Gotta say, props to Katie Couric for not messin’ around in her exclusive interview with Notre Dame football player Manti Te’o. Te’o had a much publicized sob story about losing both his grandmother and his girlfriend on the same day, but it was recently revealed on Deadspin that his girlfriend Lennay did not exist and her persona was concocted by an acquaitance of Manti’s. This called many of Manti’s previous statements about Lennay into question, including the fact that he claimed that they “met” after a game and that he had told his parents she had visited him in Hawaii. So when Manti tried to tell Katie that he hadn’t lied about Lennay, she didn’t let him get away with it. Keep reading »
Even if you know nothing about sports (ME!), you are now familiar with the name Manti Te’o, linebacker for Notre Dame. Yesterday, Deadspin published a piece exposing Te’o's girlfriend’s death as a hoax. Not just her death, but her existence. Lennay Kekua was never born, never attended Stanford, never got in a serious car wreck, and never died from leukemia. If those last few sentences sounded complicated, that’s because this story is a clusterfuck.
To give the most cursory of summaries, Deadspin discovered what every other mainstream news outlet — like ESPN and Sports Illustrated – should have: that Manti Te’o got “Catfished.” I refer to the 2010 documentary “Catfish” and subsequent MTV series about people who are bamboozled into having relationships with people on the internet who turn out to be fictional. To add another layer of complexity to this story, it’s unclear whether Te’o was “Catfished” without his knowledge or whether he was in on the hoax. And if he was an orchestrator of the hoax, what was his motivation? Was the sob story — that his grandmother and girlfriend died on the same day — concocted to aid in his question for the Heisman? Or did he make up a nearly year-long romantic relationship to cover for the fact that he’s really gay? Of course, there’s always the possibility that he is a serious sociopath.
But for the sake of argument, let’s give him the benefit of the doubt for a moment and assume that he was “Catfished” without his knowledge as he claims. This actually happens more than one would think. And there are some simple ways to avoid being a victim of “Catfishing.” Our tips after the jump. Keep reading »
Sports website Deadspin has uncovered a doozy of a scoop in the world of college football: This year’s inspirational tale of woe about Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o looks to be an elaborate hoax. All season, fans heard how Te’o drew inspiration from girlfriend Lennay Kekua, who died of leukemia. Except Lennay Kekua never existed, despite countless stories in the media about her life and death. Deadspin even found the 22-year-old woman whose Facebook photo was used in the ruse as the face of Lennay, much to her surprise. The big question now—was Heisman finalist Te’o an accomplice or a victim? (Update: Te’o tells ESPN he is the victim of a “sick joke” and is embarrassed by the revelation. He says he and “Lennay” had communicated frequently, but it was online and by phone.) Read more…