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What dreams may come
Te'o's, ND's destiny come full circle
October 12, 2012|By ERIC HANSEN - Follow me @hansenNDInsider | South Bend Tribune
SOUTH BEND - It never felt like a chance meeting, although it probably appeared that way from the outside looking in.
Their stares got pleasantly tangled, then Manti Te’o extended his hand to the stranger with a warm smile and soulful eyes.
They could have just as easily brushed past each other and into separate sunsets. Te’o had plenty to preoccupy himself that November weekend in Palo Alto, Calif., back in 2009.
His Notre Dame football team hadn’t won since Halloween, and a three-game losing streak, that included seismic home setbacks to Navy and Connecticut, was pushing Irish head coach Charlie Weis out the door after five seasons, albeit with a seven-figure financial
settlement set to kick in.
Weis was the man who, in the recruiting process, promised Te’o’s parents that he would take care of their son 4,400 miles away, that he would make sure he graduated and really nothing else, nothing that had anything to do with football anyway.
And once Te’o’s 11th-hour shift away from USC and to Notre Dame took hold, Te’o’s still-confusing leap of faith hinged upon every subsequent word that came from Weis.
The part that stung the most for the Laie, Hawaii, product was that there was nothing he could do in ND’s upcoming clash with Stanford that could reverse the process. His only anchor was about to be set adrift.
There had been delusions by some observers, going into the ’09 season, that the freshman linebacker would be so advanced, so transformational, so immune to growing pains and flat spots in the growth curve that he could help launch the Irish back into a cycle of national prominence.
Instead, it was a school with an even smaller recruiting pool and a less-decorated football tradition that prevailed, 45-38, in what turned out to be Weis’ last game. That same school, Stanford, then proceeded to smack around the old stereotype of needing to compromise
academic standards in order to climb up on college football’s biggest postseason stages.
Te’o would start the game on the bench and finish it with a new career high in tackles, with 10.
This Saturday afternoon at Notre Dame Stadium, three years later and half a continent away, Stanford and the Irish meet again, this time with Notre Dame ascending and Te’o right in the middle of the uprising.
The Cardinal (4-1), ranked 17th, have won three straight in the series and have pushed around the Irish in the process. ND (5-0), which started the season unranked, has pushed itself into the cusp of the national title conversation.
For the first time this season and seventh time in Te’o’s career, his parents, Brian and Ottilia, will be in the stands for the game — along with the youngest of his five siblings, 6-year-old brother Manasseh.
“They’re watching you and they're watching someone who they've given everything they have to live his dream,” Te’o said earlier this week. “My dream is to help them in their dream, too. So, it's always exciting. It's going to be a special occasion to see them in the stands.”
And Manti Te’o is convinced the beautiful stranger will be watching too Saturday, somehow.
Lennay Kekua was a Stanford student and Cardinal football fan when the two exchanged glances, handshakes and phone numbers that fateful weekend three seasons ago.
She was gifted in music, multi-lingual, had dreams grounded in reality and the talent to catch up to them.
The plan was for Kekua to spend extensive time with the whole Te’o family when upwards of 40 of them came to South Bend in mid-November for ND’s Senior Day date with Wake Forest.
“They started out as just friends,” Brian Te’o said. “Every once in a while, she would travel to Hawaii, and that happened to be the time Manti was home, so he would meet with her there. But within the last year, they became a couple.
“And we came to the realization that she could be our daughter-in-law. Sadly, it won’t happen now.”
About the time Kekua and Manti became a couple, she was injured in an auto accident. There were complications during her recovery. And it was also during her recovery that it was discovered Kekua had leukemia.
“That was just in June,” Brian Te’o said. “I remember Manti telling me later she was going to have a bone marrow transplant and, sure enough, that’s exactly what happened. From all I knew, she was doing really, really well.”
Kekua, who eventually graduated from Stanford, was, in fact, doing so well that she was released from the hospital on Sept. 10. And Brian Te’o was among those congratulating her via telephone.
Less than 48 hours later, at 4 a.m. Hawaii time, Kekua sent a text to Brian and Ottilia, expressing her condolences over the passing of Ottilia’s mom, Annette Santiago, just hours before.
Brian awakened three hours later, saw the text, and sent one back. There was no response. A couple of hours later, Manti called his parents, his heart in pieces.
Lennay Kekua had died.
Where are the phone records. You can easily get them and prove he was talking to someone...which means he was possibly duped. No phone records and I think you can figure it out. Smails on BWI just posted something going back to HS and him having fake girlfriends. If the dude likes dudes or something he better come clean soon....it sure as hell will look a lot better than what is going on right now.
Show the phone records or come clean IMO....pretty much it.
"One man didn't build this program and one man sure as hell cannot tear it down."
There are two more pages to that article, but nothing else really mentioned about his so called girl friend. Some interesting quotes in that article for sure.
I was thinking the gay thing was probably the most likely story but this article quoting a teammate refutes that:
"...Tyler Moorehead, the Notre Dame rep for college sports network College Spun, recounts from the on-campus gossip:
The debate among teammates wasn't whether or not Manti actually knew this girl - it was clear that they had been in contact; no, players just didn't think that it was fair to call Lennay Kekua Manti's girlfriend, period (it is well-known on campus that he has had relations with other girls during his time at Notre Dame). They recognized what was going on for what it was - a terrible publicity stunt used to fuel Manti Te'o's Heisman campaign. In fact, many of the players privately commented that they didn't want the students to wear leis in support of Manti and wouldn't participate themselves - they cited that the team never responded so publicly to tragic events for other players. But there was also the feeling that Manti didn't deserve to benefit from publicity from the death of somebody he barely knew.
Last night, AD Jack Swarbrick hitched his and the university's wagon to Te'o's flawed version of events. The crux was that Te'o only learned he had been hoaxed on Dec. 6, and the university didn't find out until Dec. 26. But if Te'o's teammates knew something was up going back to September, and he continued to repeat the lie to reporters throughout the season, then something doesn't add up with his story. And remember, it's Notre Dame's official story now, too."
Appears the article is now available again. Guess they figured there was no way to hide from this one.
Here is the link to the article again.
"Whoever’s trying to kill me isn’t getting the job done. But one day, I’m going to punch that f___r in the face."
The best part was when he did the obligatory "drink a sip of water" to compose himself before the tears. I mean u can almost see him thinking the rehearsal in his mind.....
"Real crime is...."
(pause for 3 seconds....reach for water.....apologize for needing to compose self...continue)
Exactly. He can easily quiet the talk about him being involved by providing some written evidence such has the phone records, phone number to hospital he called, text messages....
Silence is deadly here.
It continues to get weirder, as Reagan Mauia says she's real: http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2013/01/16/reagan-mauia-says-lennay-kekua-is-real/
"I'm a Pennsylvania boy with a Penn State heart" JF
"I like your head, it's a good look." - James Franklin, to a bald reporter asking a question.
It looks like Te'o was trolled hard by a USC fan, was embarassed and then just came up with this "my gf is dead" thing on his own after he found out it was just a troll. At least that is what I have been able to piece together.
If thats what it is, way to up the ante in the rivalry. Honestly, in this digital world, I'm suprised more athletes haven't been trolled like this.
Not gonna lie when they said the girl was from Cali my first thought was USC fans. Iirc they had assumed teo would be Trojan.
Any old rivals mainboarders remember when Copacetic "died" in a car accident?
But that doesn't explain the T'eo family saying they met in Hawaii on multiple occasions.....i mean c'mon...are they saying that they never actually saw her yet said she could end up being their daughter in law?
I smell feces.....
One thing is for sure. Based on the quotes in the Chicago Tribune, either Te'o's Dad is a liar and a fraud or Te'o is a liar and a fraud or both.
I'm going with both.
Haha build up for the statement, all for not......
Not sure I buy that. If this happened for a 2 weeks period, then sure....I can see someone investing that amount of time in a prank. But no way possible someone invested 3 years of their own time to prank the guy. Maybe a tweet here or there during that time span, that takes little time and energy. But not hours and hours on the phone, overnight calls, etc...That's beyond a simple prank.
Found this on twitter, a leaked picture of the real Lennay
They didn't say they met her, they said that she came to Hawaii and then Te'o met up with her. He could have told them that they met up when really nothing happened.
I imagine things happening something like this:
Manti: "Hey mom and dad, I'm heading out to go meet Lennay for a few hours!"
Parents: "Okay, we'll see you later!"
---Manti drives away, does a few errands, and sits on a park bench staring into space for a few hours.----
Manti: "Hey, I'm home! Lennay says hi!"
Parents: "What a nice girl, hope he marries her someday!"
Is there any legal issues with pulling something like this because this is the greatest trolling ever!!! I want so bad the person that did this to hold their own presser and just be like Te'o is an idiot... he even wanted to wait until marriage for cyber sex. Side note... I'm 26 and back in the day one of the coolest this to do was get on AOL and find some internet girl to "cyber" with. Stupidest thing ever but next best thing to a handjob (which was never going to happen) when I was 12. Looking back that chick I thought was 13/f was probably 46 and a dude.
This post was edited by blackshoes 18 months ago
Yeah, I think so.
As far as I know, there is no criminal issue here, but the hoaxer could probably be taken to civil court for inflicting emotional distress. The problem here is, if what I said is true, Te'o kind of kept going along with it after he found out. Because of that, I'm not sure if a civil case would go in his favor.
Any IT peeps out here? Would it really be that hard to trace these tweets to the computer that's being used?
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