Thursday, January 17, 2013

Not that there's anything wrong with that

If you haven’t heard about the girlfriend hoax involving Notre Dame senior linebacker, Manti Te’o, here it is in a nutshell: During the past NCAA football season he said that his girlfriend died of cancer, and he was dedicating his Heisman-worthy play to her memory. Notre Dame finished 12-1, one game from championship glory, and everyone fell in love with the story and the player. Now it turns out the girlfriend isn’t real, and people are scratching their heads trying to figure out why anyone would make this dead-girlfriend story up. Was Te’o involved? What the heck is going on?

Is it obvious why none of this is adding up? Why sports experts across the country can’t put the pieces together? Why Notre Dame would support their historic star? Only one theory keeps coming back to me: He’s gay. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

Why would Te’o keep his sexuality in the closet in 2013? Why work to create a fake girlfriend to throw everyone off the scent? First, I can’t imagine being a football player and being openly gay would be easy. Second, he’s about to enter the NFL Draft. Admitting he's gay could potentially cost him millions in marketing dollars. It could even drop him down in the draft order. It’s sad, but true. Of course Notre Dame, that Roman-Catholic institution, would stand behind Te’o, promote this tale of him being the victim of a cruel, on-line hoax. Sweet, innocent Te'o was fooled from the jump. They don’t want their most-celebrated player ever and the face of their Dream Season to be a homosexual. I keep coming back to that. Nothing else makes sense, does it? It’s sad, but true.

Sometimes the most obvious solution is the right one. Occam’s Razor. Could I be wrong? Of course. Do I have proof? Not a shred. Just my gut. This story is going to take twists and turns, and people are going to grapple to understand what’s happening here. And this whole thing is blowing up in Te'o's face because he’s trying to keep it in the closet. Ask Lance Armstrong how that story ends. That’s the only solution I can come up with.

At the end of the day, Te'o didn't cheat the sport or commit a crime. This isn't Penn State or Lance Armstrong or even Pete Rose. It's a confused kid trying to keep his professional career as profitable as possible. In my opinion, that's it.

Ask me: He’s gay. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

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Brian Huba

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