The Manti Te'o Saga
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- PR 101. If you have nothing to hide, don't hide.
- Doing the first media appearance with Jeremy Schaap with no cameras in a controlled environment and with representation nearby, is hiding.
- Especially considering the appearance was on a late Friday night. Warning flares go up any time a story is released on a weekend, and Te'o's advisors should've known that. People were willing to buy the victim angle, but veteran media types now smell something.
- It could've been so simple. If Te'o had done one press conference and let everyone ask a question, all he'd have to do is say over and over and over again, "I'm sorry that I screwed up, but I was so embarrassed and so humiliated that I didn't know how to handle the situation."
- The story would've died the next day.
- Instead, the story is going on and on and on, and it's not going to stop because all anyone will be talking about this week will be the Katie Couric interview that's almost certainly not going to be anything more than Te'o saying he was a victim. That only works if everyone in a pressroom gets to ask a question.
- There had better be a bombshell that Te'o is looking to get off his chest.
- Watch the awesome new Nike No Cup Is Safe ad with Tiger and Rory McIlroy. If people like the guy, they'll forget about controversies in a big hurry.
- I'm already bored of the Harbaugh Bro Bowl angle.
- I have no problem with Notre Dame holding on to the story until after the BCS championship. It's not like this was a criminal case.
- I'm 42-years-old and about to turn 43 in May, but I have all my hair; I dress like a slob – wearing a backwards hat and cargo shorts 365 days a year; I listen to XMU; and I'm relatively versed in most forms of social media.
And Lord help me, I have no earthly clue what anyone is talking about in this fiasco when it comes to the technical and pop culture references.
And that's part of the story. It's not that the media didn't dig deep enough, and it's not that there weren't enough questions asked about the legitimacy of the relationship; it's that no one even knew that something was there to ask.
Old fart media types weren't possibly able to grasp that a love-of-the-life relationship could've been had strictly by phone, texting and social media, and no one still seems able to quite get exactly how this all came about in the first place. Apparently, a lot of what happened in the Te'o case isn't all that out of the norm, and through most of this story, I've used people almost half my age to help translate – excuse me, stewardess, I speak Generation i.
This is truly a case of the squares not being cool enough to comprehend what these crazy kids are up to.
However, while I might lean more to the pathetic aging hipster side than the wannabe cool dad who actually listens to most of the bands at Lollapalooza – and knows enough to get that most of the headliners are weak – there's one side of the tech-filled controversy that I understand 100% and find to be the weakest part of the mess that is Te'o's excuse – the picture was blocked on Skype? Try that again, son.
One month before she died, my 89-year-old grandma figured out Sykpe, and that was a few years ago before the thing actually worked. Soldiers in Afghanistan are able to talk over a computer to their loved ones. My five-year-old knows how to FaceTime, and just about every phone and computer has a camera of some sort, so don't try slinging this idea that this high-end, 2012 futuristic relationship came about and Te'o wasn't able to see her on some iDevice.
Sorry, but the love of his life was dying of leukemia, he went to bed at night with the phone on his ear, and he didn't do everything humanly possible to chat face-to-face? I'll buy the naïve and sucker act, but not that far.
I've been told by several youths that having a strictly electronic relationship isn't all that crazy, but the human element is still the human element and if Te'o is really and truly telling the truth, then more than anything else, that's just sad.
I always thought that when I got to this age I'd be dying to be 22 again, and in some ways, I am – I'd give just about anything to have my knees back. But having been part of the last college graduating class that never used the Internet, and knowing just how much it sucked to have five channels of TV with no remote control, I'm good.