Star Samoan Mormon Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o is currently embroiled in the most bizarre sports saga, maybe ever. Long story short, his cancer-stricken (internet) girlfriend (whose mid-season death inspired obsessive media coverage) never existed, leaving everyone shocked and confused. If you saw this coming, you’re lying, because no one did. Here are ten burning questions about the Manti Te’o saga. Take a look.
So, basically, Te’o never met this woman (Lennay Kekua) he claimed to have met in 2009 after a Stanford game, who also visited him in Hawaii (as reported in the South Bend Tribune)? - “This is incredibly embarrassing to talk about, but over an extended period of time, I developed an emotional relationship with a woman I met online. We maintained what I thought to be an authentic relationship by communicating frequently online and on the phone, and I grew to care deeply about her” “To realize that I was the victim of what was apparently someone’s sick joke and constant lies was, and is, painful and humiliating” – Manti Te’o statement released after Deadspin.com broke story. Photo credit: Instagram
Who was Manti speaking to on the phone nightly? - He told Sports Illustrated that “when he woke up in the morning his phone would show an eight-hour call, and he would hear Lennay breathing on the other end of the line.” But that’s impossible. Because Lennay doesn’t exist. Photo credit: Instagram
No Skyping or Facetiming…ever? Never ever? Why? - If you watch MTV’s hit show “Catfish,” you’ve seen deranged young girls who resemble Ursula the Sea Witch using prettier, thinner girls’ pics online. Why Te’o never actually wanted to SEE who he was talking to, no one knows (yet). Photo credit: Instagram
Why is a star college football player internet caking? - Projected first-round pick in the 2013 NFL Draft. Heisman finalist. Face of a big time college football program. But no groupies (or quality prospects in real life)? How is this possible? He plays for NOTRE DAME. Photo credit: Instagram
Is Te’o gay? - Closeted gay star athlete at prestigious Catholic school creates imaginary girlfriend to avoid widespread judgment and outrage? It’s possible. Photo credit: Instagram
Did Te’o create riveting girlfriend with cancer story to garner Heisman votes? - The impact player with the most intriguing story usually wins the Heisman. Before the Lennay story, no one knew who or what, exactly, a Te’o was. Photo credit: Instagram
How could the mainstream media be so unprofessional and lazy? - Sports Illustrated, Rolling Stone magazine and ESPN (etc) published enthralling Te’o features oozing with gooey details and fluff without ever fact checking anything, with anyone. Worst. Reporting. Ever. Just terrible.
Notre Dame knew about this on Dec. 26 of last year but responded when the story broke yesterday. What do they know that we may never know? - The storied institution was silent about the sexual assault scandal involving two football players that lead to the accuser committing suicide but responded to this? Think about that. Photo credit: Instagram
Is Ronaiah Tuiasosopo really Lennay Kekua? - The pics displayed on Lennay’s Twitter account were actually those of an unnamed woman who went to high school with Ronaiah Tuiasosopo, who somehow knows Te’o. After connecting the dots, it’s obvious that either: A) Ronaiah is Te’o’s scorned lover who used Lennay to hurt him B) Te’o conspired with Ronaiah to create Heisman hype or C) None of the above. Photo credit: Deadspin.com
How did Arizona Cardinals Fullback Reagan Maui’a meet Lennay (who doesn’t exist)? - Maui’a claims he met Lennay in June 2011 (before Te’o) while doing charity work in American Samoa with Pittsburgh Steelers star Troy Polamalu. He also claims Ronaiah introduced them which, well, is impossible if Ronaiah and Lennay are the same person. Somebody lyin. Photo credit: Instagram