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  • Wonder, Think & Know: Manti Te’o Edition

    by Mike Coffey

    As the late great Mike Royko once said, some things you wonder, some things you think, and some things you just know. But this time, gentle readers, I’m going to stick with what I know.

    I know the Internet brings out the weird in droves. There’s a reason I don’t give my children’s school permission to use their images on the school website. Some of the nutjobs I’ve encountered in 12 years of doing this have given me pause. So I’m not about to take Twitter accounts as gospel, especially since I deleted mine the other day.

    I know no money has ever been lost overestimating the degrees people will go to screw around with other people. Sometimes the reward is money, sometimes it’s attention. But it’s perpetrated by sick, sad individuals, and Manti Te’o is not one of those individuals.

    I know the national sports media got played. They got pantsed on a story they could have been on top of with five minutes spent on a search engine. They’re pissed, and they’re looking for someone to blame. Right now, Te’o is the convenient target, and it would be a shame if he were crucified via them doing just as little work as they did looking into the story in the first place.

    I know a night like tonight is David Haugh’s wet dream. He gets to make national hay on Notre Dame’s sunshine because some idiot somewhere decided he was the “ND expert”. Anyone who assassinates a person’s character within five minutes of admitting he doesn’t know them very well should be relegated to reporting the 4H results at the state fair, but that wouldn’t be fair to the 4H kids. Maybe this finally will convince my cousin who maintains what a good guy he is of his grade-A douchitude.

    I know Jack Swarbrick, as much as I’m willing to criticize him at times, is not an idiot. He wouldn’t get up in front of the national media and say he had the goods if he didn’t have the goods. He’s not going to put his career and reputation at risk for a college player.

    I know any site like Deadspin, who publishes an A-Z guide to ND football where they allege the school covered up a rape, should be taken with a shaker of salt when it comes to veracity. Having half a story hasn’t stopped them before. Rushing to get a story out first doesn’t make it right.

    I know the guy being lampooned in the national media is the same guy who, without seeking any publicity, did things like this. If Couch’s friend hadn’t seen the email, it never would have been out there. Doesn’t exactly track with the attention-whore caricature being tossed about, does it? If this world has devolved to the point where I can’t root for the Manti Te’o’s, then why the hell should any of us bother with anything.

    I know I’m in Te’o’s corner. And I know I’m staying there.

    63 Responses to “Wonder, Think & Know: Manti Te’o Edition”

    1. NDMike2001 says:

      “If this world has devolved to the point where I can’t root for the Manti Te’o’s, then why the hell should any of us bother with anything.”

      Yep. There are times that you try and justify rooting for someone like Lance Armstrong because he’s done a lot of good. I’m not justifying my support of Te’o. I actually have faith in it.

      • Paul Cappelli says:

        Hey Mike- I appreciate your loyalty but I don’t need to have all the facts to know that my former top dog Manti is no one to trust or have faith it. I was a star athlete at ND from 2000-2004 and I knew that my integrity, work ethic and most importantly my public perception is what kept my fans rooting for me. Manti’s peak of fame was a bit higher than mine (given the vast improvements in media coverage/social media since 2004) but I know all too well the pressures. To succumb to these pressures in the manner he did is disgusting. I love ND!!!!

        #11 PJC

        • Frank Brandon says:

          Paul, who the fuck are you again?

          • Paul Cappelli says:

            wooo, easy pal. this is who the fck I am.

            http://www.und.com/sports/m-lacros/mtt/cappelli_paul00.html

            • VADomer02 says:

              I think you’re a little loose with the term “star athlete”, wouldn’t you say? According to the link you just provided, you have zero career starts, and zero points. I hope you’re not being serious when you claim that Manti’s “peak of fame was a bit higher” simply because there is more internet coverage now.

          • Seriously? If you were “a star athlete at ND,” then there wouldn’t be any need to tell people here who you are. Were. Used to be. Allegedly.

            Manti needs to address it, and let it die. This was primarily a media-fabricated story, and they are just feeling stupid about it now, and lashing-out. Let the real wrongdoing of Lance Armstrong eclipse it and move-on, and it will be gone as quickly as it arrived.

            Does anyone even remember that Ray Lewis was involved in a double-homicide (stabbing), years ago? No, now he is somehow a model of character and integrity. If murder is par-for-the-course in the NFL, they certainly won’t dwell on this.

    2. “If this world has devolved (GOOD choice of words) to the point where I can’t root for the Manti Te’os, then why the hell should any of us bother with anything.”

      If you really mean this, and I don’t think you do, then the sick fucks who are responsible for it accomplished what they set out to do.

      Root for the guy down the street from you who works his butt off 6 or 7 days a week for his kids.

      Root for the (legal) immigrant who works his butt of 6 or 7 days a week and sends money back to the old country.

      Root for the Notre Dame students who spent their 2011 fall break in Tuscaloosa helping the people rebuild.

      There’s plenty of people for you to root for.

      Manti Te’o is a fine young man in whom the university can take great pride, a fine football player and whoever the sick fucks who pulled this one are – their reward/punishment is just knowing who they are. Why they did it is unimportant, as are they.

      This whole thing is creepy and sick.

    3. I’ve been wrestling with this since some friends started texting me about this story. My wife told me to let it go. (Actually, she just did again…) I keep coming back to positive way the university and its extensive web wrapped itself around Manti in support after those days. It comforts me relative to just thinking about the negativity currently running amok on the Internet. I think in all of this is a kernel of why ND is so special.

      I am also at a loss for the new guilty till proven innocent media motto, but whatevs.

    4. NYCF'n Irish says:

      Excellent article (and title). I’ll gladly put my faith in Manti, not some rag like Deadspin and other rags like it! Manti, the ND nation still loves you, maybe more now than ever!

    5. I am with you. I believe he was duped. There is no logical sense for Manti to make up such an elaborate story. In a world filled with cynics and skeptics people like Manti are perceived as too good to be true. As you said folks with axes to grind against ND will fall all over themselves to say he is guilty based on their unnamed sources. From my perspective nothing has changed, Manti is a great football player and more importantly a great person and great student representative of ND.

      As a parent I too worry about my kids access to the Internet. If anything good can come out of this, it is to highlight this issue of catfishing and for us too all be on our guard against these online predators.

    6. A few weeks after this happened in Sept. I googled his “girlfriends” name to see a picture of her. I came up with nothing and starting to wonder about a few things. Then he did not go back home until the bye week and some things just did not add up. This entire story is so convoluted.

    7. I believe he was duped. I do have to ask one thought about ND though. You mentioned the story of the girlfriend could have been busted or confirmed with a quick search online. I believe this to be true, which leaves me wondering why ND didn’t vet this story more when it was in everyone’s faces back in September. Shouldn’t any organiztion be vetting all of the infromation that’s being put out for public consumption, whether good or bad? I do believe someone at ND should have made a call to our friends at Stanford and say “hey, ever had this student?”, asked Manti, “you have met her right?”. Don’t get me wrong, ND or anyone else doesn’t need to be digging into every players back story, but this became part of what propelled him into the national scene and into the Heisman hunt, we should have been doing some background work on this. I love ND and I think overall they’ve handled this very well post-discovery, but 20-20 tells me they (the administration) could have possibly asked a few more questions about what became such a big part of our brand this year.

      • I’m with you – The nd publicity department should have vetted this thing at the outset.

        But they didn’t – they took the whole thing at face value and made it part of the Manti for Heisman campaign. I admire how Swarbrick has stood up for him since this sad little story broke, but if nd had vetted this at the outset it would never have gotten as far as it did. No one did (why would they?) but the administration has to take some responsibility for this. Will they? I don’t think so.

        Someone out there is going to ask the question – “What is the nd publicity department?” and that is a fair question. I’m not familiar with the infrastructure but the university is VERY good at blowing its own horn. Somewhere at nd there is someone who got the idea of combining the two deaths – the real and fictitious – and making them into the linchpins of the ‘Manti for Heisman’ campaign. We will never know who that person is.

        I am reminded of one of the sentences in one of the university’s statements about the death of Declan Sullivan – “no one person can be held responsible.”

        So we are left with the creeps who started this.

    8. ND Chicago says:

      What a sad story. I don’t think for a second Swarbrick risks his reputation or the reputation of ND if he’s not 100% sure Manti was the victim and was in no way complicit. He is privy to the private inestgator’s report as well as talking to Manti himself. Admittedly, there are a lot of questions, and the sooner Manti puts himself out there to answer them the better it will be for him and his family. As Mike pointed out, the media sharks are circling.

    9. Hard to even put this into words. I’m stunned by this. I am as big a subway alum that you will find but this story is to “catfishy” to think Manti first discovered this info in December. I think more then likely he was “duped” as a kind hearted ultra trustworthy kid who wanted to be there for a girl he thought was truly dying. What I think happened though is that as this story took on a life of its own and ND kept winning; he found out the truth a ways back but didn’t quite no how to back track out of the shear embarrasment he had and knew would be coming his way once the national media found out. I think he did try to take a bad situation and milk it for the attention. My best reason for saying that is because he clearly never met this girl and upon finding out she died called her, “the love of his life” That right there is the epitome of embellishing something. I do think he had feelings for her but you can’t say that someone you’ve never met is the love of your life. In conclusion, I do feel bad for Manti that he was and is going to feel the fall out of this for a long time. I hope it is what I feel that he was duped but then the story got out of controll and he didn’t know how to reel it back in. Selfishly, I am also glad he will not be at ND anymore. Those other players do not deserve going thru a media storm next year which would’ve have happened if he was back.

      • Dan (yes, another one) says:

        Dan: you are on the same line of thinking that i ahve been on….that he was originally duped, embellsihed on it a little (who is really going to come out and say “no, i have never met my girlfriend personally”) and then it got out of control. And being in line with Manti’s heart and character probably didn’t want to bring all of this out before the title game. Hingsight, maybe he should have and it would have given them an excuse for playing the way they did. “Play like a Champion”!!!!

    10. NDBonecrusher says:

      Dan great analysis–you are clearly better at being objective at this time than I am. I don’t even know what to think right now. Seems that either Manti is lying (which is gonna break a lot of hearts including mine) or some sick, sick, sick folks pulled off one of the cruelest scams since Judas kissed the Lord. There will probably be some elements of both. Very interested to hear what the lad has to say for himself, and hopeful that he gets through it. Until I am shown a damn good reason for doing otherwise, I will keep “rooting” vociferously for Manti.

    11. Dan (yes, another one) says:

      I apologize…..I obviously should have run “spell check” before issuing the previous post.

    12. I want to believe Jack and Manti on this, but I just wish Notre Dame had gotten out in front of this story sooner. The girlfriend story has been public since September, and, like it or not, Notre Dame has been part of that story. Notre Dame has their own reputation to be concerned about. Jack said they had the results of the investigation on Jan. 4. The timing would have been awkward just before the championship game, and it would have sounded like excuse-making to release it just after the game. But wait a few days, say until Jan. 11 (people in Washington know that Friday afternoon is always a good time to release bad news), then come forward. In this age of instant news you can’t sit on a story and expect it to remain private. Jack said they knew about the online chatter. If they had beaten Deadspin in releasing the story they could could have established Manti’s innocence as the baseline for the story, instead of now having to fight the speculations and suspicions that Manti was part of the hoax and that maybe Notre Dame wanted to cover that up.

      It’s been an ongoing joke in our household for years about how much publicity Notre Dame gets regardless of our fortunes on the football field (my wife’s university has won a NC more recently than we have). Sometimes that ain’t always such a great thing.

    13. from someone who has been ‘played’ in the game of love (more than once) (after face-to-face dating)…and…who has had her reputation trashed by jealous colleagues on Facebook…i can definitely believe that someone could ‘fall’ for an online/phone relationship…we live in a culture that celebrates mean people…i admit to watching them on the tube…i can only pray that manti can stay true to his faith and do what he needs to do to champion GOoD

    14. martinjordan says:

      This would certainly explain the egg they laid against Alabama.

      • Please don’t make this the excuse for the championship game. Maybe that partly explains Manti’s horrible performance but what about the rest of the team? Don’t turn this incredibly sad story into something about that game. They got crushed in unfortunately the biggest moment of the season. Let’s hope for ND’s sake and Manti’s that all this was a hoax by mean spirited people and not an elaborate plan in which he was a participant.

    15. The egg they laid against Alabama was due to the fact that Bama is bigger, stronger, faster, better conditioned and MUCH better coached.

    16. Anyone who believes anything published in the media, today, is an idiot. The American media has proven time and time again, they will distort, exaggerate, and lie to destroy successful people who have done admirable things but who do not “fit in” with the amoral, degenerate lifestyle and agenda that the American media promotes.

      Te’o is the antithesis of the American media’s ideal person. He has character, an ethic that says one needs to work to be successful and deserves the rewards associated with that hard work, and does not participate in the deviant lifestyle promulgated by the American media.

      Te’o is a good person – something the American media just hates.

    17. Fred Daues says:

      Yes Te’o is a good person but he is still a college student subject to the same mistakes any of us could make. I want to believe that he was duped but there is a side of me that is thinking that he never used face time ever to communicate with her? How many college students do not use this software, probably most? Never Skype? Either way he is a terrific football player that helped ND to great heights.

      • Mike Coffey says:

        My sister lives in Canada, and despite my parents’ repeated entreaties, will not use Skype. She doesn’t trust webcams.

        It’s not a long reach to the girl saying she’s got an old laptop and it doesn’t have a camera.

      • …thanks for reminding us that this is a college kid…i mean, seriously…could we just get over ourselves?!?…or…maybe there should be a class action suit against him because he has shown how few facts are needed by reporters before they print/air stories…maybe sports reporters are moving into the reality tv genre…we all want to blame someone when we haven’t done our homework…leave the kid alone…

    18. Manti: You need to be 100% honest and move quickly on this. Do not let this get to the weekend without holding a formal press conference. You are sinking deeper every hour that goes by that you aren’t telling your side of the story.

      And if this was a hoax and Manti is completely innocent, I really wish these cowardly, sick person(s) comes out and clears Manti’s name. You are ruining a wonderful mans reputation and costing him millions!

    19. The line is: Some things you suspect, some things you guess and some things you just know.

      and the person who used to say this was Bernie Lincicome, not Mike Royko.

    20. I’m withholding judgement on anyone until we all know “the rest of the story.”

    21. Paul Cappelli says:

      Manti, you betrayed me!!!

      • GraceHallChapel86 says:

        I personally like Dan’s analysis (or something along that line), above. My feel is that Manti has known all along, and perhaps had a part in it, but it took on a life of its own and go way out of control. “embellishment” is the word–you don’t “date” a girl online and via phone for three years and call her your “girlfriend.” /A/ friend, perhaps, but not “girlfriend.” Manti is smart enough to know that when other people hear him say “girlfriend” that means a kind of relationship that he knew and openly admits now that he never had with such a person, real or fictitious.

        All that said, Manti didn’t “betray” anyone in the sense that, say, “Judas kissed the Lord” (to quote a previous post). He’s a young man who’s riding a rocket and whose fame and abilities are something that people way beyond his maturity and stature very often cannot handle. If he blew it, he blew it, and he will have to live with it. It may come as a shock to diehard Domers, but these guys are in it for themselves–just like we were when we went to ND–I don’t care /how/ well we sing the Alma Mater.

        Anyway, I am grateful for what he did for ND, still think he’s a great kid, see his future as bright, and am also glad he’s done, all at the same time.

    22. No way Manti is that naive. I dont buy his story for a minute. Where is he anyway? Why is he hiding behind Jack S.?

    23. Nice article, well done.

      But there’s one part of Swarbrick’s press conference yesterday that doesn’t seem to add up (sorry if this has already been addressed). I’m pretty sure he said that Manti found out about the scam when “she” called him while he was at the espn awards show in Orlando which I think they said was on December 7. There was also a question about why he took so long to tell the coaches on Dec 26, and Swarbrick said it was because Manti wanted to tell his parents in person first “because that’s the kind of guy he is”. But wait a minute…… Manti’s parents were with him in Orlando and through the following Saturday for the Heisman award.

      If ND hired Magnum PI and Colombo to fish through the story and then took Manti’s side after they got the results of the investigation then I’m inclined to believe Manti was duped. But I’m a little bit uneasy about the apparent contradiction in Swarbrick’s timeline.

      Anyone have any thoughts on this?

    24. Whose funeral/memorial service did Manti attend when he went to Hawaii during the bye week?

    25. george kaplan says:

      He didn’t play badly until after Dec 6, when he states he found out. Even in the runway he looked a little subdued, for him. So for now I believe him . I do think he’s maybe a younger -than-his-age guy who got caught up in his own story and maybe didn’t smell the rat. There’ll be criticism of his waiting to tell ND and of ND’s waiting to get the facts, and concerns about the line and so on, but the News cycle thinks they ought to know everything immediately.II’m sure ND, if not entirely Teo, proceeded with all deliberate speed. Unless of course the whole thing is a hoax to excuse ND’s pathetic bowl game. Man, is Swarbrick earning his money!

      • I live in Florida and was at the Home Depo Awards with my granddaughter. We had a big ND sign and Manti signed it for us. I remeber thinking that he seemed to have the weight of the world on him and that he must be very tired. Now I learn that he was called that day by the girlfriend. So damn sad. I think he is a very young man, far away from home and very commited to his faith. I know another young man who had his heart broken this way. It happens when you love and trust too much.

    26. Is this the real reason why Manti, and heck, the whole team, for that matter, played like crap in the championship game? T’eo himself played what was arguably his worst ever game at ND. It was definitely his worst of this season. Did any of the other players know about this scandal yet since the info broke in December? or was it the team was all of a sudden lacking the goods from their senior leader, chief motivator? That may be the true impact that this dramatic story had on the season and the program. It may’ve been a key distraction in ND’s bowl preparation. Sad, sad. Not to play conspiracy theory but maybe Kelly gave a second luck to the NFL cause he knew he’s have some eminent BS to sift through.

      But still I say..go Irish! Will T’eo be on the field next year for Notre Dame? Absolutely not, no matter how this all plays out.

    27. Pitbull Joe says:

      No doubt in my mind: the kid was duped.

      The media, as always, has declared Te’o “guilty” in the court of public opinion, and garbage sensational outlets like the NY Post, ESPN, and others wouldn’t be anything without sensational journalism because their hacks would have nothing to write about if the were forced to have an iota of truth and integrity in their reporting.

      Face it, the media and other ND haters love this type of garbage and will continue to use any chance to smear them. I realize that this story has more questions than answers, but the media is engaged in trying to make Te’oo guilty until proven innocent.

      We’ve all been duped. Does that mean we’re criminals because we care and fell for a scam? Are all of Bernie Madoff’s victims criminals as well? Pft.

      Te’o is one of the main reasons ND went 12-0. Whatever scam that was perpetrated on the kid only showed people the size of his heart. Te’o cared, and for that he’s guilty as charged.

      Still, other universities like Oregon/Ohio State and their fans are probably thrilled at this because it mitigates their up coming or already handed down sanctions and makes their pecadillos get forgotten by the public.

      God Bless Manti and ND. The truth will set us, the university, and Te’o free. This is a sick hoax done by a sick individual, but like so many other scandals in this country, the media and ND haters are more interested in demonizing the victim(s) than demonizing the criminals/perpetrators.

      Joe

    28. I just took a look at the article “Heisman case for Manti over Manziel”. I think you should, too. In hindsight, looks like the Heisman voters were a lot wiser than the posters on that blog. Manziel turned in a truly ‘Heisman’ performance in the Cotton Bowl, and Manti fell flat on the big stage. I think the Aggies could have played Alabama better than ND. Wait a second, they did play Alabama better: they won!

    29. Bob Howsam, Jr. says:

      Sometimes, when bad things happen, as they inevitably do from time to time, you’ve just got to have a sense of humor … however difficult … so here’s my attempt:

      “Float On” (Manti Te’o Version)
      (With Apologies to Modest Mouse)

      Play the song as you read the revised lyrics …

      Manti backed his star into a stop card the other day
      Well he just drove off sometimes life’s ok
      He ran his mouth off a bit too much oh what did he say
      Well you just laughed it off it was all ok

      And we’ll all float on ok
      And we’ll all float on ok
      And we’ll all float on ok
      And we’ll all float on any way well

      Well, a fake Samoan took much of our time with that scam
      It was worth it just to learn from her sleight-of-hand
      Bad news comes don’t you worry even when it lands
      Good news will work its way to all them plans
      We both got mired on the exactly the same day
      Well we’ll float on good news is on the way

      And we’ll all float on ok
      And we’ll all float on ok
      And we’ll all float on ok
      And we’ll all float on alright
      Already we’ll all float on Now don’t you worry we’ll all float on
      Alright already we’ll all float on
      Alright don’t worry we’ll all float on

      And we’ll all float on alright
      Already we’ll all float on
      Aliright don’t worry even if things end up a bit to heavy
      We’ll all float on alright
      Already we’ll all float on
      Alright already we’ll all float on
      Ok don’t worry we’ll all float on
      Even if things get heavy we’ll all float on
      Alright already we’ll all float on
      Don’t you worry we’ll all float on
      All float on

    30. Paul Cappelli says:

      I used to worship Manti. A stud in every sense of the word. Now I am ashamed to have looked up to such a person.

      • Bob Howsam, Jr. says:

        Luke 6:37 “Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.

        Luke 6:41 “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?

        John 8:7 When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.”

        Romans 2:1 You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge the other, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things.

        Romans 14:10 You, then, why do you judge your brother? Or why do you look down on your brother? For we will all stand before God’s judgment seat.

        Romans 14:13 Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in your brother’s way.

        • GraceHallChapel86 says:

          Indeed, but also…

          Psalm 118:8 It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in man.

          John 7:24 Do not judge by appearances, but judge with right judgment.

          I have no stones to throw at Manti–I’m too much of a sinner myself. But we are not talking about condemning anyone here. We are talking about getting to the truth and /discerning/ the situation. Let’s understand that even the Scriptures speak of different /kinds/ of judgment–the kind that kills and the kind that parses and divides. If we refuse to engage in the latter by confusing it with the former, we are doomed to repeat our mistakes.

          • Bob Howsam, Jr. says:

            Ok, accepting your premise that there’s some value to getting to the bottom of this sordid mess, and it turns out that Manti isn’t the guy on the pedestal all of us put him on … what then?

            At the end of the day, your Psalm buck eighteen citation is spot on. Let’s all take refuge in the Lord, abstain from throwing rocks at Manti irrespective of whatever he did or didn’t do, and recognize this for what it, an opportunity for Christians to stand apart … and set an example.

            There’s was only one perfect person last time I checked … thank God.

      • hey–even manti, back in his iconic days, would have reminded us to ‘worship’ only ONE; i liked the inspirational story; i still like the reminder to ‘be of service to others'; i wish we could just move on to the next inspirational story instead of looking for something salacious and evil in this; i mean, he’s a college kid and somebody’s son; i’m thinking that any of us who determine the quality of our lives based on what a bunch of 18-21 year olds do on the football field on a fall saturday (i KNOW i do!) needs to have an occasional ‘come to JESUS’ moment; and if their bizarre ‘love lives’ impact us, we’ve been watching too much reality tv; i do wish that sports’ reporters (yes, U, greeny) would do more reporting of facts and less creating of drama;

    31. I have complete faith that Manti is real!! Look at the Michigan pep rally and tell me that he wasn’t real!!! He is a 21 year old and just because he is big and strong-his emotions are still immature! The desire to tear down seems to be as prevalent(or greater) than the desire to build in our culture. Manti with all his goodness is who we were as children until we learned that everybody does not want us to be successful! I admire ND and Jack Swarbrick by seeing the truth and not being passive! It says so much about ND! I have a daughter at Alabama now and one that graduated from ND in 2012 and now goes to USC medical school. I have witnessed people that view this trgedy through the optics of fans and are so cruel. My admiration for ND has only grown!! And Manti I hope you show the bastards who have done this and count you down the real essence of a man. BEHIND MANTI ALL THE WAY!!!

    32. My dad is an alum. I have immense respect for Notre Dame, and what Manti te’o accomplished on the field. [Full disclosure, I'm a Michigan alum.] I’ve been defending him to fellow Michigan fans for the last day or so, but things just don’t add up. After the last 12 hours or so of additional information being released, it’s difficult to think he wasn’t aware and he didn’t intentionally lie to the media. If you do believe him, you’re being blindly loyal. Furthermore, if you look at his speech during the Michigan pep rally, his teammates are smirking, laughing while he struggles for words. Teammates (former, anyway) have spoken out that this doesn’t surprise them, or that they knew is telling. If you go to 1:40 of this youtube video, watch the guy on the far right with the baseball cap on, he tucks his face into his wind breaker jacket. too much is against te’o on this one. His waiting to address the public only further makes him look guilty, as he “preps his story”.
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VLNUHfDhqaI

    33. Manti, I think a lot of us are behind you and want to believe that you were just a very trusting, naive young man. From what I have heard you were a truly amazing, well rounded person while attending ND; always willing to help others and set such a wonderful example for so many. Only question I truly have is why are you letting so much time go by without just telling everyone the truth and setting the record straight. If its what I think, which is that you were truly the victim of some elaborate hoax and your only guilt is embellishing the relationship, then that is a minor problem which will be forgiven mainly due to your age and immaturity. The longer you let this story stay on the front and back pages of papers throughout the US, the longer this already weird story continues to take on a life of its own and make you look like your hiding something. Come on Manti: Its time for you to give your most important press conference of your life and please be prepared to answer questions LIKE A CHAMPION!

    34. GraceHallChapel86 says:

      While it is essentially a truism that the Irish did not play up to snuff on January 7, in my mind there can be little doubt regarding at least some of the reasons for the debacle.

      After losing to Texas A&M, Nick Saban remarked that they just couldn’t achieve the mental intensity they needed to win.

      Some here seem it unthinkable to even whisper that these events has /anything/ to do with Notre Dame being plastered by the Tide. But my response would be this: With Notre Dame’s coach flirting with the NFL, and having an interview planned for the very next day AND Notre Dame’s #1 defensive player and team leader dealing with the humilation and dread that comes with being scammed (or helping perpetuate a scam, or some mix of the two–however it comes out), how could the Irish NOT be mentally affected by it all? How could the chemistry which was there all season not become imabalnced? ND needed /everything/ going for her to win out in the regular season.

      It is now clear much of what she had then was lost by January 7, or at least misplaced when it was needed the most. I’m not talking blame, just explanation.

      • Bob Howsam, Jr. says:

        I’m not sure, at this point, that it WAS the Irish who played on January 7.

        It may be, after all we’ve heard at this point, that the folks on the field in the blue jerseys on January 7 were actually all … distant cousins … of Ronaiah Tuiasosopo … and that the game was not actually played in Miami, but was actually staged on a back lot in Hollywood … and that the screenplay and footage of the game were actually done by John Chambers at the request of Robert Mendes. The one person who was oddly silent yesterday after all this broke was Ben Affleck. How crazy is that? This even caught the attention of Matt Damon, who tweeted, “I dropped a dime on that game, but I’m going to have to go back and take another look at the tape. I’m pretty sure I saw some guy who looked vaguely like Tuiasospo dressed in a Neal jersey fumble that second punt.” He later tweeted, “rather odd that a game of this magnitude never made it to NCAA Replay.”

        :)

    35. Hollywood Hop says:

      The players probably were affected to some degree. Who knows? It’s all hindsight. Manti, no matter how this turns out, has besmirched ND’s reputation,along with his own.He’s at least taken the University’s cache down a notch. Who knows how much this will fester. It’s like Ara getting caught shoplifting, to use a bad analogy. That mouth agape sickening feeling. Unbelievable! This with Kelly’s tenure in dispute, what do you say to recruits?! No matter what his involvement it’s a bad breakfast.

    36. Frank Brandon says:

      To Paul Cappelli
      No, I saw your “career” stats. I scored as many goals at Notre Dame as you did but without any social media in the 80’s, well you know

    37. Even if you are in Manti’s corner on this (whatever that means), what is the best case scenario? That an All-American linebacker from Notre Dame is also a complete idiot? Naive and trusting aren’t really enough

      • The best case scenario is that Manti T’eo wasn’t involved in the hoax and that most people take a charitable view of the situation and will recognize the people who are attacking him as being a bunch of assholes.

    38. This story is less than three days old, and there’s a lot more to learn. The haters will lynch Notre dame at the slightest opportunity and they’ll attack Manti T’eo as well. (in both cases, a lot of that has to do with religious bigotry among the press, although you’ll never, ever hear that addressed or even hinted.) Shame on them for that, not on ND or on Manti T’eo.

      • …i agree with much you say, jim…of course, i view life thru shades of blue and gold…i will just say that i think this ‘kid’ is above the curve in understanding accomplishment v fulfillment…i admire his work ethic in the training room/at the training table…i am encouraged to ‘check myself’ when it comes to being of service and paying it forward…as for the rest, only those who have never opened themselves to someone who has played them…only those who have never found themselves defending a friend/love interest to a doubting parent/friend would look at this story as implausible…

        …of course, i have no interest in perpetuating the mean-spiritedness i’ve been witnessing…soooo–what ever happened with the saga of the under-inflated footballs???…yes, i think ND gets the microscope…and…good for ND…we are and have always been RELEVANT!!!…to me..

    39. Patrick John pirozzi says:

      Amazing what a difference one day makes following one interview which hasn’t even aired yet!!
      I wonder if the entire journalistic world will dedicate as much time, money, energy or enthusiasm to vindicate a young man as they were to bury him…..or maybe that’s just not sexy

    40. …i’m sure that was a rhetorical question…maybe, accompanied with an eye roll…i’m sure greeny will be all over this…can’t wait to hear the spin on MIKE & MIKE…or…maybe it will be all NFL…with sprinkles of greeny’s error english grammar…of which he’s unaware…hubris is a great thing to observe…

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