All I can say is “Catfish!”
Last night I finally had time to sit and read this article, a piece on DeadSpin about the whole Manti Te’o ”girlfriend” hoax - or whatever you want to call it.
Cliff Notes version: Basically Notre Dame star football player has an online girlfriend who is attending Stanford. They (allegedly) meet after a game, and down the road a relationship ensues…online. The girlfriend ends up being in a terrible car accident and after recovering, dies of cancer. She tells Manti to play in her honor, blah, blah, blah. A real heartbreaking yet inspiring story. The media couldn’t get enough of it, or him. But finally someone did their homework and found out the girlfriend didn’t exist. There was no cancer, no car wreck, no real relationship with Manti. It was an acquaintance of Manti’s. A guy.
Now everyone is wondering if Manti Te’o was one of “those guys” who fall in love with someone online without really knowing who they are, or if he was a part of the hoax, since he was caught in many lies covering up her existence.
The DeadSpin article breaks down every single little detail about the hoax, including:
–The reporting errors that were made by everyone from Sports Illustrated to The Associated Press
–The web of lies
–The Twitter timelines of both Manti Te’o and his alleged girlfriend – AND the actual person behind the “girlfriend’s Twitter
–Who was the girl in the photos if she wasn’t real?
–The responses made by Notre Dame and Manti Te’o
There’s also some updates here.
So basically it’s something you would totally expect to see on MTV’s Catfish. But was Manti Te’o a victim to Ronaiah Tuiasosopo, who was the person behind creating the online female persona? Or was Manti IN on the elaborate hoax? I want your opinions!
(My personal opinion now, is that Manti was not a part of the hoax but lied to cover up inconsistencies because he WANTED to believe she was real. BUT, my very first inclination was to believe Manti did it for Heisman Trophy sympathy. I wonder if my gut feeling was right or if he fooled me too?)