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?

OR

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