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Interview: Deadspin writer discusses Te’o story

Manti Te'o AP

We’re going to make this short, sweet and to the point.

Unless you’ve been living under some type of rock over the past few hours, you’ve no doubt heard about, read or seen the Deadspin article that makes explosive claims regarding Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o and his “dead girlfriend.”

Was the 2012 Heisman runner-up the victim of a hoax as both the player and the University claim, or was he orchestrating it as the website intimates?  In an interview with Erik Kuselias of NBC Sports Radio, Deadspin writer Timothy Burke discusses the story he broke and attempts to make some type of sense of the controversy Te’o has now found himself in.

The complete interview can be heard below:

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39 Responses to “Interview: Deadspin writer discusses Te’o story”
  1. pricecube says: Jan 17, 2013 2:47 AM

    I think Deadspin is going to bury this guy tomorrow. His story is completely implausible.

  2. stoutfiles says: Jan 17, 2013 3:22 AM

    Looks like a beard that worked until he got too famous for it. Just come out already, no more lies.

  3. mj1818 says: Jan 17, 2013 7:27 AM

    I blame the raiders since it was a forms raiders player’s son.

  4. mungman69 says: Jan 17, 2013 7:45 AM

    I just don’t understand any of this.

  5. elwaysmilehighdenver says: Jan 17, 2013 7:51 AM

    Was Manti tackling make believe Bama backs in the NC? Just curious.

  6. scalpemseminoles says: Jan 17, 2013 8:00 AM

    the kid is a super mormon. he obviously is the victim. it’s not like he was meeting up with this girl every week to “get it in”.

  7. scottcochran67 says: Jan 17, 2013 8:27 AM

    The national media are the biggest joke in this story. Traditional news organizations are a joke.

  8. idolized1 says: Jan 17, 2013 8:28 AM

    In a statement just released to the public, Notre Dame has officially changed its name to “Notre.”

    It seems the Dame was all just a hoax.

  9. broncosfan29 says: Jan 17, 2013 8:38 AM

    whatever way the story goes teo still looks like an idiot. hahahahaha. i use to joke with a co-worker that teo has a big sob story. didn’t think it would come out like this though.

  10. broncosfan29 says: Jan 17, 2013 8:39 AM

    scalpemseminoles January 17, 2013, 8:00 AM EST

    the kid is a super mormon. he obviously is the victim. it’s not like he was meeting up with this girl every week to “get it in”.

    ———————————

    His mormon story could be a hoax too.

  11. bennyb82 says: Jan 17, 2013 8:41 AM

    If you were a star football player and were not hooking up with any girls, what would you do to get your teammates/fans/fellow students off your back? Maybe have a friend create a fake gf online so that nobody would assume you are gay? I would not be surprised if ND suggested this either…and I am an ND fan.

  12. xtremesportsmaniac says: Jan 17, 2013 9:13 AM

    Benny,
    Then why did he not just break up with his fake GF instead of killing her off? The media never touches this story if they just break up in fact nobody ever knows who she is or even cares if they just break up.

  13. kupski says: Jan 17, 2013 9:51 AM

    I have doubts trusting anything from the Board members of the University of Notre Dame.

    Isn’t this the SAME University that covered up the much beloved “Touchdown Jesus” to enable a Muslim running for President Of The United States ?

    Now they have head representative and spokesman for the University Mike Golic explaining how this creep didn’t really go out much. Oh that justifies everything, said NO ONE EVER.

    N.F.L. Your are truly going allow this freak show to be in the league WITHOUT Psychologicals being preformed?

    N.F.L……….. Serious EGG on your face if you allow this to happen…..

    If Notre Dame is willing to cover up Jesus, how much more are they willing to go that much farther for this ?

    Where is the Febreeze…. this wreaks

  14. gorilladunk says: Jan 17, 2013 9:52 AM

    I don’t think anyone in their right mind believes that Manti was “the victim” of a cruel hoax. He was knowledgeable about the entire thing and perhaps it just blew up and got out of hand. You connect the dots and it becomes pretty apparent. Maybe this explains why he played so poorly in the NC game. When deadspin started snooping around, he knew the story, and he, were about to be exposed as a fraud.

  15. mydixienormus says: Jan 17, 2013 9:58 AM

    So Teo is a mormon going to a catholic school…

    Seems ackward.

    Does Notre Dame recognize the magic underpants?

  16. hotlantalaw says: Jan 17, 2013 10:14 AM

    Teo is gonna lawyer up and sue the spin out of Deadspin! Can’t wait!!!!!

  17. ningenito78 says: Jan 17, 2013 10:49 AM

    Teo is gonna lawyer up and sue the spin out of Deadspin! Can’t wait!!!!!

    On what grounds genius? He already acknowledged the Deadspin story is true.

  18. thegamecocker says: Jan 17, 2013 10:49 AM

    @mydixienormous

    There it is!! I was waiting for it!!! Once again you have delivered! LOL!!

    Look, I have an idea…try to incorporate a “BLOW UP DOLL” into this story somehow…your humor is as good as Larry Davids’.

  19. 12is3times4 says: Jan 17, 2013 10:57 AM

    @xtremesportsmaniac: Remember that Te’o was pretty much the ultimate BMOC. If he had simply broken up with “Kekua” he would have instantly become Notre Dame’s most eligible bachelor, so not pairing up again immediately would have raised more red flags vis-a-vis Te’o’s sexuality than a May Day parade in Beijing.

    Having “Kekua” die instead, especially at the same time as his grandmother, got him off that hook. People would just assume he was grieving and not ready to start dating again, and he’d be long gone from ND by the time he’d be expected to start.

  20. ningenito78 says: Jan 17, 2013 11:00 AM

    I hate to say this because I’m the anti-conspiracy theory guy but the ‘gay cover up’ thing is really starting to make a little sense in my brain. Then take in consideration how Samoans are so protective of their own and their culture….

  21. thefiesty1 says: Jan 17, 2013 11:08 AM

    This is just a publicity stunt on his part. He’s just trying to cover his ass now. He is not a victim. He was in on it from the beginning. lannia or what ever name he made up along with his family. Enough already, he’s gotten enough pub.

  22. xtremesportsmaniac says: Jan 17, 2013 11:36 AM

    12is3times4,

    Makes sense if he is gay but that would also suggest he knew exactly what was going on and is not a victim like he suggests.

    If true at some point the lies have to stop with this kid.

  23. swagger91 says: Jan 17, 2013 12:14 PM

    Yall gotta quit talkin bout the man not tackling in the champ. Game…yall act bama just some fo gazzy team dat dont have 4 star and 5 star recuits every year…how bout yall go out and try to tackle ed lover and young yeldon….thought so

  24. mazblast says: Jan 17, 2013 12:16 PM

    swagger91 says:

    Yall gotta quit talkin bout the man not tackling in the champ. Game…yall act bama just some fo gazzy team dat dont have 4 star and 5 star recuits every year…how bout yall go out and try to tackle ed lover and young yeldon….thought so
    ———————————-
    I have no freaking idea what you were trying (and failing) to say. Try again, this time in English.

  25. swagger91 says: Jan 17, 2013 12:55 PM

    U worried bout the wrong thing hoe

  26. sportsdrenched says: Jan 17, 2013 1:20 PM

    I hate to say this because I’m the anti-conspiracy theory guy but the ‘gay cover up’ thing is really starting to make a little sense in my brain. Then take in consideration how Samoans are so protective of their own and their culture….

    ____________________

    I’m with you. I hate myself for even getting pulled into this “theory” but it makes more sense the more I think about it. What was the end game? He had plenty of fame. He was/is going to get paid by an NFL team. He is the biggest football player at a football school….that just happens to be Cathloic. The reprocussions of what his sexuality may or may not be would be huge with that community.

    At most other universities it would open a discussion but there wouldn’t be the same dynamic as at Notre Dame.

  27. loungefly74 says: Jan 17, 2013 1:40 PM

    I hate to say this because I’m the anti-conspiracy theory guy but the ‘gay cover up’ thing is really starting to make a little sense in my brain. Then take in consideration how Samoans are so protective of their own and their culture….

    ____________________

    I’m with you. I hate myself for even getting pulled into this “theory” but it makes more sense the more I think about it. What was the end game? He had plenty of fame. He was/is going to get paid by an NFL team. He is the biggest football player at a football school….that just happens to be Cathloic. The reprocussions of what his sexuality may or may not be would be huge with that community.

    At most other universities it would open a discussion but there wouldn’t be the same dynamic as at Notre Dame.
    —————————————————-

    i’m with you guys as well. i do have a friend saying he was in on it for Heisman votes. i thought that would be odd…considering a defensive player has little/ no chance of winning.

  28. mogogo1 says: Jan 17, 2013 1:59 PM

    I think it is entirely plausible that the hoax was originally intended more for his family than anybody else. (And that would also explain why it started slow and the stories only took off when his Heisman campaign got going.)

    I’ve read the quotes from his father and brother. There’s a bit of inconsistency from the father, but the brother goes out of his way to make it clear he’s just relaying stories that Manti told him. I don’t think they were in on it and I think Manti dumped the fake death on them while everybody was still grieving his grandmother passing away. That’s cold.

  29. joebucksdisgust says: Jan 17, 2013 2:35 PM

    Kuselias, you mention in your interview you have “only read the statements.” Did you actually read the entire Deadspin article? This whole discussion is based on questions Tim & Jack fleshed out in detail within their piece. You don’t know whether or not Te’o said he met Kekua. You don’t know the back story of Tuiasosopo & the Twitter accounts. Your begrudging, holier-than-thou, ‘I’m doing Deadspin a favor by letting them tell THEIR side of the story even though they’ve been MEAN to me in the past’ tone further solidifies what more and more people are discovering about the primary feeders of sports information; you’d rather be yukking it up with the individuals you’re supposed to be covering than doing actual work to get to the root of a story.

  30. lovinthatsomanyhateonnd says: Jan 17, 2013 3:21 PM

    broncosfan29 i hope someone jumps all over your pathetic butt on your most humiliating day…that would be Karma at its finest.

  31. Deb says: Jan 17, 2013 3:21 PM

    @loungefly and sportsdrenched …

    Not saying the gay theory isn’t possible, given the Islander culture. But it still seems off the wall to me. Pathological liars lie because they’re pathological. Happens all the time; we read news articles on it all the time. Their intricate stories unravel and wind up on Dateline and 48 Hours.

    Or …

    He and his pals were using the story to improve his chances for winning the Heisman and enhance his draft stock. Someone posted yesterday that a Heisman might “only” have moved him up a few places in the draft. A few places in the first round can mean an extra $10 million or more in salary. That’s powerful motivation. Tuiasosopo (Te’o’s pal who ran the fake Twitter accounts) comes from a football family–several of his relatives played in the NFL; he’d know that. Greed is a simple and time-honored motive.

  32. sportsdrenched says: Jan 17, 2013 4:28 PM

    But it still seems off the wall to me.
    _____________________

    @Deb, This whole thing is off the wall. Like I said, I’m kind of ashamed I buy into it, but it makes more sense to me than people were doing this for amusement. But at this point the NOTHING would suprise me.

  33. deadeye says: Jan 17, 2013 4:42 PM

    I think Manti might have deep psychological problems. Sometimes people really do “create” other people in their minds and genuinely believe they exist. Remember the movie “A Beautiful Mind”, it was based on that very idea.

    Furthermore if Manti made up his girlfriend from scratch, it might also explain why he was tackling imaginary football players instead of Alabama’s running backs in the MNC.

  34. tampajoey says: Jan 17, 2013 4:57 PM

    Te’o is either a liar or pathetic…. I’m leaning towards him being a liar.

  35. thegamecocker says: Jan 17, 2013 5:26 PM

    I just cannot wait for SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE! If they don’t have a field-day with this one, I don’t know what is funny! Even if they use a blow-up doll as “Lanny Kakua”. There is just so much wonderful material here…..

  36. dmcgrann says: Jan 17, 2013 5:29 PM

    I’d never heard of the “dead girlfriend and grandmother” until the hoax story broke. Maybe I knew something in the back of my mind, but, sorry to say, I just wasn’t paying that much attention.

    I thought of a possible explanation for Te’o, though. He was “Catfished” big time. It can happen. The lies about meeting the made-up girlfriend may have been made because he didn’t want to disappoint the folks at ND. Little lies can become big ones, especially if someone is stressed and probably didn’t want to be in the position of disappointing his school or looking like a fool. When the December call came, then a BIG problem reared it’s head, and he was caught out. But, I wonder if he wasn’t getting some subtle and not-so-subtle pushing from the ND sports information folks; “Let’s tell the world your story, Manti! You’ll be an inspiration! You’ll win the Heisman and bring glory and honor to yourself and Notre Dame!” A lot of pressure could have been brought.

    Remember, it was Notre Dame’s sports information folks who got Joe Theismann’s family to change the way they pronounced the family name, so it “rhymed with Heisman”. They had pronounced it “Theesmann”.

  37. normtide says: Jan 17, 2013 8:06 PM

    It seems clear that ND kept the truth hidden so they could get a team of PI’s out in front of this. ND will spin this and save face, if possible.

    Besides blind followers, does anyone really buy Manti’s story? Even his teammates are calling it out.

  38. dmcgrann says: Jan 18, 2013 12:00 AM

    Normtide, I don’t necessarily “buy Manti’s story”, but I just don’t really see how it matters for anything.

    “College-age kid screws up” isn’t exactly news.

  39. drjoemck says: Jan 18, 2013 12:55 AM

    Well Manti, don’t sit down with Oprah for your coming out announcement until after you get that rookie contract signed.

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