The other day I was thinking about writing something about Tim Tebow. But then the storm hit with Manti Te'o caught in it without protection. I mean seriously, what were you thinking?
For those that may not have heard, Notre Dame linebacker and Heisman runner-up Manti Te'o's "girlfriend," Lennay Kekua, died from leukemia just hours after the passing of his grandmother on Sept. 12. Instead of allowing himself to be taken over by grief, Te'o used the deaths as inspiration and strapped on his uniform. He played one of the best games of his career with 12 tackles and two pass deflections. As he walked off the field with tears in his eyes, he pointed up to heaven. I know it sounds cynical of me, but I think that his story probably helped put him in the spotlight of the Heisman voters.
Now, Te'o claims that he was duped and is as shocked as everyone else. Even though I don't have personal experience, I've heard that the problem with lying is that you have to keep too many facts straight and remember what you told one person and not another.
If he did all this for Heisman publicity, it worked. However, it cost him big in the long run. With the NFL draft coming up, how many teams are going to take a chance on him and give up a high-draft pick on a potential head case, or at the very least a liar?
Of course it's possible, but not very probable, that he is telling the truth and didn't know anything about it and he was a victim. But if that's the case, he still has a lot of explaining to do.
For openers, if he never met or saw, except in pictures, this girl that he claimed to be the love of his life, how can he explain the story his father told the South Bend Tribune describing in detail how the two met at a Stanford game and how she would come to Hawaii after they became a couple? Granted one can't be held accountable for what someone else says, but why didn't he ever issue a correction?
Another oddity to the story is why didn't he attend the funeral of the woman he considered "the love of his life?" Then months after her "death" when he received a call from her phone and heard her voice, why did it take him so long to come forward to report it to the university, who in turn hired an investigator to look into it?
A rumor going through the Internet is that a friend of his, a musician by the name of Ronaiah Tuiasosopo, was the person who came up with the picture and helped with the hoax. Another speculation is that the two came up with it to hide that Te'o is gay, something that is not acceptable in his Mormon religion.
If he was a victim, how gullible can he be? If he was in on it, all I can say is, oh what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive.
Manny Fils is a sports writer for The Citizen. Fils can be emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org.