Sunday, January 20, 2013

Bill Plaschke on the Mante Te'o Hoax

I'm a little late posting this, but it's good, "Manti Te'o hoax never should have gotten this far":
This country's most inspirational sportsman is exposed as a cheat. Two of the greatest players in baseball history are denied entry into the Hall of Fame because they are cheats. The NFL spends the first three weeks of the season using fake referees. A college football powerhouse admits to switching uniform numbers and deflating footballs.

Into a sports world filled with deceit stepped Manti Te'o with a story too good to be true, too necessary to be questioned.

A senior Notre Dame linebacker leads America's most traditional football program to its first unbeaten season in 24 years while playing for the memory of a dead girlfriend. It was a modern-day win for the Gipper. It was tear-stained pages torn from a "Rudy" script.

Te'o preached it. Notre Dame nurtured it. The mainstream media bought it. A stadium full of emotional fans wearing No. 5 jerseys and brightly colored leis cheered it.

Now that has exposed the girlfriend as an Internet fabrication, the sad joke is on everyone, its impact illuminating the potholes on the modern sports landscape. The story of the phony Lennay Kekua is not only a story of a lie, but a truth, that today's sports teams create myths that fans are desperate to swallow and journalists are too stretched and hurried to debunk...
Continue reading.