Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te'o, Twitter profile features a quote by , “Life is a storm. You will bask in the sunlight one moment, be shattered on the rocks the next. What makes you a man is what you do when that storm comes.”
If Manti Te’o girlfriend Lennay Kekua death story is hoax as reported by DeadSpin, then Te'o has been through a fake storm in his life after all. Deadspin locked-in on investigating the mysterious Te'o GF paid off, has probably inspired by AJ McCarron girlfriend Katherine Webb new internet sensation fame during the BCS Championship.
Te'o has been rocked with personal tragedies during in his senior college football career. His maternal grandmother, Annette Santiago, died in Hawaii after a long illness on Sept. 11 and his girlfriend, Lennay Kekua, died in California of leukemia several hours later. As it turns out, Kekua, 22 years old Stanford student, who allegedly died in a serious car accident while being diagnosed with leukemia was an illusion of the mind.
Notre Dame should be thankful of the person who created that fake uplifting story, since it became an inspiration of a man who responded to adversity that ignited the whole football team. Te'o went out and led the Fighting Irish to a 20-3 upset of Michigan State, racking up 12 tackles that preceding week as Notre Dame cruised to 12-1 record that give them the ticket to BCS Championship which they lost to Alabama Crimson Tide 42-14 in Jan. 7 rout.
Manti Te'o grandmother Annette Santiago death was true, she died on Sept. 11, 2012, at the age of 72, according to records. But the shady part was the death of Lennay Marie Kekua the following day. Kekua's demise were reported many times in the national media, but Deadspin found no obituary or funeral announcement in Nexis, and no mention in the Stanford student newspaper.
Background checks turn up nothing on auto accident involving a Lennay Kekua in Southern California and Kekua has no record at Stanford registrar's office.
Manti Te'o relationship with fictitious Lennay Kekua apparently began on Twitter, according to Deadspin. Ronaiah Tuiasosopo, a classmate of the woman whose Facebook photos were passed off as Kekua. Actaully there is nothing wrong meeting girlfriend on Twitter as AJ met Katherine Webb also on the favorite networking site. But Te'o's circumstances was just off the hook and it's unfortunate the way he handle the situation, and it might endanger his reputation in the future NFL Draft.
Notre Dame athletic directorsaid in a news conference Wednesday night that coaches were informed by Te'o and his parents on Dec. 26 that Te'o had been the victim of what appeared to be a hoax. But why Notre Dame nor Manti Te'o didn't inform the media by then that it takes a sports gossip site to investigate?
Nevertheless, Manti Te'o respond in a statement, through ESPN.com:
"This is incredibly embarrassing to talk about, but over an extended period of time, I developed an emotional relationship with a woman I met online. We maintained what I thought to be an authentic relationship by communicating frequently online and on the phone, and I grew to care deeply about her. To realize that I was the victim of what was apparently someone's sick joke and constant lies was, and is, painful and humiliating.
It further pains me that the grief I felt and the sympathies expressed to me at the time of my grandmother's death in September were in any way deepened by what I believed to be another significant loss in my life. I am enormously grateful for the support of my family, friends and Notre Dame fans throughout this year.
To think that I shared with them my happiness about my relationship and details that I thought to be true about her just makes me sick. I hope that people can understand how trying and confusing this whole experience has been. In retrospect, I obviously should have been much more cautious. If anything good comes of this, I hope it is that others will be far more guarded when they engage with people online than I was. Fortunately, I have many wonderful things in my life, and I'm looking forward to putting this painful experience behind me as I focus on preparing for the NFL Draft."
Manti Te'o 2013 NFL Draft Expectation: How the situation affect his reputation?
Entering his senior season Te'o looks like a solid first-round pick. He could have been a first-rounder in the 2012 NFL Draft if he had decided to skip his senior season. Te'o would not have gone ahead of Luke Kuechly, but probably would have gone in the No. 16-32 range. Right now, Te'o looks like a pick in that same range for the 2013 draft although he enters this season as the top-rated inside linebacker. But his sub par peformance in the BCS Championship cost him already millions in the NFL Draft prior to his love story fairy tale that could sink him in the draft even more.