Fiu's Stream-of-Consciousness: Te'o on Katie
Posted Jan 24, 2013

Fiu's Stream-of-Consciousness Notes on Manti Te'o's interview on Katie

Fiu's Stream-of-Consciousness

Manti on Katie

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I'm not expecting any bombshells, and I'm not expecting anything other than talking points, spin, and rehearsed answers from Manti Te'o.

Te'o has already admitted to lying, and he has already tied up Jeremy Schaap into a pretzel, so it'll be interesting to see if Katie Couric does some real digging or if this will be the type of softball Q&A that made the representatives and handlers choose this outlet. Couric isn't going to be handed a layup; Te'o won't claim he can see Russia from his house.

- I've asked around and asked again and no one seems to think Te'o is gay, but if he is, that would answer everything. Katie has to make that one of the first questions, just to get it on the record.

- Why the plinky, poignant death music about a girlfriend that next existed?

- Here's the other problem. Te'o's handlers are the ones keeping this alive. The story would've fizzled had Te'o done one big apologetic press conference, but to go public like this only makes the situation bigger.

- It's hard for Te'o to see his name "plastered everywhere?" Let's cut this line of I Don't Want The Spotlight crap from the Te'o camp. If you're a superstar football recruit and you don't want the spotlight, you don't come within 100 miles of playing for Notre Dame.

- When we come back, did Manti have any involvement in creating this scam? Take a wild guess at what the answer will be.

- "What everyone doesn't realize is that the same day that everyone found out, I found out." WHAT?!

- This doesn't have to be so hard. If Te'o is truly a victim, all he has to say is that he was duped, he was naïve, and he didn't know how to handle it. That's it. Say that over and over and over again, and everyone will buy it.

- Te'o has a really hard time distinguishing between the idea of lying and not telling the truth.

- Nice job, Katie. She called him on exactly that.

- HA! Not sure if the ads are national or just for my local feed, but the gay question teaser is thrown out there before going to a commercial for Disney.

- But I can't say Sylvester, George. Couric can't say Tuisasosopo.

- Te'o in the previous answer, "I never lied." In his next answer, "the biggest lie that I'm sorry for is what I told my dad." The biggest? What was the smallest?

- 14 minutes into the show before Te'o pulls out the word faith. The over/under was 7:23.

- This story had nothing to do with why I voted for Te'o for the Heisman.

- Katie keeps referring to Te'o communicating to Lennay Kekua. Again, she can't seem to be able to say Tuisasosopo.

- "Are you that technologically challenged?" It looked like Katie was doing everything possible not to use the word, idiot, but I'm with Manti on this one, to a point. I can never get it to work perfectly all the time, but you'd think he'd ask someone for help so he could actually see the love of his life.

- "I wasn't paying attention, I guess."

- I'd love to see a body language expert break this down.

- Katie asked Te'o if he was gay. "Far from it … faaaaar from it," he says laughing. Not sure how that's going to play – a simple, firm "no" would've been stronger.

- FOLLOW THAT UP, KATIE. You just asked the million dollar question and you immediately pivot?! Ask him about his dating life. Ask him about some of his other relationships. ANYTHING.

- Instead, she goes right back into the same story we already know.

- Nice job, Katie, firing on Manti for his bizarre explanation for why he didnt make more of an effort to meet the love of his life in San Diego.

- Katie: "It doesn't make sense to me." Te'o: "It doesn't make sense to me, either, at this point."

- Either Te'o thinks his parents are total jerkweeds to be so afraid to "test" whether or not they'd understand that he'd want to miss his flight so he could go visit a girl in a hospital, or his paper thin explanation is getting even slimmer.

- Katie: "I hope you have rollover minutes, by the way." Te'o: (laughing) "Mobile to mobile … mobile to mobile." You know cellphone plans AND YOU'RE NOT SAVVY ENOUGH TO DO MORE TO TRY TO SEE HER ON SKYPE OR FACETIME?!

- One thing from this is becoming crystal clear. If Te'o's story is true, Ronaiah Tuiasosopo is an evil genius.

- Te'o is right on that … "doesn't that sound like a girl?"

- Again, evil genius.

- Either that, or Manti is lying and he's brilliantly intricate.

- If that really is Tuisasosopo doing a girl voice, that's AMAZING. I can get doing that for a little while, but for hours? How?

- Has anyone thought about hooking up Te'o to a lie detector? This interview might work better on Maury than Katie.

- Katie calls him out for lying about his girlfriend dying of cancer in a post-Heisman interview, but again, Te'o says he didn't know. Katie doesn't let him out of it.

- "Put yourself in my situation." Okay … 21-year-old Pete Fiutak doesn't publically mention a dead girlfriend that never existed.

- There's a lot of this I don't buy, but I don't believe that if Te'o was involved in the hoax, it wasn't to try to pump up his Heisman campaign.

- Enter parents.

- Te'o's dad is exactly what I picture Tony Rocky Horror looks like.

- The parents had conversations with "this person?" Katie, ask about those.

- I wouldn't want to make Brian Te'o mad.

- And here come the waterworks. Te'o's mom, Ottilia Te'o, starts crying at the mention that many are calling her son a liar, but Katie incorrectly phrased the lead-in. Yes, we're calling Te'o a liar because he did lie and he did manipulate the story – by his own admission. However, I don't think everyone is assuming he had something to do with this "for his own personal gain," as Katie said. Those are two separate concepts.

- One crying mom and one shot of a crying woman in the audience later, and Tom Condon has his visual.

- Te'o: "The hardest part of this whole experience is to see my family go through it, all because of something I did." But what did you do? You're the victim, right?

- Te'o crying. Dad crying.

- Alright, not to be totally callous, but why is everyone balling? Sure, the Te'o's are under enormous pressure and scrutiny, but no one died and no one got physically hurt. Instead of treating this like a tragedy, which is how the Te'o family is reacting, why not simply go heavy on the We Got Suckered route? If Te'o is purely a victim, then that means he didn't really do anything wrong other than not handle the situation correctly, and in the end, that's not that big a deal.

- If he's telling the truth and if he's really and truly a victim.

- But that doesn't work. Te'o's dad said that if someone is saying that Manti is lying about something, then that means the whole family is being called liars. Not to keep harping on this, but that's not quite right.

- As far as Te'o's draft status, this won't matter. One team is all it takes.

- NFL teams in need of talented players won't give a lick about any of this. They'll be more concerned when he runs like an offensive guard in workouts.

- Final analysis? This is a strange, strange sports story that didn't have to be dragged out like this. It could've all gone away last week, but there are still too many moving parts to keep the media from not diving in deeper. This interview didn't do anything to help Te'o's cause, but the world has a short attention span and will quickly … Beyonce really lip-synched?