Monday, January 21, 2013

Manti Te’o Now the Butt of Jokes
At least the Manti Te’o debacle has left the front page for the sports section where it now resides.

However, it might be appropriate to place the stories in the comics/humor section of the newspaper, based on the plethora of jokes that have surfaced since the Notre Dame star linebacker and Punahou (Honolulu) graduate revealed the love of his life was non-existent.

When Calvin Say lost his long-held post as Speaker of the Hawaii Legislature House of Representatives, Honolulu Star-Bulletin columnist David Shapiro wrote: “Say was forced to sit in the back row of the House chamber, next to Republicans and Manti Teo’s imaginary girlfriend.”

“Some say the hoax involving Manti Te’o could harm his rank in the draft,” Conan O’Brien noted. “On the other hand, it could open up an entirely new branch of fantasy football.”

David Letterman did a “Top 10 Signs You have an Imaginary Girlfriend,” with such gems as “Someone says, ‘Tell me about your girlfriend,’ and you say, ‘Hummm, let me think of something.'”

Jimmy Fallon jumped onto the bandwagon: “Manti Teo’s online girlfriend was a fabrication. When they heard that, nerds were like, ‘Man – even imaginary girls only like jocks.'”

And those were by the nice guys. There’s an open thread on “Saturday Down South,” a website for SEC football fans. Some samples: “Manti Te’o wasn’t missing tackles in the National Championship, he was hugging his girlfriend.” “If you having girl problems I feel bad for you son Manti Teo has 99 problems but a girl ain’t one.” “Brent Musberger hasn’t seen Teo’s girlfriend either, but he is assured, real or fake, that she is smokin’.” “Who makes up a dead girlfriend other than George Costanza?” And finally, “Just heard ‘AJ McCarron’s girlfriend will be featured in SI Swimsuit Edition, while Manti Te’o’s girlfriend will be featured on Mythbusters.”

In what may be the ultimate insult, the Florence (Kentucky) Freedom baseball team has announced it will host a “Manti Te’o Girlfriend Bobblehead Day” on May 23.

If you’re one of the first 1,000 fans through the gate, you’ll get an empty bobblehead box. A “pretend kiss cam” will be set up for fans where they can kiss their imaginary friends. An entire section will be reserved for fans to sit with their imaginary friends, girlfriends, boyfriends, or spouses. For the kids, they can enjoy an imaginary food fight in the kids’ area and participate in an air guitar contest.

Funny stuff … that is, until you realize they’re talking about a real person who is only guilty of being naïve and a dupe. Then it borders on being offensive. I feel sorry for the guy.

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