Deadspin – Notre Dame’s Manti Te’o, the stories said, played this season under a terrible burden. A Mormon linebacker who led his Catholic school’s football program back to glory, Te’o was whipsawed between personal tragedies along the way. In the span of six hours in September, as Sports Illustrated told it, Te’o learned first of the death of his grandmother, Annette Santiago, and then of the death of his girlfriend, Lennay Kekua. Kekua, 22 years old, had been in a serious car accident in California, and then had been diagnosed with leukemia. SI’s Pete Thamel described how Te’o would phone her in her hospital room and stay on the line with her as he slept through the night. “Her relatives told him that at her lowest points, as she fought to emerge from a coma, her breathing rate would increase at the sound of his voice,” Thamel wrote.
There was no Lennay Kekua. Lennay Kekua did not meet Manti Te’o after the Stanford game in 2009. Lennay Kekua did not attend Stanford. Lennay Kekua never visited Manti Te’o in Hawaii. Lennay Kekua was not in a car accident. Lennay Kekua did not talk to Manti Te’o every night on the telephone. She was not diagnosed with cancer, did not spend time in the hospital, did not engage in a lengthy battle with leukemia. She never had a bone marrow transplant. She was not released from the hospital on Sept. 10, nor did Brian Te’o congratulate her for this over the telephone. She did not insist that Manti Te’o play in the Michigan State or Michigan games, and did not request he send white flowers to her funeral. Her favorite color was not white. Her brother, Koa, did not inform Manti Te’o that she was dead. Koa did not exist. Her funeral did not take place in Carson, Calif., and her casket was not closed at 9 a.m. exactly. She was not laid to rest.Lennay Kekua’s last words to Manti Te’o were not “I love you.”
So Deadspin just broke this story. It’s long. It’s confusing and it’s unbelievable. Long story short Manti Te’o rickrolled all off college football and the national media by concocting a story about how his girlfriend died in a car accident 6 hours after his grandmother died to garner publicity for himself. Only problem. His girlfriend never existed. Absolutely one of the most bizarre stories I can ever remember in my life. Seriously what type of lunatic does this? Oh right. A ND guy does that’s who. The most fake righteous college in the world. As KFC said on twitter the only school where they sweep real, actual deaths under the rug and glorify fake ones. And the sad part is this still isn’t half as embarrassing to what happened to them against Alabama. God it’s great to be a Michigan Wolverine.
PS – Deadspin deserves huge credit here on breaking this story. This is what they should do. This is what they are good at. This is what their site started as. Leave the smut and being funny to us. That’s what we do. That’s why I call them Junior. But we don’t do this. We don’t pay for stories. We don’t chase stories. I couldn’t research and write this in my best day. Not my bag and not my skillset. At some point they got away from this type of stuff and started doing exactly what we’ve been doing for the past decade only not nearly as good. That’s why I call them Junior. But I tip my cap for this story. This stuff is great work by them. Anything that makes ND look like dickheads is okay in my book.
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