I know sports isn’t exactly priority number one around here, but if there’s one sports story you’ll care about all year it’s this one. It’s got it all: a handsome hero, intrigue,
girlfriends, skullduggery, the media looking stupid, cover ups, Hawaiian
Mormons, which I never knew was a thing until now, and the biggest
football player in the sky: Jesus.
A Notre Dame football star was apparently the victim of a Catfish-style hoax, and everyone is freaking out about it. For good reason too, it’s super weird.
Or maybe he isn’t the victim at all? Maybe it was all part of an elaborate plot to engender sympathy and publicity? That’s the debate at the center of the biggest, most curious story in the world of sports and that border place where sports crosses over into popular culture to the degree that, like, you come in from the other room and are all “What’s this sports thing I’m hearing about now?” and then the sports person tells you.
You’ll want to read the original piece on Deadspin, Manti Te’o’s Dead Girlfriend, The Most Heartbreaking And Inspirational Story Of The College Football Season, Is A Hoax, to get the full, weird, confusing details, but as a quick breakdown, Notre Dame football star Manti Te’o, who was profiled high and low in almost every national publication even remotely concerned about sports, and was a finalist for the Heisman Trophy (super good job college football guy #1), continually brought up, or was prompted to talk about, not only his recently deceased grandmother, but also his tragically dead girlfriend. Everyone reported on the existence of this girlfriend, from Sports Illustrated to ESPN, to the New York Times to your dad, sitting there in the chair on Saturday, as per dad, thinking to himself, “What a strong young man to have overcome this adversity in his young life and then go out and record so many tackles on other strong young men, not, however, quite as strong as this particular young, strong man,” thought your dad, dadly.