Catfish, Manti Te’o And Being Comfortable In Your Own Skin

Ed The Sports Fan, Football — By on January 17, 2013 at 7:18 am

manti teo notre dame

For the last two-plus months  there has been a show on MTV that’s given Monday Night Football and Monday Night Raw a run for their money. The name of the show is Catfish. The premise of the show is that a “catfish*” is a person who creates fake profiles online and pretends to be someone they are not by using someone else’s pictures and information. These “catfish” use social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, usually with the intention of getting other people or a person to fall in love with them.

Of course, the relevancy of this show and as to how it pertains to the person in the title of this article is a result of the reporting that bombarded our digital lives on Wednesday afternoon.

Manti Te’o was either the victim of the greatest Catfish caper of all-time, or Manti Te’o felt like he needed a performance-enhancing sob story to prop himself up for additional exposure, recognition and even possibly additional income. There’s no need to rehash what happened to college football’s best defensive player’s love life over the last few months, and if you want more information, you can read up on it here, here and here.

What I do know is the following …

  • In the day and age of 2013, that a star linebacker of a prestigious college football program would be smitten with a woman that he’d never seen before seems impossible.
  • I really want to believe Te’o in that this is a hoax, but deep down inside I think this is a fraud.
  • There is nothing wrong in meeting people online and then dating them. I’ve done it, many of you have done it and it will continue to happen.
  • The media 100% let the people down, and this is why Deadspin continues to win in an era of plentiful information available at our fingertips.
  • Could you imagine if Manti Te’o had actually won the Heisman instead of Johnny Manziel?
  • Manti Te’0 shouldn’t lose his place in the NFL Draft, that being a top 10-15 pick, yet he’s going to plummet mightily.
  • I’m not convinced at all that Notre Dame is trying to tell the truth.

Hearing this story made me realize that there’s nothing wrong with being who you are, being comfortable in your own skin. It saddens me to think that Manti Te’o possibly used the equivalent of a social media ponzi scheme to try and generate more press about himself. For what, so he can win the Heisman? So he can boost his draft stock? So more people can like him? What more did you need? You resurrected a high school football program in Hawaii that was moribund and decrepit since the days Brother President Obama set foot at the school, you were touted as a 5-star recruit and put together one of the finest seasons in college football history, and yet you possibly resorted to this for a little extra buzz?


You are the victim of a Catfish hoax. Someone preyed on your vulnerability and gullibility and simply took advantage of you and made it headline news. Maybe these folks who Catfish get off on seeing folks pour their emotions out to them in some sick and heinous fashion.

Who knows?

All I know is that you should always be yourself. Build others up, and quit trying to tear others down. Be it by living a facade or perpetrating a fraud in the downfall of others, we’re better than that. This is aimed at you Lance Armstrong, Rick Ross, George O’Leary and maybe even Manti Te’o.

* – “They used to tank cod from Alaska all the way to China. They’d keep them in vats in the ship. By the time the codfish reached China, the flesh was mush and tasteless. So this guy came up with the idea that if you put these cods in these big vats, put some catfish in with them and the catfish will keep the cod agile. And there are those people who are catfish in life. And they keep you on your toes. They keep you guessing, they keep you thinking, they keep you fresh. And I thank god for the catfish because we would be droll, boring and dull if we didn’t have somebody nipping at our fin.”  — From Catfish, the movie, describing where the term catfish came from

Eddie Maisonet, III

Eddie Maisonet is a connoisseur of the ultimate reality show that is sports.

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  • KJ says:

    Your first bullet point is EXACTLY what I was thinking. I was a second string strong safety at a HBCU and even I got my fair share of interest from the opposite sex. That is to say, I didn’t have to result in making up a fake girlfriend.

    There is NO WAY I can believe that the STARTING LINEBACKER FOR TOUCHDOWN JESUS UNIVERSITY was getting “catfished”. I think he trolled the world. I think ESPN is going to try to BURY this kid because they got played (i.e. – Mel Kiper will suddenly “drop” his draft stock). I also think shit is going to get worse for him before it gets better.

    P.S. – Can you IMAGINE the kind of rookie hazing this guy is going to endure? Sheesh!

  • Clark Matthews says:

    I think there was a reason Manti felt the need to pretend he had a girlfriend, and I think it had nothing to do with propping himself up for a Heisman. Seriously, this all started long before Te’o had any hopes of being considered for a Heisman. He was a defensive player (long odds) for a .500 team (longer odds) when the hoax started. It would have taken a crystal ball to predict he’d wind up as the breakout star of a team that finished the regular season undefeated.

    No, this story is going somewhere that is going to be much bigger than a misguided hoax.

  • I don’t want to jump to any conclusions the way everyone seems to (understandably) want to. All I can say is this is one of the weirder stories in a while.

  • Larry says:

    Oregon should’ve played Bama in the National Championship.

  • JT says:

    Te’o is a clown for this. I knew walk ons who got ladies. Why fake this smh. How could you trust this dude?

  • Well he has been described as “Socially awkward.” As a devout Mormon, he doesnt’ drink (or so he’ll lead us to believe). I can see him being duped at the beginning of all this simply because he’s an easy target. Howevah, I find it incredibly hard to believe that he didn’t know it was a hoax until late December. This is just bizarre.

    • Well, it’s a minor detail in this, but I wouldn’t get caught up in the teetotaler aspect of this. I also don’t drink, but personally, it has nothing to do with religion/faith or horror stories for me. It’s believed that we’re different only because we prefer Rum & Cokes without the rum, and there’s slight truth to that, but it’s not a symbol of being awkward.

      This whole matter is just messed up.

  • All we know for sure here is someone is lying. Who, we don’t know, but someone is a liar. Hence:

  • Da Smoking Ace says:

    I don’t know what to say.

    On the right side of my brain- I am channeling Flavor Flav and saying “Wow!!!!!”

    On the left side of my brain – I am like the CEO of OCP from Robocop 2 when he saw the second prototype of Robocop 2.

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