Ok, so for those who haven't yet heard, Manti Te'o was Notre Dame's star linebacker this year and a Heisman Trophy candidate. Honestly, I figured he would be a top 10 pick in the NFL draft, even considering how badly he (and his team) played against Alabama in the BCS National Championship game.
As it turns out, there may have been a reason the team played as miserably as they did.
Some will remember how Te'o lost his grandmother just before the Michigan State game, and also lost his girlfriend to leukemia that same day.
That happened in September, and according to a deadspin.com story posted yesterday (and the story listing the media's many, many contradictions posted today), on Te'o told his team on Dec. 26 that the whole part of the story with his girlfriend had never happened.
That's right, Te'o came to the realization that his girlfriend was about as real as the guy in this chair.
To make a very, very long and convoluted story short(er), Te'o supposedly had been in contact with this girl online for years and communicated through phone and Twitter. They never met in person (despite eyewitness accounts that they did and despite the fact that she went to Stanford, who Notre Dame has traveled to at least once during the relationship) and somehow the entire media didn't notice her lack of obituary, funeral notice, family, educational record, etc. except for Deadspin.
Her Twitter photo was taken from a girl's Facebook account who is NOT dead and is deeply upset that she's associated as such. The account itself was run by Ronaiah Tuiasasopo, a football prospect related to multiple other football stars of the same surname.
There are many angles that can be taken from this. How did the entire mainstream media whiff on this when there are SO MANY contradictions in the story? Why did it take Notre Dame three weeks after learning about this to issue any statement, and only after the story came out.
And most importantly: Why? Just... Why?
No story seems to make any sense as to why this even took place. Te'o claims he was the victim of a hoax, but that raises an idiotic amount of questions. Specifically, how did you never meet this person and never question if she was real.
I understand he's a person on faith. I know as a Catholic how mentally tough you have to be to make a deep personal conviction to believe in something that can't be proven externally and live based on that the ethical/moral code that comes with that belief, which is why I can buy him having no sexual intimacy in the relationship.
That said, there is a HUGE difference between religious belief and blindly following a human who you only know through the Internet, a plane where 90 percent of the world's bulls--- is kept.
No person smart enough to have Notre Dame, USC and BYU fighting over him should be this dense. And if he is, I feel genuinely concerned as to his competence in the NFL.
Heck, I think that might have collectively taken Notre Dame out of the title game, as everyone had to be thinking, 'We've been taking orders from THIS guy?'
Likewise, though, it being a grand hoax with his involvement makes no sense. What was his motivation? What could he have possibly gained from creating a fake girlfriend years in advance with a backstory and multiple flirtations with other guys, 'dating' said fake girlfriend for more than a year, putting her through a car accident (which was also not reported in any newspaper or police blotter), and then killing her off the same day as his grandmothers actual death?
If there is a plan in that, it's not only kind of sinister, but it's the worst plan EVER.
And in either case, who was the woman he was seen with/talking on the phone with? Was she a stand-in/hooker? This whole thing is coming across like a bad real-life adaptation of a rejected script for Suite Life of Zack and Cody or Kenan and Kel.
As such, I am going to offer some alternative theories that hasn't been talked about yet. Please play the video below as you read it, as I feel the music is fitting: Manti Te'o could have been in a secret homosexual relationship with Tuiasasopo.
Think about it: Tui ran the account and flirted with Te'o and other dudes for years. He WAS in a car accident that was reported around the time of the 'girlfriend.' They communicated through their real accounts a lot the summer before this whole thing started.
The eyewitness accounts could be embellished to be talking about a girl, not a guy. And the 'killing off' may have been when their relationship ended or became known to the family and quickly dismissed.
The relationship could have been a front for them the whole time and it was kept a secret because their conservative Mormon families would not approve of their love, so it had to be hidden away.
Admittedly, this theory probably doesn't have a great deal of traction, but at this point it's the one of the only ones that makes a lick of sense and provides a motive.
As time goes on, I'm sure a real theory will come to light, but as of this moment, the evidence provided is probably as valid a theory as any.
I also kind of root for it because it makes Te'o look less like an idiotic jackass than the other theories, and I kind of would prefer it if one of ND's most recent talents was not an offense to the intelligence standards of this fine institution.
More than likely, though, the theory I think that will be true is that Te'o couldn't get a girlfriend due to his training time, and to look less awkward in front of his teammates, made up the girlfriend. It started to get out of hand, and when it looked like it was going awry (or when he found an actual girlfriend), he abruptly killed off the relationship.
That, to me, seems like the most likely of options, and I think as more evidence comes to light we'll see that. It makes sense to me. I live a work-heavy life and have very sporadic times to meet new people. As such, a girlfriend is much harder to come by, and I can see the appeal of wanting a way to get the monkey off one's back.
I don't because I know that would only cause issues when I finally do get a girlfriend, but I see what he could have been going for.
I don't think Te'o is a bad guy, just an awkward college student who has the planning ability of a 9-year-old.
My ultimate complaint lies with the media, who somehow missed this when it was clearly staring them in the face. I think those mainstream companies need to take a long, hard look at themselves, and instead of demonizing this situation, simply get to the bottom of it and then move on to the next story.
Only this time, see a problem and keep tabs on it so that this madness never happens again.