When it comes to the recent Manti Te’o story, some people want to feel very bad for him… Others can’t help but be convinced he was a part of it because in this day and age, it’s TOO unbelievable that he wouldn’t have done more digging to verify how real she was. (Although there IS a term, movie and show about this stuff )
But now, this latest admission that he may have “tailored” details he gave to reporters adds another wrinkle to this whole story. Admittedly, my first immediate thought was “It was soooooo a hoax and he knew about it!” However, after a pause and stepping back, one thing is abundantly clear: this story’s ripple effect isn’t solely because people are questioning his actions and integrity, although that’s huge and takes center stage here. But on another level, it’s because the themes of love and deception are universal — which is probably why there are so many supporters out there, too.
Regardless of whether or not this story is true, they’re just very common themes. And, it’s clear that by reinforcing the reality of his grief and the difficulty of his position, it would invoke some level of support — maybe even making people believe that anyone, even a hotshot football player, could be deceived.
I mean, let’s look at this for a second: Here you have a good looking guy whose future in pro football is pretty much guaranteed. Why would he even NEED to make up a girlfriend? I’m sure there would have been a bunch of willing participants for a real or fake relationship. But for whatever reason, the world around him didn’t seem to be enough… Instead, the guy finds solace online and somehow connects with someone’s words and envisioned perfection online.
So if YOU thought your love was real — like Te’o claims his was — wouldn’t you make up details so people wouldn’t think your story was off the wall? Heck, I would. Why would I want people to know how much I really didn’t know?
In any case, it does seem that Te’o has plucked a chord with many folks, especially those that may feel his pain. People get tricked all the time and that’s clearly where he wants to let folks know that he’s not above that.
I’m sure details will continue to unfold… But as long as you play on the themes of love and lies, opinions suddenly get murky. And a young guy like Te’o either knows that already or is learning a tough lesson in a very difficult and public way…
Hopefully his next love will be a real one — and won’t live solely in the virtual world.