Notre Dame is French for ” Our Lady”, it is a catholic honorific salutation to the Virgin Mary. Manti Te’o’s actions do not honor such a symbol with his hoax of a girlfriend that passed away from losing her battle with leukemia. Vita Dulcedo Spes, Notre Dame’s motto, in English it means Life, Sweetness, Hope. Te’o’s actions disregarded life, it should his sweetness with his story was fake, and he took hope from those that believed in his care and love for this “woman”, Lennay Kekua.
Te’o fooled us all, and in doing so grew his popularity nationally. The story of his grandmother and girlfriend passing away within six hours of each other put Te’o in the media’s forefront. The leader of Notre Dame’s defense had a heavy burden to live with. Yet, he said these deaths motivated, inspired him to play harder and better and carry Notre Dame to a BCS Championship game. What a scam he almost pulled off.
Credibility, honor, trust these are characteristics you look for in a leader. Characteristics that propel you in life. Te’o is an outstanding football player, a sure first round draft pick, many mock drafts had him going in the top 5, that was until his character is now in question. What kind of man pulls a hoax like this? He took to a disease like leukemia and abused it, he put the worth of a woman as minimal. worst of all he insulted his grandmother by pulling this hoax, the grandmother that actually lived and died. What little respect he must have had for her.
This was about Te’o building his “brand”, getting America behind him , helping his Heisman campaign. Vote for the great defensive guy that played for his grandmother and girlfriend. Creating this hoax had to take time, had to be well planned out. If we look into what he said on separate occasions you can see something is a miss. After a 20-3 victory over Michigan State on Sept. 15th, three days after his grandmother’s passing and the hoaxing death T’eo said:
“My family and my girlfriend’s family have received so much love and support from the Notre Dame family. Michigan State fans showed some love. And it goes to show that people understand that football is just a game, and it’s a game that we play, and we have fun doing it. But at the end of the day, what matters is the people who are around you, and family. I appreciate all the love and support that everybody’s given my family and my girlfriend’s family.”
Then before the BCS Nation Championship game on Jan. 3rd Te’o was asked about his “girlfriend”. “This team is very special to me, and the guys on it have always been there for me, through the good times and the bad times. I rarely have a quiet time to myself because I always have somebody calling me, asking, ‘Do you want to go to the movies?’ Coach is always calling me asking me, ‘Are you OK? Do you need anything?’ “
Do you see the difference in responses. You can even sense the difference in tone just reading it. He avoids even mentioning her, his response on Sept 15th he mentions his “girlfriend” twice, on Jan. 3rd he avoids the word altogether. I am not a psychologists or a detective, though I have watched a lot of CSI, I would say something fishy is going on here.
Te’o is forever tarnished, the details will come out. I will not go into what is speculation right now. Who was involved and how much were they involved? Right now all anyone needs to know is that Te’o sold out to improve his “brand”, and did so in a way that shows how little he truly cares, for and respects human life. Vita Dulcedo Spes Mr. Te’o, Vita Dulcedo Spes.
Article by Steve Kish