Questions I Still Have For Manti Te’o


“Faith is believing in something that you most likely can’t see, but believe to be true.”

That was Manti Te’o, commenting on the idea of “faith” in the context of his religion, in a news segment done by ESPN on October 6th, 2012, before this story broke the Internet and gave the guys behind Catfish a new angle for Season 3.

I find this quote amazing in retrospect. It’s probably my “favorite” of the many interesting factoids that have been reexamined after the Story of Manti took its dramatic shift. But there is still a lot that I want to know about this future first round draft pick, whether I have a right to or not. Here’s a few questions that I still have about Manti Te’o.

Has He Ever Kissed A Girl In A Romantic Way? (With Tongue)

Essentially, I want to know how far Manti has trotted around the bases before getting called out by the umpire. Or if he has ever even stepped up to the plate. While I understand that this is absolutely none of my business, I’m fascinated by the question. If he had ever had any sort of intimate relations with a girl that went positively, I feel like the idea of a three-year-relationship-without-seeing-her-in-person would not appeal to Manti. On the other hand, if he did make out with a girl once at a high school dance and still decided to date a girl that he had never met, doesn’t that make him extra romantic? Even if it’s the hopeless kind? If so, welcome to the club Manti.

Where Were His Bros At On This?

As a bro to many of my bros, I’d like to formally call out the bros of Manti Te’o for blowing it on this one. COME ON GUYS. You have a leader on your football team who is a really decent dude according to basically the entire campus. You have to have Manti’s back on this. Didn’t at least one guy pull Manti over after practice and say something to the extent of, “Hey Manti, have you still not seen that girl? Why don’t you visit her for a weekend? Or at least get hard evidence that she is a real person? Don’t get me wrong, I’m on your side. I’m just trying to have your back man.” Where was his bro at in his time of need? If this story taught me anything, it’s not to trust a Notre Dame bro.

Does He Know About Skype?

Seriously. In his freshman year he had to at least be aware that Skype existed and allowed you to see a person while you talked to them. Many of the long distance relationships that I have seen friends attempt relied solely on Skype as a means of staying in touch. Did this never cross Manti’s mind? Did he not care? Also, it was reported that Manti would stay up on the phone with Lennay while she slept. This is what Skype was made for. It’s next to impossible to fall asleep with a phone to your ear, but with Skype, just leave your MacBook open and pass out. Manti could’ve found out that this was a hoax way earlier and gotten better sleep had he been a bit more technically inclined.

How Long Has He Been Using The Internet?

The joke about Manti falling for some email scam about a prince in another country needing a $600 loan has been made enough already, so I won’t make it here. But seriously Manti, do you know the Internet? If you knew the Internet as well as I feel I do, you would know not to trust it and know to abide by its rules, the first of which is: Pics or it didn’t happen.

What Would He Use The Internet For Besides Interacting With This Girl?

Does he just check out his stats on Does he have a WoW character? Does he like memes? Does he know what a meme is? Was he aware that his story was highly “meme-able” and did that add an extra level to his fear of revealing the truth?

How Would He Handle Women Hitting On Him At Notre Dame?

So Manti is for all intents and purposes “a catch” in terms of college dating (Catfish pun intended). He’s a football star, reportedly a nice fellow, and Hawaiian enough to make him not unattractive. Even if it was known that he had a girlfriend, women must have cornered him at points in his life in a “We should totally make out” kind of way. That’s just kind of how college works sometimes. How would he handle these situations? I imagine him politely saying that he was spoken for and running off to call Lennay. Or was he just so socially awkward that he removed himself from any location where that could be a conceivable scenario?

How Often Did He Talk To His Friends About His Girl?

We all have a friend that talks too much about their significant other. It gets annoying. Was Manti Te’o ever this friend? Would he say to his roommates, “Oh my gosh guys, today Lennay said the funniest thing,” and then proceed to tell a ten minute story that never got anywhere close to funny, prompting him to explain, “You guys don’t get it, but that’s cool, you just don’t know Lennay.” To be fair, we certainly didn’t know Lennay.

Where Were The Fact Checks On This Story?

This is a big one for me. I remember watching the 20-3 Notre Dame win over Michigan State. The whole story of the game was Manti overcoming this personal tragedy of losing his Grandmother and girlfriend in a matter of hours. There were news segments about it pregame, the announcers played the story up (as they should have), and almost every shot of a player on the sideline was Manti looking up to the sky or staring with passion at the field, a combination of tears and sweat ever-filling his eyes. Everyone on that broadcast team had to know that regardless of what happened in the game, he was going to be the story. With this in mind, how did no one fact check the details? It can’t be that difficult to figure out if a girl from Stanford died of Leukemia in the past year. I feel like I could do it on Facebook in about 12 minutes. There would be some sort of memorial page. That’s how these things happen in the 21st century. ESPN has to have enough connections to make a call to Stanford, just to get word from a Dean about possible services being held for the student or even a comment on “What Lennay was like” to discuss during the broadcast of the game. Clearly, that call didn’t happen.

What Type Of Girl Is Te’o Attracted To?

Let me put it this way: if Manti Te’o has a MormonMingle account, I want to see it.

Who Was The First Friend Manti Told Once He Found Out It Was A Hoax? How Did That Friend Take The News?

To be a fly on the wall for this conversation would’ve been marvelous.

“Hey, Chris, I got something to tell you.”

“What’s up Manti?”

“You know that girlfriend I had, that died, Lennay?”

“Yeah man, but know that she’s still with you man. You’re going to get through this. We’re all playing for her and for you. We all love you Manti, we got you. If you can get through this, you can get through anything.”

“Thanks man, I feel alright, you don’t have to try and cheer me up. This is serious. *Heavy Sigh* Lennay doesn’t exist.”


“No you’re not getting it…”

Did Te’o Ever Send Chocolates? If so, Were They Eaten?

To me, this is the most important question on this list.

Are Mormons More Likely To Fall For This Sort Of Hoax?

I worry that this reads as a joke, but this is a serious question. A couple of the stories surrounding Te’o have focused on his faith and heritage, both of which place heavy importance on the ideas of trust, faith, and family. Did Manti’s upbringing in some way make him more prone to fall for Lennay? I don’t know how you would track this statistic, but I would like to see if members of any religions or race get “Catfished” disproportionately.

Where Does He Want To Play Next Year?

This is mainly because I bet the answer has changed since the story of the hoax broke. I also wonder if he’s worried about other players in the NFL making fun of him. I know I would be. Those guys can have a way with words.

How Long Were They In A Relationship Before They Said “I Love You” To One Another?

Over/Under 5 months? I take the under.

Is Rudy His Favorite Movie? If not, why did he go to Notre Dame?

This is the nicest joke anyone has made about Manti Te’o in weeks. Speaking of which…

Did He See How Saturday Night Live Handled His Story?

As a human being that feels empathy, I hope not. As a writer, I hope someone was recording him while he watched it so we can capture his initial reactions.

Has He Ever Taken A Girl Out On A Date?

If so, I want to interview the crap out of that girl.

What Are His Views On Homosexuality?

Just curious.

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