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home : columns : columns August 16, 2017

1/23/2013 3:44:00 PM
OK, so what is the truth?
This past week, Americans were flooded with stories about the ongoing struggles of two high-profile athletes - Manti Te'o and Lance Armstrong.
At the heart of both struggles is the word "truth." Ordinarily, I'd go alphabetical here, starting with Armstrong. Given that Armstrong is now irrelevant (more on that later), I'll start with Te'o.
In case you've been under a rock, we recently learned that Te'o, the star of Notre Dame's near-championship football team was reportedly duped by an Internet hoax. I say "reportedly," because we really don't know what is true.
This past fall, it was widely reported that Te'o's grandmother and girlfriend died within hours of one another. The girlfriend, it was reported, died of leukemia.
Upon hearing the story, I could not help but feel bad for the guy.
Last week, we learned the girlfriend never existed. Te'o sheepishly admitted he was duped into believing that Lennay Kekua, the girl he met (and fell in love with) online, was a real person.
According to ABC News, Te'o began his online "relationship" with Kekua in 2009. ABC's report says he didn't learn that she wasn't real until Dec. 26, 2012.
Seriously? Can one be any more gullible? This guy is a college student at Notre Dame?
The flip side of this story is that there are those who believe Te'o was in on the hoax. People wonder aloud why Te'o never bothered to visit this love of his life in the hospital. They wonder why he didn't make it to her funeral.
Was Te'o giving the media the truth, or feeding them a line in order to get more attention?
Those are solid questions.
I've heard it said that Te'o is either a fraud or a fool. Again, it's hard to disagree.
And then there's Armstrong. At least know where he stands - he's a fraud, a liar and a bully. His entire life is a lie.
For those defending him because of Livestrong, I can only say that one cannot buy respect.
So where does this leave us?
It brings us back to the word that links both of these stories - "truth." In the past few years, we've seen countless examples of prominent people lying to the public.
Yet we keep right on believing and the ESPNs of the world keep sitting on the stories, as they reportedly did before Notre Dame's national championship game. (According to sources for Jason McIntyre of TheBigLead.com, ESPN had the story on Jan. 6).
Pardon me if I become a more cynical in 2013. I'm tired of the lies.

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