TACOMA, Wash.–Tacoma resident Pete Costello has been pretending for the last twenty years that he is mentally retarded so that his mother could collect disability checks due to his “condition.” He and his mother are now being prosecuted for fraud after Social Security workers became suspicious.
Costello was able to pull off the ruse for twenty years by casting his annual vote for the NCAA’s Heisman Trophy, and lobbying strongly for clearly inferior football players. Costello was instrumental in obtaining Heismans for Jason White, Chris Weinke, Danny Wuerffel, and Gino Torretta.
Costello had also been a strong supporter of Ohio State quarterback Troy Smith. Costello had cast his ballot for Smith for the Heisman, for the Walter Camp Award, given to the nation’s best player, and for the Davey O’Brien Award, given to the nation’s best quarterback, despite Notre Dame quarterback Brady Quinn’s superior numbers on a far less-talented team. When questioned about his selections, Costello said, “What can I say? I’m retarded.”