Doesn’t look like there will be a live video blog this week. Too much craziness going on right now to focus on that, but it will return at some point. I promise. If you are looking for the spoilers to Sean’s season, you can get them by clicking here. Anyway, before we get to today’s “Dr. Reality Steve” emails, let me just briefly touch on the Manti Te’o situation since, well, this is a dating/relationship/sex column, and Manti the Liar seems to have been Catfished in this situation, although calling him a “victim” in this is absurd, and I’ll explain why.
Even if you’re not a sports fan, this story is fascinating in about 100 different ways. So just for a mini refresher course, if you’ve been living under a rock since yesterday and don’t have a clue what this story about, first read DeadSpin.com’s excellent investigative report on the story. It explains everything. Of course after the story broke, everyone and their mother on Twitter had a joke or a response – and most were hilarious. I’m sorry, but I think Manti Te’o jokes will be funny for the next 10 years. He’s basically made himself into a punchline at this point for his ignorance, his compulsive lying, and his naivete. But the two best pieces I read last night were from Gregg Doyel of CBSSports.com and from Clay Travis of OutkicktheCoverage.com. Both also excellent pieces that are well thought out, well reasoned, and ask the questions I think most people are asking.
We haven’t heard Manti’s side yet, which we are supposed to get today. Regardless of what he says today, nothing will convince me he’s not a compulsive liar and embellisher, and that’s at BEST. I still think he was in on the whole thing and knew much earlier than December he wasn’t dealing with a real girlfriend, but I’ll hold off judgment until I hear him speak. With that said, what Manti can’t dispute, is that from Sept. 12th of this year (the supposed “death” of his “girlfriend”), until he got that phone call in December realizing he may have been part of a hoax, Manti Te’o trotted out this girlfriend story to every single national outlet that he could. Every interview he did he was asked about his girlfriend who was in a car accident then died of Leukemia and all he could do was sing the praises of his girlfriend, how much she meant to him, she was his soulmate, they’d spend hours on the phone every single night before bed talking, on and on and on and on he went. And it was a great story. Who wouldn’t believe it? But when any of us were sitting there listening him to talk about her, or when we hear ANYONE talk about their significant other, we’re obviously under the impression the person he’s talking about is someone he’s actually met in person. He never met her! That’s not opinion. Those are facts.
So you can see why people are skeptical. Who in their right mind calls someone a girlfriend and glorifies their love for her when: 1) they’ve never met them, 2) never visited them after their car accident or while suffering from Leukemia (which wouldn’t that make him the worst boyfriend ever?), 3) and never even showed up at the funeral – which never happened because she never existed. It’s the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard. He’s not a victim, and this is not “Catfish.” At least on Catfish, the other person is real. They’re just not who they say they are once finally meeting for the first time. Manti never met Lennay Kekua, yet for 3 years called her his girlfriend. And played up her “death” to the media for 3 months. It’s all very suspect and pretty much unbelievable. There are thousands of questions surrounding him, and none of his story makes sense. Yes, we know Catfishing happens, but the way Manti exaggerated his relationship with her makes this ridiculously shady. He did interviews for three months playing up the death of his “girlfriend” who he’d never met. Period. End of story. That lie in and of itself makes him a bona fide idiot. He can’t be a victim if he perpetuated the lie. Lets see where else this story takes us because I’m sure there’s more twists and turns coming. And I’m fascinated by all of it.