I can honestly say that I was never a Manti fan. Something about him didn’t seem right, and now it appears that’s the case. One of two things happened here: (1) He fabricated the whole “my girlfriend died” story, (2) He was, indeed, the victim of an online hoax, but he compounded the problem by grossly exaggerating his involvement with her and covering up the weakness (non-existence) of their relationship after she died (by telling one reporter, for instance, that her family would prefer not to be contacted . . . instead of just admitting that he didn’t know her family). There could be other explanations, but those two seem easily the front-runner explanations in this bizarre story. We’ll see how it plays out.
And BTW: I’m not sure what to think of Notre Dame. They knew about this on December 26th, but it’s just now coming out, three weeks later? I guess it’s not a big deal and understandable, but something about it strikes me as wrong. I mean, if Manti was truly pranked and wholly innocent, why not just come out and admit it right away?
And also: Manti was incredibly flat in the championship game. I just figured he was no match for Alabama. Now I wonder if he knew his gig was up and demoralized.
A prediction: Manti is eventually going to admit that he made it all up, but he (his handlers) will play it down as an immature college hijink that spun out of control. “He never meant any harm. It was just a college prank. Let’s forget about it.”
One final thing: Is the suspicion that this was a hoax perpetrated by ND students against Manti? I couldn’t tell from the news stories.
[Later Addendum: I wrote the above before going to bed last night. I woke up this morning and heard excerpts from the Notre Dame AD’s press conference. I’m more astounded than ever, but (for now) I’m going with theory (2) above: Manti was the victim of a hoax, but he compounded the problem by not being honest (or, perhaps more accurately, “forthright”) about the nature of his relationship and knowingly exaggerating the extent of their relationship. I’m not sure about the latter part (knowingly exaggerating) because I don’t know details of what appears to be a stunningly-elaborate hoax (e.g., did the team of hoaxers have the “dead woman’s father” call him and ask the press not to contact any of them?).
Also: I see why ND took three weeks to speak. They were probably doing an extensive investigation of their own. There’s no way Swarbrick says what he says last night, unless (i) he’s a liar, which I don’t think is the case, or (ii) a sophisticated and thorough investigation confirmed that Manti was, indeed, primarily a victim of a hoax.
And if it turns out Swarbrick is wrong or is lying or is exaggerating the results of ND’s investigation? Oh my, ND. Fold up your tent. Let’s hope you did your homework before you held a press conference like that. I believe you. But if it turns out that you’re covering for Manti, or even that you’ve been duped yourself after three weeks of investigation? I wouldn’t know what to say.
That’s my opinion as of now, 7:00 AM Thursday. We’ll see where it goes from here.]
While we’re on football stuff, I strongly recommend this NFL bad lip reading video. One of the funniest and cleverest videos I’ve seen in a long time.Bookmark it: del.icio.us | Reddit | Slashdot | Digg | Facebook | Technorati | Google | StumbleUpon | Window Live | Tailrank | Furl | Netscape | Yahoo | BlinkList