By most accounts, 2013 has already been a sports year for the ages. In just about a month we have seen one of the craziest and most drama filled NFL playoffs in recent memory (of course capped off soon by the “Har-bowl, Brother Vs. Brother, ‘Thunderdome’ rules battle of the century), a total collapse of any and all order in NCAA basketball, the first ever red card for violence against a ball boy, the biggest confession regarding athletic doping ever, and an unbelievable — and totally fulfilling — collapse of the All-Star stacked Los Angeles Lakers as they play their way towards becoming the fourth best NBA franchise…in California.
Yet none of this has even come CLOSE to overshadowing perhaps the most interesting sports related story since Mike Tyson was at his face tattooing, Muhammed prophesizing, baby eating peak. The Manti Te’o and Lennay Kekkua love story has had EVERYTHING. Live girlfriend, dead girlfriend. Real girlfriend, fake girlfriend. Just three lovers, just six accomplices. There has been deceit, dishonesty, confusion, phone logs, recordings, aliases, alibis, leukemia, ressurection, de-ressurection, and for some reason, an Arizona Cardinal. All for gossip about who a kid in college was or was not dating.
Weeks after the story broke, we seem further from understanding the “who,” “what,” “where,” and “huh” of this tangled chaotic love decagon. Why has the truth been so hard to find? Why don’t we know for sure who is behind Lennay Kekkua? Why do questions in articles often come in threes? It’s time to take a deeper look into this scandal — beyond the surface, the coverage, or the facts — to figure out who is really behind this mystery. And I don’t mean who the liberal media “tell” us is “behind” this, I mean the puppeteer pulling the strings. The diabolical mastermind who could engineer such a twisted and disturbed web of lies. Only then will we be able to bury this atrocity in our minds. And not fake — Lennay Kekkua bury — I mean actual bury. Just thought I should clarify that.
On to the truth!
Culprit? Ronaiah Tuiasosopo
Vegas Odds: Whatever the Vegas odds are for “This guy definitely did it,” unless Te’o is paying him to take the fall by pretending to be a bunny boiler, and the odds of that are only slightly better than you coming home to find Jaime Pressly waiting for you in heels and not much else.
Best Known For: Having anyone doubt he had a hand in this, when his name sounds exactly like one of the incantations from the book in Evil Dead.
Why? And there’s the rub. Tuiasosopo admitted to Dr. Phil that he played a big old role in all of this mess. But why? What is the end game to picking on some random college football player? He says he was in love, which deeply misunderstands the meaning of the word. But why do it in the first place? If it were money, the plan made no sense. If it were fame, any person with the wherewithal to concoct this elaborate scheme had to have the general sense to surmise at some point this would lead to infamy, not fame. If it were boredom, it’s called the internet, dude. There’s enough porn out there to waste eons, get a handle on yourself (and yes, pun wholeheartedly intended). This guy is a pawn, a patsy, another P-word that means similar things. Prawn? Let’s go with prawn.
Click on to see our candidates for the shadowy cabal…
Culprit? Manti Te’o
Vegas Odds: 3 to 1
Deceit Best Known For: Being part of the 2012/2013 team that made people believe Notre Dame Football was relevant again.
Why? The other most logical conclusion, it’s difficult not to think Te’o had some part in all of this. At the very least, he has admittedly lied to reporters about Lennay and the nature of their relationship as time went on. At the very most, he created and fostered a lie, deceived those closest to him, and kept the ruse going even when it got completely out of hand. You know who else does things like that? The kid from the movie Blank Check. Or Zack Morris on 85% of the episodes of Saved by the Bell. In terms of “being evil,” this guy is less mean person, more Mean Girls. We’re not talking about a brilliant mastermind here, something we all should have pieced together when we remember he played his college ball at Notre Dame. Next.
Culprit? Bill Belichick
Vegas Odds: 5 to 1
Deceit Best Known For: Convincing himself everyday that a sleeveless sweatshirt is an acceptable clothing option in ANY public venue.
Why? Now we’re getting to the prime suspects. Love him or hate him, no one can deny that Bill Belichick is a brilliant man. In a little over a decade in New England he has strung together three Super Bowl wins, two other Super Bowl appearances (cough–Go Giants–cough), eight division titles, and has become a fixture in the “best team in the NFL debate” every year.
How does he do it? Sure sometimes he utilizes deception (see Spy-Gate 2007), and other times manipulation (the toughest hit his QB has taken in the last decade is the shame of being an Ugg’s spokesman, do not doubt Belichick is somehow behind that fact, too smart not to be), but mainly it’s foresight. Like how every year Belichick stacks and stacks draft picks, gets young players, and makes crucial moves to keep the Patriots ferociously rolling into the next year. Except 2013. This year the Patriots only have a severely underwhelming five draft picks.
Would Belichick really let that happen? No way. Unless of course he had something up his sleeve (metaphorically speaking of course). What if this whole time he orchestrated this debacle, only to watch Manti Te’o’s draft stock plummet. To where? To the bottom of the first round where the New England Patriots decide to take a risky pick on a promising, yet obviously troubled young linebacker out of Notre Dame. One who promptly sheds his troubled past and goes for 35 sacks, 1400 yards rushing, and throws 19 touchdown passes. On an unrelated note, now might be the time for me to admit I have no idea what a linebacker does.
Culprit? Lance Armstrong
Vegas Odds: 7 to 1
Deceit Best Known For: Getting Americans to believe cycling is a sport anyone should care about.
Why? Distraction, plain and simple. If there was ever any reason to doubt Belichick, it wouldn’t be his ability to create such a brilliantly evil plan, it would be his ability to execute it. For starters, he got caught videotaping signals (in a scheme that had no other components, just not to get caught videotaping signals), and he just doesn’t seem that evil. He’s like a big cuddly grandpa, one who at worst goes a little racist during the mid-afternoon after a drink.
Now Armstrong, this is a man who is coordinated and evil enough to pull this off clean. Both meaning easily, and without even having to dope. Let’s review his stats. He’s got a name that sounds like a super villain (or possibly a medieval themed Mega Man villain), he’s conducted one of the most impressively well hidden and executed doping rings for over a decade, and then he lied about it vehemently for over 20 years.
And vehemently doesn’t even scratch the surface of this lying. He went on the offensive with his lies, attacking people who even hinted at the truth. This guy’s got balls. Well, I… you know what I mean. The fact that he just FINALLY admitted all of his wrong doings, all of his failures, all of his lies–it should have been the biggest news story of the decade. And yet even on the day the story broke–in a headline containing the words “Oprah” to boot–it was the FOURTH headline on ESPN. The Manti Te’o story completely dominated media coverage for weeks, allowing Mr. Armstrong to escape the media spotlight and roll by as just a blip in the news day. Coincidence? Not likely. I think Mr. Armstrong has proven nothing ever works out that well without a little shadiness behind the scenes. Unless…
Culprit? Barack Obama
Not going to lie, I hope it’s really him. The admission speech is going to be so powerful.
Vegas Odds: 15 to 1
Deceit Best Known For: Existing, thereby convincing a large segment of Americans that a guy named Barry who wears mom jeans and likes James Taylor should be feared as an atheist-Muslim-fascist-terrorist who was secretly born in Kenya.
Why? Distraction, but of the presidential order. If we dig deeper, beyond the antics of a ruthless cheater, it’s easy to see there was someone else who used this story to distract us from bigger things. America — without exception the greatest place on earth besides international waters — was on the precipice of falling off a fiscal cliff. I feel like I need to stress this here, a NATION (and not like Wales, Botswana, or Canada — America here, people) was about plunge off of a cliff. Our nation’s entire economy was about to go Thelma & Louise all over the place. We should have been in a panic!
And yet we were instead talking about Lennay Kekkua, about the new wrinkles in this odd and unbelievable story of love and lies, about what Twitter said about what ESPN thought about a Deadspin article. We took the bait. We got roped in. We ignored something of immense national importance, and got caught up in something absurdly trivial. Our generation — the “VOTE OR DIE” generation — would never do something like that. Unless it was an expertly crafted ruse set forth from the office of the President himself to keep us occupied. Don’t believe President Obama is capable of such deception, of concocting and executing this plan against Manti Te’o? Nigerian finance ministers have been hoodwinking innocent people on the internet almost since its inception. Is it so hard to believe a Kenyan President awaiting the chance to declare himself a socialist dictator wouldn’t do the same?
Culprit? Trey Parker and Matt Stone
Vegas Odds: 25 to 1
Deceit Best Known For: Still being considered celebrities while sporting any of their hair or fashion choices during the 1990’s.
Why? Desperation. Although it saddens me to say it, these guys are husks of their former selves. Now I won’t argue–and I don’t think anyone will–that these guys we’re once immensely talented. Baseketball – hysterical. South Park: Bigger, Longer, & Uncut – I think it would be pointless for me to heap praise on a movie that insults Canada, we all already can agree those men we’re doing the Lord’s work on that one.
As for South Park the show, that peaked about 5 years ago, and is now in The Simpsons “we respect your history and are willing to ignore your present” territory.
Really their biggest and most recent hit has been the critically acclaimed Broadway musical Book of Mormon. The problem is that the show is two years old now, and is based off a joke they’ve been pushing for over 15 years. Orgazmo–one of the first documentaries to shine a light on orgasm ray-gun technology–first used the Mormon gag in 1997. The infamous “All About Mormons” South Park episode, that was 2003. These guys have almost wrung the well dry. The only way that they can continue to rake in the cash now is if Mormonism stays in the spotlight, giving Matt and Trey all the free publicity they could ever need.
After pouring millions into trying to get Mitt Romney into the White House, they realized they needed to find and create a new “mainstream Mormon,” one whose wacky antics kept the joke going for them. And so along came Te’o. From behind the scenes they manipulated every move, every step, and made themselves a real life Mormon Butters (which admittedly sounds oddly delicious…)
Don’t believe me? Look at the facts. He easily falls in love with a girl–whose name even starts with the same two letters–that doesn’t share any of his feelings. Check. He keeps getting into trouble with authority despite doing nothing wrong–even if the Te’o’s don’t ground him. Check. He has a secret dark side, one that lies and manipulates people. Check. His mom once sent him down a river in a locked car. Unverified and unproven, but that’s a check.
Heck, he even puts on armor to hurt people. This guy is a walking talking South Park plot. And if you think that’s horrible, you should have seen what Trey and Matt we’re going to have him do next. I don’t want to give it away, but Te’o and Lennay’s first date was at the “Chili Con Carnival.” Disgusting.
Culprit? Akihito–The Emperor of Japan
Vegas Odds: 100 to 1
Deceit Best Known For: Getting people to believe Japan is a peaceful and successful nation, and not a creepy archipelago-sized sexbot research facility.
Why? Remember the date everyone, December 7th, 2011. That is when this all started. Well, to be fair it started 70 years before that. December 7th, 1941: the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. Flash forward a few years: Japan surrendered, we dropped two bombs, and thoroughly crushed them in pretty much every imaginable facet. This is not something the Japanese were going to forget, or forgive. This is a nation where people kill themselves for poor job performance. Do you think they’d let themselves have a pass on losing an entire war? As such, the failure at Pearl Harbor has been a sore point for the Japanese for decades.
Over the years they’ve schemed, and plotted, but could never figure out a way to strike back against Hawaii. For a while the plan was to buy the state out from under us and turn it all into golf courses. In the 1990’s they tried to create and unleash an actual Godzilla, but the closest they ever came was Rita Repulsar.
Years went by until Emperor Akihito saw Batman Begins and he spent the next six years forging a plan. He realized much like the League of Shadows the demise of Hawaii had to come by more sophisticated methods. They had to collapse Hawaii from the inside. They would have to get America to loathe and to detest their island citizens, by making their greatest champion look foolish and disingenuous in one fell swoop. And so the Te’o plan began. It took a while, as the Japanese tried to lure islanders into their ruse on MySpace and Xanga (again, it takes a long time for things to get over there) first, but finally they landed Te’o.
For the icing on the cake, Japan made their agent provocateur another Hawaiian, one so conniving he would toy with a fellow islander’s emotions for no other reason than to watch him writhe in the wind. America responded, the hatred and anger seeping out of our pores. We have never hated anything Hawaiian more. With of course the exception of the Pro Bowl. And we’re right in the Emperor’s hand. His frail, soft, dapperly dressed hand. God have mercy on us all.