny pictures of cats and people being hit by cars.
I just can't believe that with how technology-savvy his generation is (that makes me sound so old at 28), that he didn't know. He didn't try to Skype or Facetime? He didn't ask for random impromptu photos? He never tried to meet her, even when his team was out in California? He didn't fly out when all those bad things happened to her? It's just implausible.
From what I've read (I believe this was the ESPN interview) he did try to Skype, but the video was always black. He did ask for a dated photo after "she" called in December. He did try to meet "her" in Hawai'i, "she" never showed up so he lied to his dad.
Ok. Yeah. That sounds entirely plausible. Why is anyone doubting Teo at all? Seems like an honest kid to me. Poor guy getting all this negative attention. If only he could find a way to get positive attention..
didn't even send him a full-body shot.
Also, if you consider that this "affair" supposedly started in freakin' 2009, it doesn't matter whether he was technically "duped" for most of it...because it lasted like three years. He could have been duped for all of a month and he still would have been playing along for publicity.
The crux for me is the letters she supposedly wrote to him. He purportedly received the last letter after the Stanford game of this year...which was a month after her reported death.
Just yesterday, ESPN reported that she allegedly called Te'o early in December about how she faked her own death to evade drug dealers. I mean, WTF? It's like they're making this shit up as they go. The story looks worse for Te'o the longer it goes on purely on the plausibility factor.
I don't know how common it would be for a big-time athlete to leave his team to visit an ailing girlfriend. Hell, some guys miss the births of their own children to play in athletic competitions. And a "girlfriend" to some is someone you've been dating for a couple weeks, all the way up to someone you've been dating for four years...or in this case, someone he never technically went out on a date with.
This might sound cold-hearted, but if I'm Brian Kelly and my star linebacker wants to leave to see a girl he's only talked with on Twitter/Facebook/the telephone, I might be having a long talk with the guy about where his priorities are...
Anyway, Te'o never even met her in real life, so I don't think he's a "shit bag" for not visiting her. And for all we know (unless I've missed this part), he may have tried to go see her and was rebuffed with "No, I don't want you to see me like this" or something like that.
There are lots of things to criticize here, but that angle doesn't seem like one of them.
In response to a question about why he didn't visit her in the hospital, "It never really crossed my mind. I don't know. I was in school".
He had at least a three week break between semesters in May. He would not have had any team responsibilities during much of that time either, would he? Also, why would Brian Kelly think he had never met her in person? It's hard to know what conclusions to draw, but his story is confusing and doesn't fit together very well.
There's a big difference between "I have leukemia" and "I'm dying from leukemia." Assuming her story true, I don't think May would have been soon enough to determine, since she clearly fake-lived for another four months. And as a senior likely to be captain, he may not have had many "official" team responsibilities, but those guys never stop weightlifting, running 7-on-7s, etc.
Additionally, Brian Kelly may not have known ahead of time that Te'o had a girlfriend whom he had never visited, but if Te'o asked for leave, I would assume the coach would ask questions (How long have you been dating? Are thing serious?). The truth may or may not have come out about their lack of face-to-face meetings.
There's just too much wiggle room in there to be too mad at Te'o for this. I refuse to get mad at a guy for not visiting his long-distance, strictly online, fake girlfriend when he's a captain of a national championship-caliber football team and potentially on the path to a multi-million dollar career.
Te'o says that he was planning to see her on his way home in May. He was expecting to meet her in San Diego before flying to Los Angeles. But since she was in a hospital in Los Angeles he didn't see her. Apparently that idea never crossed his mind?
Whether she told him she was dying of leukemia or had leukemia anyone would go visit. I don't know how anyone could suggest otherwise.
that she was the one calling off their planned meetings (for obvious reasons). Now I see that he was doing it too. He went to a friend's house close to where she was staying in Hawaii, but didn't have a car and couldn't get to her house. Then he lied to his dad about seeing her. He was supposed to visit her around the 4th of July but his parents asked him to go to Utah instead.
Every mention of Kelly in the interview makes him look bad.
I really don't care about this Te'o story enough to argue vehemently, but I disagree about judging him for not visiting "Lennay." There are too many outside factors that we don't know: schedule, team responsibilities, money, timing, religious obligations, coach's rules, her refusal to meet, etc.
I know you were initially answering someone else's assertion. I'm inclined to think his story is calculated and fishy. I'm interested to see what happens after his statements get checked. My guess is that he didn't try to visit because he never really felt that close to her, not because he was a callous boyfriend.
Any and all of those would be trumped by a girlfriend with a cancer.
The not visiting your dying girlfriend is absolutely something to criticize. Missing a birth is alot different then not going to see a dying girlfriend. His story was she was sick for a couple of months or something. Your telling me he couldn't find one day to go see her. That is not plausible. Brian Kelly at that point had no idea he'd never met her (or at least he had better have had no idea he hadn't met he).
is obviously not Teo's forte. One is left wondering however if ND is using the same media consultants Penn State did.
MSM, of which Mitch Albom is a card-carrying member, have an agenda to protect their reputation which has been badly tattered. If you'll notice it's basically only the MSM who buys the ND/Teo party line that he was "duped". Read the comments in any of the articles on line and you'll see that the vast, vast majority of people commenting do NOT believe Teo was a victim on any level.
The Blogoshpere, on the other hand, seems unified in their believe that both Teo and ND are lying through their collective teeth for one simple reason. EVERYTHING Teo has done since this was made public reeks of someone complicent in the hoax. Everything.
So on one hand you have the embarrassed MSM desparately trying to save face by supporting Teo's story and on the other you have the great unwashed not buying a bit of it.
Yeah, I'm not buying the train of thought that MSM is all pissed off because they got played and now are leaning towards Te'o being a victim. This story is absolutely huge. Anything written about it gets a monster amount of hits. MSM doesn't want to sweep this under the rug because they are embarassed, rather they want it to drag on as long as possible for dramatic effect.
as an earth scientist, I have no idea at all what you are taking about.
release the phone records (redacted to remove all other calls). someone independent review. prove that you spent hours on the phone several nights talking to this other person. for me, that is the only way I will be satisfied given that it is factual and so so so easy to do.
Absolutely. You figure that would have been the first thing he brought to the Schaap interview. But nope. All he came with were the first facebook messages she sent him introducing herself and the eventual apology from the culprit from a few days ago (per Schaap). That alone smells fishy.
Deadspin uncovered this pretty thouroughly. I have yet to see a systemic dissection and disproof of any of their main points. All we have now is spin..
I maintain Teo is closeted and rose with the fake gf to stave off Qs from teammates why he want closing coeds with the rest of them.
Damn iPhone autocorr
Fake girlfriends created to shield one's homosexuality probably work better when they are, ya know, supposed to be alive.
You can't honestly expect him to want to date when his fake dead girlfriend is so recently deceased. His senior year at ND was spent mourning, and he couldn't possibly be expected to date.
Prior to that, of course, he was dating his fake girlfriend.
And prior to that, if his former HS teammate is to be believed, he was dating someone from "back home" (an hour away from his HS) that none of his HS teammates ever met.
It seems all-too-perfect an explanation to conclude that the guy had the perfect beard: a hot, fake, virtual girlfriend who lived far away, then got in a car accident and got sick with a life-threatening disease. Only a heel would cheat on his sick, dying fake long distance girlfriend.
Innocence to distance themselves from culpability. If Manti was involved, then the media was "duped."
The media clearly failed to properly vet the story, but directly repping a hoax makes them part of the hoax.
P.S. Albom writes books about talking and learning from dead people, so maybe he personally empathizes.
Well, knock me over with Michael Rosenberg's integrity.
Yeah I think he was duped. He's a damn gullible kid, and I've yet to see any evidence of malice. Deadspin is the only place trying to make Te'o out to be all villain-no-sap and of anybody writing about this Deadspin has the worst trach record for unfairly villainizing their subjects.
This is why I was happy to put Deadspin's credibility right up front. We have our own history with Tommy Craggs and Deadspin. I can discuss that issue as happily as any other.
I just happen to think that Deadspin's original Manti Te'O story was pretty damned good.
I just think it is gobsmackingly weird; the national media is doing huge stories about your "girlfriend," whom you have never met? If Charlie Rose wanted to do a story on me, about a girl I had never met or seen, and there was any discussion of her as my "girlfriend," one of the things I'd have siad, to a producer, or assistant producer, or to one of my several ND press handlers (Te'O assuredly has several of those); "Um, this is a bit weird, 'cuz I haven't actually met her. I feel sort of funny about you calling her my "girlfriend," okay?"
Here's a head-scratcher of a question; what about Te'O's real-life girlfriends? Did they have any issue with Te'O's fake internet girlfriend?
I have just got to say; I feel foolish, even asking these questions. Because the half the world has been asking these questions for the last 72 hours. About a billion times. These aren't novel questions on my part. And the answers so far are just so head-slappingly moronic, I feel a bit bad asking them again.
Do you really believe anything Teo or Swarbick has been saying? I like your writing but man if this is your stance on this....I don't even know. People in power aren't always to be trusted. In many cases that is why they are in power
Swarbick has proven his incompetency and blindness toward ND on multiple previous occasions. It seems to me the whole thing is pretty simple to explain:
The important distinction here between my version of events and Section 1's/yours, is that I believe gullibility and incompetency to be a far more realistic explanation than conspiracy if for no other reason than humans and especially these particular humans are far more likely to be gullible and incompetent than conspiratorial.
I believe the Heisman ballot is a secret one, except for those who choose to reveal their votes.
However, this site does not list a Mitch Albom and says that not all 870 voters' names are revealed, which supports my above assertion:
I'm sure that you understand the reason for my asking.
Back when Lance Armstrong was winning his string of Tour victories, I said to my friends, a bit uncomfortably, "That guy is filthy. I don't care what he claims. It just doesn't add up. What I wonder is whether his unusual case of testicular cancer was secondary to his own chemical experimentation." I was uncomfortable, because we didn't have the facts then that we do now.
And now, my main question is this: Was this a ploy to create a "Heisman human interest story" for Heisman voters? It doesn't really matter if Mitch Albom was or was not a Heisman voter. But if anyone questions "motive" in this story, the Heisman race srcreams "motive." I was just curious as to how close Albom was to the Heisman vote. Surely he knows how those kinds of PR campaigns go.
jeez, you've never been wrong in your life huh?
He's not an attack journalist. He makes his living writing feel good stories. Plus, as the op points out, he understands about taking liberties to make your story sound better.
The coverage on this Board, in terms of comments and whatnot, has been heavily shaded by maize and blue colored viewpoints, as it should be. I think the objective consensus is that we was duped, but embellished, and is highly gullible. This is how I am leaning, but there remain many inconsistencies and leaps of common sense, so our mgoconspiracytheorists may yet be right.
I'd like to ask you; what was the motivation for this bizarre story? The only one I can think of, as I've noted throughout this thread, is "a story like this could make the difference in the Heisman vote."
What other easily-discernable motive is there? Why in the world would anyone go to the trouble?
And I wonder why anyone would think that Manti Te'O's personal gullibility has anything to do with this? Whether he is personally gullible or vulnerable (I don't think he is) is not even an issue. Because story like this involves dozens of very high-powered people. People in the media; and most importantly, people in all levels of the ND athletic department's media relations wing.
his girlfriend that he never met instead of focusing on his grandmother with whom he had a real & long-term relationship?
Simple - the loss of a young, beautiful Juliet makes for a much more gallant Romeo. Manti, ND and the media latched onto the sensationalist angle for every ounce of publicity.
Grandma was real and just an afterthought. Pathetic.
Is it possible that "My grandma died," is too mundane for the kind of zesty story that can win you a Heisman?
Anyway, no matter which side it favors, the point that you make is an excellent one.
Don't you ever insinuate that Mitch Albom is a hero in my book. I would consider him the most overrated writer I have ever had the displeasure of reading.
I automatically assume everything he says is wrong and pretentious.
You are respectfully suggested to equate "local hero" with the highest measurable level of sarcasm.
Duly noted. Much obliged.
All these journalists and websites that were so quick to write praise about Te'o and the whole situation are now solely throwing him under the bus, when their intergrity as journalists should be thrown just as much under the bus as anyone else for their neglect in not actually looking into any of this with any depth.
The amount of influence the media has on this country is fairly amazing considering how negligent a lot of it is.
Pulitzer Prize winning journalist named Katie Couric rips into this story with her investigative expertise ...
when Geraldo is tan, rested and ready?!
Geraldo as a Journalist>>> Katie Couric as a Journalist
He is tan!
(oops, my first-ever double post)
Geraldo is still tan, rested and ready!
It is interesting that this forthcoming interview involves Katie Couric only because of the fact that Manti Teo's family retained the same spokesperson that Couric currently employs (blog link), which makes me wonder if that is either coincidental or a rather slick move on their part.
In response to what Section 1 asked, I think there are a fair number of things that still do not make much sense in the larger picture of this drama, and the ESPN interview was held with a PR consultant sitting right next to Te'o, so detailed answers may not have been forthcoming. I will mention just a few things that still bother me:
For example, the investigation conducted by the school apparently did not do a detailed investigation to substantiate Te'o's story, and you would think they might at least support Te'o in that effort if they were concerned about NCAA issues.
Another thing that I find intriguing as well is the something Albom sort of dismisses - if Te'o did not want any part of the hype the story generated after he knew or had a suspicion that Kekua was not real, then why did it not end there? It is difficult for me to believe, in this day and age, that the phone call on the 6th of December from a person who was supposed to be dead did not set off a veritable sea of red flags, and why the supposed attempts to meet in person befoe even that, which ended in no-shows by Kekua, didn't do the same thing. The fact that stories of Kekau's death were airing with a photo of a person who was alive and well up to the morning of the NC game and no one stopped it says that, on some level, either Notre Dame (which knew by then that it was a false persona) or Te'o or both were OK with this continued publicity.
It seems clear as well that several different understandings of the nature of this relationship existed as well. The South Bend Tribune reported at one point that Te'o and Kekua had met in person, but then that interview was conducted with Te'o's father, not Manti. The relationship was characterized by others as strictly virtual. Related to that, different stories had different timelines for events such as the car accident and even Kekua's death. It seems like such events in the life of someone you were so involved with would be something you would clearly denote.
Like I said, it's little things - the explanation to date leaves me with more questions than answers. It seems like Mitch Albom didn't do much digging in some important respects.
......how much do we really believe that the media is reporting? It is a revenue generating medium - to try to determine the truth from the media in my opinion is naive and a waste of time. I am a pure cynic - this week Armstrong and Te'o just reinforced it. The media profits two times on the same story - it profits from the creation and the perpetuating of a myth or a lie and then it profits at the "exposure" of the lie.
Follow the incentives. Freakonomics.
when reality is more bizarre than something you'd read in The Onion.
Great point. I sort of thought this to myself within the past few days. I saw a link that a friend had up and it was from The Onion. I read the brief "abstract" as to what the "article" was about and thought, "Well, that's an interesting take on whatever real issue it's satiring, but there's a story going on right now in real life (whatever that means anymore!) that puts anything they have to shame".
I was going to comment on this. You point it out, but there's not a lot of discussion on the fact- how big of balls does it take for Mitch freakin' Albom to defend making up a story? If there was one major journalist who should have avoided this story like the plague, it was Mitch.
I don't really know what to believe. I don't think I even honestly care anymore. I do enjoy watching this train wreck unfold.
Was he duped? Sure. Wasn't there a whole movie that is now a TV show based on this? He's what? 21/22? So he "met" this person in 2010 making him 19/20? It's not absurd to think that he is just that gullible. I can guarentee you that this "catfishing" stuff dupes someone on a daily basis.
If he was in on it, it's shady as hell, but he didn't actually hurt anyone. There's more people talking about this story than the Belcher story. What's worse? Having a fake girlfriend, or killing your real girlfriend? The cancer community might have a bone to pick with him for having his fake girlfriend die from cancer, but his real grandma actually died of cancer. It's just an odd thing to make up, but there are far worse offenses done by professional players.
The most egregious part of this entire story is ND having a press confrence about a fake girl that fake died when they can't even hold a press conference about a REAL girl that accused football players of rape. What's wrong with that University?
"The most egregious part of this entire story is ND having a press confrence about a fake girl that fake died when they can't even hold a press conference about a REAL girl that accused football players of rape. What's wrong with that University?"
Yeah, this needs to be repeated 1,000 times.
I have as well in a couple of the other threads on Te'o. A real dead girl is less embarrassing to them than a fake one. That's the saddest part of the Te'o story.
A football tradition built on inaccurate folklore and an administration committed to burying real tragedies & transgressions.
Ironic that the AD characterized Manti as "a victim" but silence on Lizzy.
Agreed. Still can't believe Swarbrick was errogant enougl to get up their and have a press conference for this (even more so considering the investigation was a joke).
The ironies are considerable, aren't they.
He was probably writing a book about his last moments with Te'o's girlfriend, "Mondays with Lennay" before Deadspin saved his ass.
While there is still a lot that we obviously don't know, from what is publicly available, I think that the following is the most likely conclusion:
Te'o was initially the subject of a hoax. He was contacted online by an account claiming to be this non-existent girl, engaged in a long series of texts, messages, tweets and other non-contact interactions. It sounds like there may have even been some phone calls with a female working as part of the con.
However, at some point the simple Internet / phone relationship hoax took a turn and the gf allegedly became very Sick. At this point, I think that any "lets look at Te'o in the best light" sentiment goes away. He either (1) became aware that this was a con at this point, or (2) he didn't visit this girl who was going through chemo and on her death bed, despite having months to do so. Either of these are problematic from a defending Te'o standpoint. If he knew about the con, why go along with the media story and give interviews talking about your dead girlfriend. If he just didn't visit her, then this is simply NOT his gf - maybe he thought it was a girl that he liked very much an was sad about, but if he knew her for as long as he did and loved her as he claimed, he would have visited in person. He did not, and the clear conclusion is that she was not his gf. Under this scenario, he is guilty of feeding and allowing the media story about his dead girlfriend to grow when he should have just been honest an said that a girl who he knew very well died, not his gf.
Then, even after he found out about the scam (12/6, as he claims, but it could have been way earlier) he still spoke of his dead gf in Interviews. To the extent that manti can explain his other actions, those explanations ring hollow in light of these obvious lies.
My view - Te'o may not have started the scam but he went along and publicized it. He is a pretty suck dude.
I agree mostly with what was said, but I also think part of the problem was at first Teo didn't care whether she was real or not. I can't remember which article, but some of the team was mad that he kept calling her his girlfriend when as far as they knew she was just a "freind", and they only knew each other for a while. They said Teo had girls that he would see on campus all the time. This is part of the problem, there not going to say to the press, " nothing to see here, it just a case where Teo was getting some on the side when he was on the west coast, and it all blew up in face when he found out it wasn't really a girl. So we have closed the investigation and just logged it in as stupid kids having fun". Hows that going to sound, when your telling ppl that your strict Mormon linebacker at the worlds holier than thou school is admitting that its not out of line for the football team to have a harem of woman. I don't think thats the type of advertising the monks want, so we end up with this stupid story
my 2 cents
a 3+ year "pen-pal" type relationship. This casual friendship would make it easier to explain no photos, no meeting, no Skype, no flowers, no funeral attendance, etc. But, Te'o played it up as a soul mate situation and got the full media and public support. If he was that serious, the lack of a meeting, Skype, etc. is hard to believe.
Also, what kind of people could carry on this elaborate hoax for 3+ years just for the fun of it? That is some kind of dedication.
I don't understand how anyone could believe the bullshit by Teo, ND or ESPN. Are we really supposed to believe that a Heisman candidate LB from ND had a (fake) girlfriend fake her death to evade drug dealers?
8 hour phone conversations where Teo fell asleep with her on the phone? Yet it "didn't occur" to him that he should visit the love of his life who was dying of cancer when Chicago Ohare is about an hour away?
Who believes this shit? I understand the general public is pretty dumb but come on.
"Are we really supposed to believe that a Heisman candidate LB from ND had a (fake) girlfriend fake her death to evade drug dealers?"
In a word - yes.
Study after study have shown that people, when presented facts that contadict a long-held, cherished belief, choose to simply dismiss the fact rather than change their belief. And the image of Teo as the heroic, sympathatic football star from the media darling Notre Dame could somehow involved in something this shady is simply discarded rather than reprocessed.
So yes, you ARE expected to belive it.
Yep. At this point I'm less frustrated by Teo and ND. My attention is now turned to the gullible idiots that believe everything they read in the MSM. How stupid has our society become?
Which is why I'm willing to cut Te'o some slack here. Assuming he was duped and really was in love with this nonexistant girl, Lennay, (which his father seemed to believe, saying he thought Lennay might become his future daughter-in-law) after more than a year, this was his cherished belief, and it was going to take a lot to make Te'o change his belief that the girl was real. To him, the facts building to prove he was being duped must have seemed like the real hoax. And yes, he was complicit in perpetuating the hoax by lying about having met her, but that is not uncommon behavior for someone who is being conned. I've seen it happen to others, though not on this scale or for this much time. And there very well may be a combination of cultural, religious, or personal factors that makes Te'o more susceptible to being victimized in this way.
and it's my lasting image of Te'o as a more-or-less likeable guy that makes me refuse to imagine him being duped. I'd much rather think of him as the guy that put a big one over on ESPN than as the stupidest person on the planet and with the street smarts of an opossum.
Think it's more likely that Lance Armstrong is behind all of this. If you're going to go down in flames, might as well have some company!
The reason I think this all smells comes down to one question: who keeps a ruse/joke going for three years? If this truly all started in 2009 and there was enough interface for Te'o to consider it legit, that became one burdensome joke. I can't imagine anyone keeping it going that long because they thought it was funny.
"Manti, what did you do with the gameball Brian Kelly gave you after the Michigan game so you could take it 'back to Hawaii' and give it to some imaginary dead chick?"
The most logical conclussion is the kid is Gay and fabricated the story to begin with to get people off his back about never being seen with females. Problem is nobody in the main stream media seems to have the guts just to ask him. His story fails as soon as you take in account that it was over a 3 year period, that nobody would have seen the picture of the girl and not went to the real girl who's photo it is and said something not to mention when your a big time college football player your not playing internet love when you can get the real thing from just about any girl on campus. He's been out to California numerous times with Notre Dame but yet were lead to believe in 3 years he couldn't meet her once or if she wouldn't show up that he would get suspicious.
I have only followed this superficially, because I don't think it's worth really caring about. College kid makes mistake: not exactly "man bites dog." I think the real motivation behind the media is that they really, really hate it when they get duped, which is exactly what happened here, regardless of whether Te'o was involved or not.
It has been demonstrated time and again; an athlete who challenges the media or puts egg on their face immediately becomes the target of a vendetta that looks more like something one would see in junior high.