By: Eric Thomas

People might think Te’o is telling the truth. Some feel this honeytrap for Notre Dame haters and point to the Notre Dame’s cadre of investigators. They might say that Te’o was a victim.

What follows is my opinion. I read the articles, the same ones you did. I watched the press conference. There are plenty of people who did the same as I and came to a different conclusion.

I’ve cautioned before about rushing to judgment. If you accuse me of hypocrisy, fine. I have all the information I need. It seems obvious to me.

Manti Te’o is a liar. He made up a character, killed her off and spent much of the football season lamenting her loss. He cast himself as a tragic hero, swaddling himself in a layer of love that he didn’t deserve. I furthermore believe that when Te’o started getting attention from this, he liked it and milked it.

Te’o says that he was duped. The internet is awash in the discussion of the “Catfish” story. The movie makers are only too happy to offer comment to every article on the internet written today. They say it’s totally plausible, and could “happen to anybody.”

The movie makers have a TV show now and I’m sure they can’t believe their luck. Side note: That movie is a lie, too. They had a hunch that woman was a fake and that’s why they started rolling the cameras. Again, my opinion.

He says he was duped but we must now consider the source. The media completely believed Te’o last time, so why would they give credence to him now? What credibility has Te’o earned? He says he was duped, but where are the phone records? Redact the stuff you don’t want us to see and show your sources.

Sympathy ROLLED over the rim for this kid and now he owes an explanation. If he didn’t want to talk about this, he shouldn’t have brought it up.

The problem for Te’o is that he tried to pull this off in 2013. This hoax was carried out over Twitter. The evidence is everywhere. You can find out exactly what computer that account came from. Twitter already knows. This is going to come out. He knew about this since December, he probably already printed the phone records. Unless he’s still lying.

Notre Dame embarrassed themselves as an organization. Did they read the Deadspin article?! According to Jack Swarbrick, Te’o was victim of “[A] very elaborate, very sophisticated hoax perpetrated for reasons we can’t fully understand that had a certain cruelty at its core.”

Want to know why it’s hard to understand? It’s not plausible. What’s the simplest explanation? It’s not true.

Many of us, most of us, have lost someone close to us. I can’t imagine talking about it publicly only DAYS after it happened. How could anyone do that? Especially a college kid who isn’t used to this level of scrutiny? Te’o wallowed in it, talking about it in post game interviews.

ESPN is spinning. They’re trying to look like a credible “sports news” source, but they have embarrassed themselves. The reporter who did the piece for College Gameday, Gene Wojciechowski, said that he looked for reports of the accident and the death certificate. When he didn’t find them, he apparently thought those were two red flags. He decided to ask Te’o about it and Manti told him to “back off.”


If her death was such a sensitive subject, he wouldn’t have sat for it. If he participated willingly in the piece, why wouldn’t Te’o help Wojciechowski find the evidence? If a national news organization was going to shine a spotlight on my dearly beloved departed, and I wanted them to get that attention, of course I would provide more information. By sitting for the interview itself, he was providing more information. Why wouldn’t Te’o give ESPN more evidence for the story that he was participating in? Because the evidence didn’t exist, that’s why.

ESPN is going to try to kick this story under the bed, because it reveals them as nothing more than a jockocracy. They simply eat out of an athletes’ extended hand. They slurp people who play games for a living and disgrace the name of news. If someone wants to tug at your heart strings for sympathy, they will hand them a microphone. Anything to keep getting those interviews.

So now we are waiting to hear from Te’o. Will the media accept the same answers? Will they wise up? Teo’s statement yesterday was more of the same. He wrapped himself in the same victim banner as he did all season. He was a tragic hero, now even more tragic because he’s the victim. Te’o loves casting himself as a victim and he’s doing more of it now.

Will the media grow a spine and ask some tough questions? We’ll see.


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