This was one of the most inspirational stories of the college football season in 2012. Hell. It was THE most inspirational story. Manti Te’o, playing for a sudden resurgent Notre Dame football team and with the pain of the death of his grandmother and girlfriend within hours of each other. What strong character. How brave.
Uh huh. Yep. Sure. I wrote a post several months ago where I channeled my best Seth Meyers impression. “Really!?” This goes beyond “Really?!” This is “….how….why….what…..REALLY!?”
You say you were on the phone with her every night. Who were you talking to Manti? I (kind of, not really) understand wanting to play the game instead of going to your girlfriends funeral. But even if you don’t go to the actual burial, you’re not going to want to show up at the home of her family shortly there after to be able to grieve appropriately? This woman who you said was your everything and the love of your life, and you never met her in person. Your brother told a reporter in South Bend that he met your girlfriend in person. So….what about that?
I’m sorry. There’s no way that I can believe anything you say right now. Not a chance. Hell. I don’t even know if I should believe that your grandmother is really dead.
I’ve watched your October 2nd ESPN interview multiple times now, and it makes me sick. You are lying through your teeth. You show no emotion. You’re either a robot, never really cared, or she wasn’t real and you knew about it.
Personally, I always thought you were a bit overrated. Michael Clay was putting up similar numbers and wasn’t getting the national attention. But I understood why it was happening. Your team had a great story. You had a great story. The media loves that stuff. The public loves that stuff. Well, the public also loved the story of a man who won 7 Tour de France championships after beating extremely aggressive cancer.
When it comes to athletes and lying, you can take the high road or the road that ends at the edge of a cliff. Andy Pettitte, Mark McGwire, and Alex Rodriguez admitted to their steroid use and were able to move on. Never asked about it again. Story over (until they are up for Hall of Fame consideration). Even Kobe Bryant admitted to his extra-marital affair and went through a very public trial. People have moved on.
Then there are athletes like Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens. People who continue to lie, although the court of public opinion has spoken loud and clear.
Then there is the final category. The liars. Tiger Woods and Lance Armstrong. Deny deny deny deny deny….admit. The more they denied, the closer to the edge they were pushed. The deeper the hole got. When the truth finally came out, they became branded as a liar, and that never goes away. Tiger is still trying to repair his image. Lance begins his journey tomorrow night the second the interview with Oprah is over.
So, Manti. You are standing at a fork in the road. This news has only been public for a few hours now, but everyone has already done research and determined that you are sitting on a throne of lies. You can continue this charade that you knew nothing (which just logistically doesn’t make any sense), or you can tell the truth and move on to your hopeful career in the NFL. And if/when you do finally admit the truth, I hope that you are stripped of the various awards that you won this year.
The choices are yours and yours alone. But just know that we all think you’re 100% full of shit.