The insanity is starting to subside. The deluge of stories is receding. The final touches of a PR strategy likely executed. Yes, the coverage of the Manti Te’o hoax is nearing the end of its news cycle at long last.
Or at least I’m 80% sure it is.
I’m sure more details will be released. My timeline will likely see another update. More people will speak out. But I’m ready to close the book on this matter and move on.
And I’m 100% sure of that.
Ronaiah Tuiasosopo will definitely have his chance to tell his story. While I’m genuinely interested in what he has to say, you won’t find me glued to my Twitter feed to find it. In fact, I was only halfway interested in what Manti had to say on Katie Couric’s show yesterday.
I figured we wouldn’t get any new, worthwhile information. In reality, we didn’t. All that came out between the Schapp interview and yesterday’s Couric appearance were just more pieces of evidence to confirm Te’o's story in the form of voicemails, phone records, and receipts.
But were there any earth-shattering and unexpected revelations? As Manti would say, “far from it”.
In reality, what we know today about the hoax really hasn’t changed too much from last week. Oh sure, we have more creepy/strange/out-of-left-field details. Manti definitely had the chance to answer questions that some were demanding he answer. But, in the end, the story itself hasn’t changed: Leenay Kekua wasn’t real and Te’o got duped.
Even the harsh reality of today’s news cycle and those that consume it wasn’t exactly a revelation either. Practically everyone, major media included, jumped to conclusions. Some still have their heads buried in the sand, wondering how someone could fall for a scam that has an entire MTV series devoted to it. Others will take whatever new news comes out and either ignore or denounce it to fit their preconceived notion of the truth.
So when the media circus packs up and leaves town with 1,000 different versions of the “truth” scattered about, how do we find any closure?
Personally, I don’t worry about the other narratives that float about. There’s no way I can actually force someone to turn their brain on. If anything else, it will give HLS some fun fodder to give the FJM treatment to.
Instead, I recommend taking a step back and digesting everything and this edition of the Roundup is devoted to that mindset. Also, feel free to have a bit of levity and a license laugh at some of the absurdity that we have witnessed.
After all, I’m 80% sure every one of those jokes will be driven into the ground over the next few weeks anyways (and I will happily assist).
The original voice of Deadspin has some great perspective. Will Leitch definitely understands the game and how it is inevitably played out.
There is one part of this whole narrative that I’ve never understood. And that’s the grandstanding from people boldly stating that they simply can’t believe anyone could ever fall in love with someone they haven’t met. You know, basically the whole catfishing thing doesn’t exist. This piece, to me, best sums up the sheer absurdity of that mindset, especially in the sports realm.
Inevitably, analogies are going to be made. But at least Ivan Maisel made a pretty good one in this case.
Somehow, Manti’s Samoan roots were simply never considered. Which is a shame. Leaving things like this out paints quite the incomplete picture.
Many though are still at a loss for a motive for Ronaiah. But perhaps the answer to that too lies within Samoan culture in one word: Fa’afafine.
I really struggled with picking a beer this week.
Attempting to stay within the theme of closure didn’t really help. Truth be told when I’m ready to put something behind me I go straight for the whiskey. Trying to stay seasonal isn’t helping much either thanks to the 70-plus degree weather we are having in Texas (which is glorious by the way).
But then I finally remembered my last bit of advice and decided to have a little bit of fun with this week’s selection. I feel it perfectly sums up all the craziness that this story has provided: