It seems fitting that the one standing grace of college football, the shinning example of valor, pride and moral fiber, would end up being tied to a blatant lie of the worst kind. Notre Dame has had it’s struggles recently, failed high profile coaches, teams hyped up as “this is the team to win it all”, among other bold statements and praise. Finally a year where everything comes together for “America’s Team”. A light at the end of a long tunnel, prominence is in reach and, despite a thrashing at the hands of Alabama, the future is looking brighter each and every day.
The leader of this team, Manti Te’o, was that light, the warrior leading men into battle despite his team being David in the battle with, who we know as, Goliath. The man who put everything he had on the field, loved the team he played for, and fell short of becoming the first all defensive Heisman in the history of NCAA Football. Suddenly now this story starts to become a little hazy.
In an article published by Deadspin, they report that Manti Te’o is essentially a fraud. Not his abilities on the field or the prospect of him being a 1st round draft pick, but the story that lead him to become America’s Sweetheart. A man who himself was David fighting the Goliath, fighting pain and sorrow, living through the pain of losing two of the closest people in his life while still holding on the shoulders the hopes and dreams of the Notre Dame faithful. Yes, he lost his Grandmother, but the stories of him devoting his time to a girlfriend dying from Leukemia, who was in a coma after a car crash were as made up as the pot of gold at the end of a rainbow or that Bob Costas isn’t wearing a wig.
Now we will all question, why?
I spoke with Brenden, a writer on here, of my opinions and hit upon something he urged me to write. Despite where you stand on this issue, the cracks in his story may have started to show and, thus, led to his falling short of becoming the Heisman winner.
Reading the Deadspin article made me realize they did their due diligence to find the facts of this story out. Many people may not have actually cared to look into this, in fact I’m sure most people at Deadspin were just researching it for facts and didn’t expect to find anything or maybe they were tipped off. Are we to believe the NCAA didn’t do this? They didn’t scrutinize over every single detail of the Heisman candidates lives to ensure nothing would come out to hurt them?
I say they did. I think they found out about this and it’s the reason Manti Te’o didn’t win the Heisman. Imagine that, a fraud, a fake, a despicable human being using a false story to perpetuate his own false idea of himself to the public being crowned the Heisman? I think not, not in this day and age.
The NCAA is probably the most corrupt organization in American sports. They can’t escape bad press but this they couldn’t stand, it would ruin the integrity of the one accomplishment they have complete and absolute control over. The main thing to focus on is despite it crowning the winner as “The Best Player in Collegiate Football” it also symbolizes the person, the person that everyone should strive to be, should want to be. Goodhearted, clean, sportsmanlike, at least in the eyes of the fans and future players who will take the field at these schools.
The NCAA and the Heisman couldn’t take the heat of this story once the statue of Te’o they themselves put on a pedestal started to crack. He was the example of what everyone should strive to be. He played hard, was polite, team oriented, passionate, faithful, he was the new Tim Tebow, a white light in a dark, dark cavernous hole the NCAA is in. Pairing the Heisman with a player who would destroy it’s reputation was unacceptable, so they didn’t do it. The NCAA will claim ignorance, they aren’t on trial here, and it’s probably what they should do, no one wants to be in the corner of a fighter who will undoubtedly lose this war.