News

Can we please shut up about Manti Te’o?

By MANDI STEFFEYMandi

Columnist

I’m not afraid to admit it: I don’t care about Notre Dame. I didn’t grow up in the South Bend area, so maybe I just don’t “get it,” but I was tired of this whole Manti Te’o being “catfished” scandal almost immediately after it started. It made for some exciting news that I admittedly indulged in, but the attention and passion that people have for this story is getting a little weird for me.

For those who are living under a rock and are unfamiliar with the ordeal, Manti Te’o, a Notre Dame football star and runner-up for the coveted Heisman Trophy, is claiming that his girlfriend, a woman named Lennay Kekua, never existed and that he was duped into maintaining a long-distance relationship with “her” for a while. Local and national media outlets gobbled up this story, playing up their relationship and paying even closer attention to Te’o after “Lennay” supposedly died of complications from leukemia. There are a couple theories as to how it all actually played out and some people are claiming that Te’o was in on the whole thing as a publicity stunt. Either way, I have one question. Who cares?

Yes, if Te’o was tricked like he claims, it’s a sad situation. But does it deserve national coverage, weeks after the news broke?

Te’o appeared recently on “Katie,” Katie Couric’s daytime talk show to defend his “honest,” albeit embarrassing, position. According to The New Republic, Couric’s interview with Te’o was hugely successful, beating out Oprah’s recent interview with Lance Armstrong on his doping scandal. I didn’t watch the interview, but that’s because I didn’t feel like I had anything to gain from it.

The alleged Lennay Kekua creator, Ronaiah Tuiasosopo, is even going to appear on Dr. Phil at some point, according to the LA Times.

When the mastermind of a fake internet relationship is actually getting his fifteen minutes of fame, doesn’t this all seem a bit silly?

The story hits close to home. Our campus shares this area with Notre Dame, so it’s easy to get wrapped up in the gossip surrounding it. All of the hype was tolerable until the next day. After seeing internet meme after internet meme, article after article and speculation after speculation, I was ready to scratch my eyes out.

Actually caring about Manti Te’o’s girlfriend? Weird.

Continuing to care after you found out she never existed? Super weird.

Let’s move on, everyone.

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