Friday, January 25, 2013

The full Manti

Somebody needs to tell Manti Te'o, former linebacker of Notre Dame, and he of the on-going "girlfriend" hoax -- to shut up. It was bad enough when the story first broke, but Te'o just keeps digging his hole deeper and deeper.

Falling in love with someone you've never seen, touched, or spoken to in person is one thing. Given that, it's probably not much of a stretch to mourn their supposed death.

But since then, this story keeps getting weirder and weirder, and Manti's taking more hits than a speed bag in a boxing gym. Now it's becoming apparent the voice he became so enamored with didn't even belong to a woman. It was a dude PRETENDING to be a woman. Well, OK, some of those impersonators are pretty good, but DAMN, that's a whole lot different than getting emotionally involved with one.

That was likely all going to come out anyway, and it would have blown over, but Manti just keeps pouring gas on the fire. He certainly didn't do himself any favors by granting Katie Couric a televised interview. Couric played some of the voice mails from his "girlfriend" and then even went so far as to ask Te'o if he was gay. Of course, this has been replayed over and over on the air, and gone viral through other media, so anybody that didn't know about it before sure as hell does now. Te'o's gone from a stud college linebacker and likely first round NFL draft pick to being perceived as a buffoon that has to defend his very sexual orientation. My oh my, I'm guessing even Touchdown Jesus back in South Bend is getting a little red-faced over this one. The Gipper would not be proud. Remember that movie Rudy? Will they come out with another one for Te'o and call it Trudy?

Talk show comedians are having a field day with poor Manti. Jay Leno's people took the Couric clip and plugged in a normal sounding man's voice in place of the "female" voice. The crowd roared. This is getting ugly.

I suppose it could be worse. In some cultures, marriages are arranged sight unseen. Can you imagine how absurd this whole situation would be right now if that had been the case? Would Te'o now be a widower? Because the woman was a man, would the marriage have been legal in the first place? Beats me. That could get messy -- not to mention highly embarrassing. How would the leprechauns explain THAT to their kids?

Regardless, if no more not-so-nice surprises come out of this, and Te'o learns to shut up, it will gradually fade away and some NFL team will still draft him. That's good news and bad news for Manti Te'o.

The good news is he'll probably become a millionaire. The bad news is what the veteran players on that pro team will likely put him through during his rookie hazing behind closed doors. They'll remember all this nonsense -- guaranteed.

If Te'o thought the abuse he suffered at the hands of Alabama in the national championship game was bad -- I shudder to think what his new teammates might have in store for him. That could get REALLY ugly.

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