A possible Door No. 3 with Manti Te'o
The Kansas City Star
I don’t know anything more about Manti Te’o and his non-girlfriend^ than you. All we know is that she doesn’t exist, never did, and whatever the outcome this is one of the biggest hoaxes in sports memory.
^ I’m working under the assumption that you know the story, and that you’ve read the mesmerizing account on Deadspin. If you haven’t, please do. Now. Seriously, stop wasting your time on this silly blog and read this incredible story.
And I haven’t read or heard everything that’s been said about this, but from what I can gather most of the reaction seems to be either that Te’o was the victim, or that he was in on the whole thing and at least a co-perpetrator.
But it seems to me — and I’m sure I’m not the first to think this — there could be a Door No. 3. What if it started out as a small lie? What if it started out as, yeah, I have this girlfriend and then it got publicized and Te’o wanted to avoid the humiliation so he kept it going? What if he started an online communication, a phone call here and there, and by the time the media and public knew about this girlfriend he didn’t want to go back?
It’s not too hard to imagine a college kid getting caught up in something, trying to cover for what (in retrospect seems like a small) embarrassment and unwittingly creating a bigger one? In this scenario, Te’o wouldn’t be the publicity-hungry a-hole the person in the Deadspin report thinks him to be, but he also wouldn’t be entirely innocent.
I don’t know. And I guess that’s the only thing I know. And this: there’s no outcome of this story in which someone isn’t a heartless and cruel animal.