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Manti Te'o and the invisible girlfriendFollow

#1 Jan 17 2013 at 10:44 AM Rating: Excellent
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It's blowing up on mainstream media now, but Deadspin broke the story yesterday: Manti Te'o, famous linebacker who plays for Notre Dame, never had a girlfriend who he claimed died of leukemia within hours of his own grandmother dying.

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Nov. 28, 2009: Te'o and Kekua meet after Stanford's 45-38 victory over Notre Dame in Palo Alto, according to the South Bend Tribune: "Their stares got pleasantly tangled, then Manti Te'o extended his hand to the stranger with a warm smile and soulful eyes." Kekua, a Stanford student, swaps phone numbers with Te'o.

Some time in 2012: Kekua has a car accident somewhere in California that leaves her "on the brink of death" (Sports Illustrated). But when? Eight months before she died of cancer, in September, reports ESPN. "About the time Kekua and Manti became a couple," reports the South Bend Tribune. April 28, reports SI.

June 2012: As Kekua recovers from her injuries, doctors discover she has leukemia. She has a bone-marrow transplant. ("That was just in June," Brian Te'o told the South Bend Tribune in October of 2012. "I remember Manti telling me later she was going to have a bone marrow transplant and, sure enough, that's exactly what happened. From all I knew, she was doing really, really well.")

Sept. 11-12, 2012: Te'o's grandmother dies in Hawaii. Later, Kekua dies in California. Or is it the other way around? "Te'o's girlfriend, Lennay Kekua, died Sept. 11 of complications from leukemia. His grandma, Annette Santiago, died after a long illness less than 24 hours later," according to the Sept. 22 South Bend Tribune. No, Annette dies first, according to the Oct. 12 South Bend Tribune. In fact, Lennay lives long enough to express condolences over the death of Annette:

Sept. 22, 2012: Kekua's funeral takes place in Carson, Calif. (The Associated Press puts it in "Carson City, Calif.," which does not exist.) Te'o skips the funeral, saying Kekua had insisted that he not miss a game (Los Angeles Times). Her casket is closed at 9 a.m. Pacific time, according to Te'o. That night, Notre Dame beats Michigan, 13-6, to go to 4-0, the school's best start in a decade. Te'o intercepts two passes. After the game, he says of Lennay: "All she wanted was some white roses. So I sent her roses and sent her two picks along with that." Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly awards the game ball to Lennay Kekua, handing it to Te'o to "take back to Hawaii."

...

This week, we got in touch with a woman living in Torrance, Calif. We'll call her Reba, to protect her identity. She was initially confused, then horrified to find that she had become the face of a dead woman. "That picture," she told us over the phone, "is a picture of me from my Facebook account."

Manti Te'o and Lennay Kekua did not meet at Stanford in 2009. The real beginning of their relationship apparently occurred on Twitter, as an encounter between @MTeo_5 and @lovalovaloveYOU, on Oct. 10, 2011.
...
And now here it was on a dead girl's Twitter profile. After googling Lennay Kekua's name, Reba began to piece things together. She called up the classmate. He expressed alarm, Reba told us later, and "immediately began acting weird." "Don't worry about it," he told her. Moments after the phone call, Reba's picture was removed from the @LoveMSMK Twitter profile. Then, in a series of lengthy phone calls, Reba told us everything she knew about the classmate, a star high school quarterback turned religious musician named Ronaiah Tuiasosopo.


I highly suggest reading the Deadspin article. It implies (though doesn't prove) that Te'o was part of a long-running hoax about a girlfriend who eventually found out she had leukemia and died right before a big game against Michigan - and right as Te'o was a top contender for the Heisman Trophy. The truth is the girl never existed; the question is whether or not Te'o knew that. It seems almost impossible that he didn't; he had reportedly known her since 2009, been friends since 2010, and dating since 2011 early 2012... long-distance. What do you guys think?

Edited, Jan 17th 2013 11:48am by LockeColeMA
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#2 Jan 17 2013 at 10:50 AM Rating: Excellent
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Somewhat a little tiny bit NSFW

Edited, Jan 17th 2013 11:51am by lolgaxe
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#3 Jan 17 2013 at 10:54 AM Rating: Excellent
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I bet they were using her as cover for his relationship with Tuiasosopo.
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#4 Jan 17 2013 at 10:56 AM Rating: Excellent
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I have no idea what the heck is going on. Every bit of it seems to be filled with juicy lies, bad alibis, and deceit. I get the feeling things are going to be slowly unraveling over the next couple of weeks. Will be interesting to see how this all plays out.

Smiley: popcorn
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#5 Jan 17 2013 at 11:07 AM Rating: Excellent
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Spoonless wrote:
I bet they were using her as cover for his relationship with Tuiasosopo.

There's a lot of speculation about that being true, or Te'o trying to hide up some other homosexual relationship.
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I have no idea what the heck is going on. Every bit of it seems to be filled with juicy lies, bad alibis, and deceit. I get the feeling things are going to be slowly unraveling over the next couple of weeks. Will be interesting to see how this all plays out.

Yeah, I'm pretty curious. Right now the only thing that seems solid is that the girlfriend was a hoax and that Tuiasosopo was behind the Twitter account and pictures of her.
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#6 Jan 17 2013 at 11:11 AM Rating: Excellent
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Maybe they accidentally killed his actual girlfriend and are trying to cover up by making it look like a hoax.
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#7 Jan 17 2013 at 11:42 AM Rating: Excellent
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Also, just because...

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#8 Jan 17 2013 at 12:14 PM Rating: Decent
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I saw a bit about this story last night, and I have no clue why the **** I should care. Some football player had a make-believe girl friend. WHY is this ******* news?
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#9 Jan 17 2013 at 12:26 PM Rating: Excellent
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BrownDuck wrote:
I saw a bit about this story last night, and I have no clue why the @#%^ I should care. Some football player had a make-believe girl friend. WHY is this @#%^ing news?


It's an interesting, and well-deserved black eye for the outlets that reported on it without fact checking. That's pretty much it, as far as I'm concerned.
#10 Jan 17 2013 at 12:30 PM Rating: Excellent
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BrownDuck wrote:
I saw a bit about this story last night, and I have no clue why the @#%^ I should care. Some football player had a make-believe girl friend. WHY is this @#%^ing news?


I think part of it is that, if he knew about the hoax (and I'm not sure how he didn't), he lied about these heartbreaking details to make himself a sympathetic character and to get a lot of media attention during the Heisman Trophy stuff. From the article, he even wrote to sick kids telling them abou this fake girlfriend.

IMHO, it makes football a lot more interesting...
#11 Jan 17 2013 at 12:31 PM Rating: Excellent
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BrownDuck wrote:
I saw a bit about this story last night, and I have no clue why the @#%^ I should care. Some football player had a make-believe girl friend. WHY is this @#%^ing news?

Because now he's free to date a Kardashian.
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#12 Jan 17 2013 at 12:34 PM Rating: Excellent
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I think that's a fitting punishment.
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#13 Jan 17 2013 at 12:39 PM Rating: Excellent
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Not news, entertainment. You know kind of like most of the political **** that happens in D.C.
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#14 Jan 17 2013 at 1:16 PM Rating: Excellent
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At first I was Smiley: confused.
Then after reading about what was going on I was all Smiley: rolleyes.
-shrug- I suppose there are some people that are surprised that people lie for attention.
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#15 Jan 17 2013 at 1:29 PM Rating: Good
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Criminy wrote:
At first I was Smiley: confused.
Then after reading about what was going on I was all Smiley: rolleyes.
-shrug- I suppose there are some people that are surprised that people lie for attention.


Kind of my thoughts too. I'm also willing to give him the benefit of the doubt a bit, maybe he was taken in if it was completely an on-line relationship. That happened to a cousin of mine. He's a dumbass too.

Or maybe it's as some people speculate and the whole thing was made up so he had a cover for being ***. Which would be kinda sad.
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#16 Jan 17 2013 at 2:10 PM Rating: Excellent
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Kakar wrote:

Or maybe it's as some people speculate and the whole thing was made up so he had a cover for being ***. Which would be kinda sad.

Honestly, I think that's the worst outcome. If he knew about it and lied for media attention, that's some justifiable anger, but whatever.
If he didn't know about it and was legitimately invested, that's sad, but he just looks stupid and moves on.
If he did it on purpose to hide his sexuality, his life is going to suck. Being a *** Mormon is grounds for excommunication, and I figure Notre Dame (and football teams in general) aren't too huge on the MSM front.
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#17 Jan 17 2013 at 2:18 PM Rating: Excellent
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LockeColeMA wrote:
and I figure Notre Dame (and football teams in general) aren't too huge on the MSM front.

I bet you could get a team to overlook it for his skills. At this point it's free publicity either way, and if nothing else they get the *** version of Tebowmania for a year before shipping him off to the Jets (and yes, it'd totally be the Jets again).

Edited, Jan 17th 2013 12:26pm by someproteinguy
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#18 Jan 17 2013 at 2:25 PM Rating: Good
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someproteinguy wrote:
before shipping him off to the Jets (and yes, it'd totally be the Jets again).


Smiley: lol

It totally would. And Rex would change the number on his tattoo of his wife in the jersey for him.

Edited, Jan 17th 2013 3:26pm by Eske
#19 Jan 17 2013 at 4:40 PM Rating: Decent
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On one hand, I find it incredibly hard to believe he didn't know, but on the other, he might just be that stupid.I feel like this whole thing is a case for the Bloodhound Gang or something.
#20 Jan 17 2013 at 4:46 PM Rating: Decent
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I've been hearing about this story all day, and the one thing that stands out to me the most about it is how little I care. Fake girlfriend or real girlfriend, did he know, didn't he know. It doesn't matter one **** bit. If the media hadn't jumped all over it, nobody would give a ****. This is case of media hype, nothing more.
#21 Jan 17 2013 at 5:35 PM Rating: Decent
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Given that I've never heard of anyone involved in this before, put me firmly in the "why should I care?" category.

Of course, that doesn't prevent the +1
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#22 Jan 17 2013 at 8:24 PM Rating: Good
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someproteinguy wrote:
I have no idea what the heck is going on. Every bit of it seems to be filled with juicy lies, bad alibis, and deceit. I get the feeling things are going to be slowly unraveling over the next couple of weeks. Will be interesting to see how this all plays out.

Smiley: popcorn

He'll probably run for governor of South Carolina.
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#23 Jan 18 2013 at 6:12 AM Rating: Excellent
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He's ***. He needed a beard, so he and his lover made one up. Same old story. He'll probably run for congress as a Republican.
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#24 Jan 18 2013 at 7:27 AM Rating: Excellent
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gbaji wrote:
Given that I've never heard of anyone involved in this before, put me firmly in the "why should I care?" category.

Of course, that doesn't prevent the +1

I take for granted how much people care about college football or the likely recruits for the NFL Smiley: frown Comes from working for universities, I suppose!
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#25 Jan 18 2013 at 7:42 AM Rating: Excellent
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"Why should I care?" is kind of a dumb question. No one is asking anyone to rise up and change the world over this. It's a human interest story made larger by the role of the media, sports culture and the fact that millions were a part of it in some way versus some dink at home ************ to Lonelygirl15 videos. Even if you want to say you don't care about the story, the way the media treated the story is interesting in of itself.
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#26 Jan 18 2013 at 8:02 AM Rating: Excellent
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I like how nobody is even considering the possibility that Te'o's girlfriend is Canadian, like my totally real high school girlfriend was. We didn't get to see each other a lot, but she was really hot, guys.


No, I don't have a picture of her.
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