I know…I know. It’s funny! Our natural humanistic passion of seeing other people go down with their ships and the creativity it enables is truly hilarious and often epic. It seems as though lately, regardless of the serious or comedic nature of the event, as soon as something ridiculous breaks in the news, we the judging public (remember I did say we) find a way to express our interest in the stories, failures, and utter embarrassments of others. Manti Te’o is just the most recent example of what happens when public figures take a meteoric fall back to reality.
Manti Te’o, middle linebacker, the face of Notre Dame football this year, who became the preeminent darling and poster boy for collegiate football has had his world turned upside down this week. Remember prior to the Notre Dame/Michigan St. football game, we learned that young Manti had loss his grandmother to death and his girlfriend, who finally succumbed to Leukemia, on the same day. That weekend he had to go out and play a football game, with a heavy heart, because, as it was reported, his girlfriend Lennay Kekua made him promise that, “no matter what happened to her he could not miss a game.” That weekend he completely dominated his opponent on the field and for a moment seemed to put his emotional burdens to the side; a move that was considered a true test of “mental fortitude” and toughness. Te’o was, not officially of course, a Heisman front running candidate that night. His compelling story was only rivaled by the exploits of Johnny Football (Manzeil) and any football team on the next level would be foolish to not draft this kid. We were witnessing the birth of football’s NEXT BIG….
Now I know what you’re thinking. The story was completely believable and that is definitely true. Why would anyone ever lie about suffering to deaths to people close to you on the same day. I mean when the story first broke and it was reported that Te’o was, in his words, “the victim of someone’s cruel joke” had been scammed and that this Lennay Kekua never existed, who didn’t think of Catfish (which by the way is one of the fakest reality television shows I have ever seen) and how unfortunate that this public darling had been embarrassed. However, as more info has surfaced, come to find that Lennay could have existed or still doesn’t exist, but more importantly, Manti was heavily involved in perpetuating this fake person, story, and circumstances surrounding it simply because, as one of his alleged teammates revealed, “He loves attention.” So now this media darling, one of college football’s prized sons, has been reduced to a shallow, inconsiderate, lying MEDIA HORROR! And as a result we get millions of people brandishing these types of images all over the World Wide Web:
Ultimately…Manti’s story doesn’t matter. He’s another young kid, who has been pushed and promoted by the media as a story, and now has fallen from grace by getting caught up in elaborate lie. But this story is not as fanatical as you might think. In fact…I remember hearing a story a little while ago about a young lady in Kansas. Apparently there was a huge Tornado that swept into town and completely picked her home up and dropped it into a completely different area. Along the way, this young lady met a scarecrow, a man mad of tin…and a talking lion…. the rest of it is pretty foggy, but at some point she clicked her red hells several time and was able to make it home safely. When you consider that story, Manti’s doesn’t seem so bad.
I do have one piece of advice for Manti or anyone else feeling the pressure o develop a relationship with an invisible or imaginary person. With a little ingenuity, a healthy imagination, and a mindset built on sheer determination and being successful at all cost…you can do what these guys did