Life in Fantasyland can be hard (and so can the language, so consider yourself warned).
Just today, my pet jackalope mauled my neighbor's cat. Earlier this week, I had to call Phil Emery back to tell him that I didn't think I would be the best choice to replace Lovie Smith (you're welcome Marc Trestman). Gandalf has yet to accept my friend request, and I'm pretty sure that Santa and the Easter Bunny are plotting against me. All this, and I still have leprechauns, pixies and minotaurs moving into my neighborhood every week. Trust me, they are not pleasant to live around.
To make my Fantasyland even worse, I just found out that my own fake and, at one time, dying girlfriend, Marilyn Gigi McAdams, shared a room with Manti Te'o's fake girlfriend in the hospital. Marilyn waited till today to tell me about it- what a fake bitch. I could have broke this story! If she had only not avoided me at all costs over the last year, or we had once figured out how to use facetime on our phones, or Skype... if I had only visited her while I knew she was "dying" in the hospital, perhaps I would have been enlightened earlier, and been able to tell Te'o myself that he was an idiot.
Am I the only one that remembers people in high school making up girlfriends? It usually went something like: "She goes to school downstate- we met at Great America over the summer. You don't know her." Funny that even teenagers, if they bought the story in the first place, usually figured it out in a week or so, and rightfully ripped the storyteller henceforth.
What teenager, or twenty-something adult, has a serious relationship with someone they have never met? Its hard enough to have a real serious relationship, but Te'o and his girlfriend were so committed to each other that they considered themselves an item without ever having been in the same room together? For months? This doesn't sound like your average college relationship to me. Te'o is an idiot at best, for believing this story, and a deviant narcissist for partaking in it.
Yet, somehow, he was not alone; oodles of journalists, networks and Notre Dame bought this story. Not only did they accept it, but they helped to put it in the national spotlight. There is no excuse for the journalists who failed to research- which is essentially their job- this story before reporting on it, and there is no excuse for Te'o and his part, however large, in fabricating it.
Whether Te'o was duped at any point during this hoax is no longer relevant; he did nothing to negate the story once he knew, beyond all doubt, that his "girlfriend" did not exist. That is inexcusable.
Sports are meaningless enough without athletes fabricating tragic stories. Sports are a distraction, an enjoyable relief from the burden of everyday life. We could live without them, we just don't want to. Successful athletes who have overcome some sort of personal obstacle are always more dear to the public because it makes them relatable.
"I have had tragedy in my life- just like that sports star! I like him more now. I hope he wins." Athletes whom we think we can connect to more than others are easier to root for, and that clearly seems to be the end game in this tragic, [insert synonym for "bullshit" here], story.
This was not just a tragic story either. This was a tragic story coated in lies, used to perpetuate the false image of "Manti Te'o" to the public. Not only did his "girlfriend" survive a near fatal car accident, but it was only because of her hospital time due to that accident that she found out she had leukemia... which then eventually killed her. Wow. That's so horrible that its almost unbelievable. Manti Te'o is a tool and, at some point, he willingly decided to keep being one.
I for one will take some joy in every hard question he and his family faces from here on out. If Te'o was a victim at the beginning or middle of this hoax, that is unfortunate, and those responsible deserve the blame as well. However, by not coming forward once he knew the truth, Te'o effectively negated any sympathy I might have had for him.
That is all on this topic. Stay tuned for further updates from Fantasyland, including "Elvis pumped my gas this morning" and "Harry Potter stole my fake girlfriend."