Well, I’ve finally picked all the pieces of my brain off of my desk and put them all back into place after reading this INSANE Deadspin exposé about Manti Te’o’s fake relationship with a girl named Lennay Kekua created to garner sympathy from the national media, likely to increase his profile to a sympathetic American public.
The story delves deep into the twisted, fucked up world Te’o created, in which his made up girlfriend had been in a car accident. While recovering from the fake accident, the fake doctors discovered that the fake girlfriend had fake leukemia. Meanwhile, Te’o announced this to the real world, and the fake girlfriend urged him on via Twitter to play in Notre Dame’s upcoming games against Michigan and Michigan State.
A few weeks later, Te’o’s grandmother, Annette Santiago died. THE SAME DAY, Te’o announced that his girlfriend had also died, creating a giant swirl of sympathy and grief for the linebacker. Soon, Te’o was a household name, shot up draft boards and was inserted into every Heisman discussion.
I mean, my brain is still trying to wrap itself around this. The guy made up a girlfriend and KILLED HER OFF THE SAME DAY his grandmother died. That’s all sorts of fucked up. Now, I’ve been caught in my fair share of lies. That’s for sure, but this is the Space Shuttle of fucked up lies. To call this a lie seems insufficient. It barely even scratches the surface.
And more props to Deadspin for uncovering this. This is an outstanding piece of investigative journalism. Outstanding. Someone sensed something fishy and dove balls deep into Twitter to uncover Te’o’s strange online relationship and the subsequent media pity party, especially from ESPN and Sports Illustrated, both of which were Te’o’s biggest newshounds.
It makes you wonder if this goes much deeper than Te’o’s fabrication. Was it a big media conspiracy spear-headed by the Worldwide Leader and SI to further Te‘o (a rather overrated linebacker in the first place) as a Heisman finalist? This just doesn’t make sense that a smart guy who goes to Notre Dame, a Mormon with seemingly stellar character and leadership skills, would make up such a horrible, misleading story to try and further his case for the Heisman Award?
Then we come to find out that Te’o had reached out to the girl whose pictures he was using for his fake girlfriend’s Twitter profile, who he didn’t even know, and a multitude of other odd behaviors by Te’o to try and keep his dead girlfriend alive, so to speak.
Either way, this story gets more bizarre the more you think about it. Again, major, major credit to Deadspin, Timothy Burke and Jack Dickey for outstanding journalism. Follow the link below for the details — the strange, outlandish, fucked up details.
Notre Dame has released the following statement, backing Te’o:
On Dec. 26, Notre Dame coaches were informed by Manti Te’o and his parents that Manti had been the victim of what appears to be a hoax in which someone using the fictitious name Lennay Kekua apparently ingratiated herself with Manti and then conspired with others to lead him to believe she had tragically died of leukemia. The University immediately initiated an investigation to assist Manti and his family in discovering the motive for and nature of this hoax. While the proper authorities will continue to investigate this troubling matter, this appears to be, at a minimum, a sad and very cruel deception to entertain its perpetrators.
Image via SB Nation