NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – You had to have seen this coming.
No, not that.
While the Manti Te’o girlfriend is-she-real-or-is-she-not Catfish debacle just keeps getting weirder, one fact is certain: Football fans love social media-fused trends. Earlier this week we were talking Kapernicking, reminiscing about Tebowing. (And hey, remember Bradying?)
Now the flabbergasting story out of Notre Dame has brought us another one: Te’oing.
The Internet is ablaze Thursday with pictures of folks putting their arms around their invisible, non-existent girlfriend.
The scandal gives new meaning to the term “fantasy football.” During a press conference Wednesday night, Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick stood behind the linebacker.
Swarbrick insisted Te’o was the victim of a hoax, duped into an online relationship with a woman whose “death” from leukemia was faked by perpetrators.
The goal of the scam wasn’t clear, though Notre Dame said it used an investigative firm to dig into the details after Te’o disclosed them three weeks ago.
“He is a guy who is so willing to believe in others and so ready to help, that as this hoax played out in a way that called upon those tendencies of Manti, it roped him more and more into the trap,” Swarbrick said. “He was not a person who would have a second thought about offering his assistance and help.”
According to Swarbrick, Te’o was the ideal mark for such a stunt.
“Every single thing about this until that day in the first week of September was real to Manti,” he said. “There was no suspicion that it wasn’t, no belief that it might not be.”