Te’o’s situation, which spilled over on Notre Dame and became a yippee! nugget for everyone from Katie Couric to Letterman, Saturday Night Live, and legions of Notre Dame haters, is probably not the most painful lie he’ll hear, but yikes! on embarassing. I recently had a female from online dating who mentioned being an entrepreuner that dealt in gold antiquities, was headed to Africa and hoped to meet when she came back. I smelled something similar to Nigerian bank scam, and while I hadn’t been contacted about helping get $26million out of a country for which I’d receive a grateful 15%, I did have experience with “help me please, I’ve been robbed/lost passport/no money but many problems about how to get home.” One note about not helping if I got that kind of message ended communications immediately, but that’s what experience is supposed to help with.
Even beyond that, I dated, had sex with, lived in same city with a particular woman for EIGHT YEARS, and while she was often ‘elsewhere’ for 2-3 weeks (and we ended things several times), the last blast was amazing. Worried about not seeing her I was talking to a friend of her’s when a laser of thought made me ask, “What do you think she does for a living?” The response–patient liasion for a local hospital–might’ve been legit, she’d graduated with related degree–but it was miles from what I thought. “Blood stock agent for Fasig-Tipton,” was my response to “what do YOU think she does?” The point is people can/will bamboozle you early, late, standing in front of you, for money (think Bernie Madoff) or no reason at all.
Knowing how enamored the media was about the dead girlfriend Inspiration angle versus ‘just’ his playing, I would have (hindsight is always so clear) gotten to ESPN guy before that Heisman event and said, “Look man, I know everyone is up about the Lennay thing, but there’s some screwed up aspects for me. I’ll give you first word about it real soon, just please don’t ask about it in front of all these people.” Co-opting some political truth or legal dishonesty while being quoted ticks me off, but it’s ever so different to ask for break because its reeeallly time to put brakes on the situation. Tough to think his stock value went down more for hedging around some truths like Bill Clinton about Monica than how Alabama running backs went right through his tackles is unfortunately going to part of his legacy. If he led Cleveland to the Super Bowl and had nine interceptions as Rookie of the Year, Lennay deal will be in third sentence.
I would also make sure the SOB who messed with me knew staying FAR, FAR away from my grasp was important.