Don’t be hanging ‘round old Catfish John

We haven’t talked about current events in a while, have we? Shame on me. Shaaaaaame.

We could talk about Lance Armstrong but honestly, I just don’t care. I think it’s shitty he spent years saying “no no no I DON’T DO DRUGS” and all along he was doing drugs. That’s shady. But I didn’t watch the Oprah interview, because honestly, just don’t care. Mostly I feel bad for Dad. He LURVED Lance Armstrong. He thought the whole thing was a government conspiracy. (I just asked him about it, and he said “I was duped by a dope.” He sounded SO SAD. I felt terrible. I’m totally mad at Lance Armstrong. See, Dad doesn’t like many people at all. At ALL, at all. Because he thinks everyone is tricky and trying to fool him. And he constantly tells me not to love people. “THEY WILL BREAK YOUR HEART!” he says. Then, when someone does break my heart, he says “I TOLD YOU! Never love anyone! Ever!” But he LOVED Lance Armstrong. He stuck up for Lance Armstrong all through this and now he’s just crushed. I feel SO BAD about this. I mean, I have a long and storied history with heartbreak. Poor Dad, he’s a newbie here. I want to punch Lance Armstrong in his remaining testicle for hurting my Dad’s feelings.)

You SHOULD be ashamed, Lance. YOU UPSET AMY'S DAD.

You SHOULD be ashamed, Lance. YOU UPSET AMY’S DAD.

Nope, we’re not going to talk about Lance Armstrong, he makes me angry. I don’t like cheating.

Let’s talk about this whole football-player-Catfish-thing, because I find this fascinating.

OK, so in case you’ve been living under a rock (I totally just found out about this yesterday, so I’m kind  of one of those “living under a rock” people) apparently what happened is this:

There is a football player for Notre Dame named Manti Te’o. (That’s kind of a kickass name, yo.) He is apparently quite good. He’s gotten a lot of media coverage because earlier in the year, within days of each other, his beloved grandmother and girlfriend died. And he threw himself into the game and won all these things (shut up, I know nothing about football) and people were pushing for him to get the Heisman Trophy because oh, poor Manti Te’o. There’s nothing the media loves more than a sob story.

See? He's all footbally and shit.

See? He’s all footbally and shit.

Well, there’s this website called Deadspin, which I’ve never heard of in my life ever, but like I said, I live under a rock. Apparently it’s like a gossipy sports site? From what I can tell? Deadspin did a little digging into this dead-girlfriend story.

And there was no dead girlfriend. Or even a girlfriend.

This is where things get confusing. There are a lot of lies going on here. And it’s not 100% at this point who’s doing the lying.

Apparently through a combination of news reports and reports from Te’o and such, he met this girlfriend in 2009. Her name was Lennay Kekua. They were just friends for years; they became a couple in early 2012. In mid-2012, she was in a terrible car accident and almost died. When she was recovering, the doctors said, “oh, you have leukemia, too, by the way.” She died in September 2012. Te’o would stay on the phone with her for hours while she was in comas; his voice would make her vital signs get better. (Um. I don’t know about this. But I am not a doctor, nor do I play one on television.) This all sounds very soap-opera-y.

Various people in his life said they met her, including Te’o. Or the media reported this, anyway; it’s a little convoluted whether or not anyone actually SAID they met her.

Deadspin investigated this, because they thought something was hinky. I like to think of the Deadspin staff as the Scooby gang, right? Anyway, they found out that the photos being used on Lennay’s Twitter site were some horrified girl who was all “OMG NO WHAT THE HELL?” and that Te’o didn’t meet her at a game, as reported in the media, but on Twitter. The girl whose face became the face of a fake dead girlfriend was all, “wait a minute, I gave this photo to this guy I know” and she called him and he started acting all weird.

Come to find out, this guy (Ronaiah Tuiasosopo) was friends with Te’o and seems to be behind the Lennay accounts, but has gone all mum. Hmm. Wonder why.

This is Ronaiah. Shady, right? I think it's the weird hair-point going on there.

This is Ronaiah. Shady, right? I think it’s the weird hair-point going on there.

So the story broke. And all the people in Te’o’s life who were quoted as saying they’d met her said now, “Um, no, we never did.” So who knows if they were lying THEN or NOW or the media was lying, really. And Te’o came out and said, “I WAS CATFISHED.”

But more and more people are coming out and saying he knew about this all along, and he and Tuiasosopo were in it together and it was all for the sympathy and the media coverage and the attention.

Notre Dame is standing behind him and saying he came to them a while ago and told them he’d been Catfished (which begs the question why they didn’t come out and tell anyone, but any press is good press, right? And Te’o was getting a LOT of press.)

You all remember Catfish, right? The movie that might or might not have been a documentary about the guy who fell in love with a chica online and decided to go meet her with camera-crew in tow and she ended up being a 40-some year old housewife with a husband and she was kind of a crazy-person? And for those of us who live online it was TERRIFYING?

Here's the guy that got Catfished. Spoiler alert: I find him very pretty.

Here’s the guy that got Catfished. Spoiler alert: I find him very pretty.

Now there’s a Catfish television show which I just discovered when I was researching this. So because I’m completely thorough, I am watching repeated episodes of the Catfish television show while I’m writing this. WHAT? Some of you have BETTER things to do with your Friday nights? Well, aren’t YOU fancy.

The Catfish television show is about people who contact the guy who was catfished in the Catfish movie and want to know if the person they’ve fallen in love with online is all they’re cracked up to be. All that and a bag of chips, if you will. The first episode I watched, the internet boyfriend ended up being a transgender woman. (SPOILER ALERT, the girl still loved him even though he lied to her and they are still very much in love, aw, well, good for them!) The one I’m watching now, this adorable college lacrosse player is being catfished by some trickster-woman who is catfishing a whole bunch of OTHER guys as WELL and I don’t know what will happen because it’s not over yet. I’ll get back to you on this.

(I think I will probably be obsessed with this show and watch it a lot. I can see this happening. DAMMIT MTV AND YOUR ADDICTIVE PROGRAMMING!)

Anyway, back to the Te’o situation.

Do I think he was catfished for three years? I don’t know. It’s all very suspicious. It’s all kind of falling apart like a house of cards, now, isn’t it? And the media jumped all over that dead-girlfriend story and didn’t even check on it. It took a weird gossipy sports blog to break the story. This is all very mysterious and shady.

(OMG SIDE NOTE. The girl that the lacrosse player – and all the other fellas – were talking to was totally NOT EVEN A GIRL but a very sad, shy young gay man. And the lacrosse player looked so sad and so broken. But he wasn’t punchy, which was nice. He seems like a very nice boy and I approve of him. The sad little gay man said he was catfishing OVER 100 MEN. And being the online catfish girl got him KICKED OUT OF COLLEGE BY HIS R.A. BECAUSE HE ACCIDENTALLY CATFISHED HIS R.A. This is all very distressing and terrible and he actually said, “Being Amanda feels better than being myself” and I totally just want to give him a hug. That poor, poor kid. Also the poor, poor lacrosse player. This show is making me sad. Yet I plan on still watching it. BECAUSE IT IS FASCINATING.)

OK, so the Te’o thing. My dad thinks this is RIDICULOUS. “That is a LIAR,” Dad said. “Don’t you write about that on your blog. HE LIED ABOUT THAT GIRL EXISTING. FOR ATTENTION!”

Dad hates people that need a lot of attention. As do I. We are in agreement on this.

Apparently Notre Dame has some sort of ultra-strict no-lying policy? And this could all be a lot of trouble for this guy? But he’s kind of out of the news because his team lost some sort of big game? As I said, ironically, since the name of my blog has football IN it, I know nothing about football other than it runs long and constantly makes The Amazing Race run late.

If he really was catfished, well, that’s sad. But I highly doubt it. I’m very suspicious about such things. I assume most people are lying all the time. Which is why I only trust and love like a handful of people. Part of this is me being broken, part of this is my dad yelling at me not to love anyone because THEY WILL BREAK YOUR HEART, AMY!!!, and part of this is because, well, honestly, when I love someone, I give it like 247%. I don’t have time to give everyone in the world 247%, I’d die in like a week, yo. (Which is why, when I lose someone I love, it hurts 247% more than it would hurt a normal person. Please see above re. “broken.”)

So I’m guessing this was all a scam for publicity, which makes me sad. Who invents a dead girlfriend for attention? Seriously? That’s something a high-school kid would do. If this is what happened, this is very distressing. You don’t invent a cancer-patient girlfriend.

Then again, you don’t lie to my dad, either, LANCE ARMSTRONG. You are so dead to us right now.

OK, now it’s time for more Catfish the tv show. Some guy thinks he’s online dating Miss Teen USA. Well, from like years ago. She’s not a teen anymore, that’d be more To Catch a Predator than Catfish, I think. (Again, spoiler alert, it wasn’t Miss Teen USA, it was his platonic friend and she’s a pathological liar. This show is terrible-awful and I CANNOT STOP WATCHING IT.)

I’d say I was watching this for research but at this point I’ve totally gotten obsessed, yo, I’m not even too proud to admit it. Happy weekend, internets. Don’t sext with strangers, they might not be who you think they are. What’s that? You already knew that? Oh, well, that’s ok, then. Nice job, you guys.

About lucysfootball

I'm not the girl with the most cake. Someday. SOMEDAY. View all posts by lucysfootball

20 responses to “Don’t be hanging ‘round old Catfish John

  • battydawna

    I agree, the whole thing is very strange, but this was a long-running hoax (3 years, yo) so not likely done for Heisman votes. For the last couple of years he spoke about this girlfriend, which was reported in the media over the course of his college football career, so it was not a quick scam for publicity. His team mates were in the locker room with him and saw his reaction when he received the call informing him of her death. If he was in on it, he’s in the wrong profession and should be well on his way to earning his first Oscar. Or his team mates are lying, too.

    Tuiasosopo has allegedly run the same catfish on others who tried to warn Te’o, but Te’o was unreceptive to strangers who messaged him that his girlfriend didn’t really exist. The girl whose picture was used actually contacted the Catfish dude about her photo being used in a catfish scam and asked for help, but didn’t reveal who was being catfished. Te’o says he found out the truth when the “dead” girl phoned him before a game and wanted to rekindle the relationship. He notified the school about the situation, but the big problem is that twice after he “found out the truth” he made vague comments that kept in line with the story instead of setting the record straight. Some say this is because he was ultra embarrassed about being so badly duped. Others say it’s because he was in on the whole thing. Personally, I think he was duped and embarrassed. I’m amazed by all of the hoopla and outrage really. He didn’t win the Heisman and the fall-out is likely to be nil. It’s not like the NFL has high standards for its players and the story will keep him off the playing field.


    • lucysfootball

      I like your use of “yo” here. It is Lucy’s Football approved.

      I don’t know if we’ll ever know what really happened. I hope we do, though. I’m kind of fascinated about all of this. Mostly because since I live on the internet it’s like this happened in my backyard. Get off my lawn, you horny teens!


  • sunraeny

    Rachael’s Rules For Dating: until you’ve met someone in real life you may not call them your boyfriend/girlfriend


  • Charleen

    I know that cat picture is supposed to be a joke, and a play on the term “getting fixed,” but it just tugs my heartstrings way more than it should. I mean, look at those big sad eyes!

    I have to go snuggle my cat now.


  • jbrown3079

    The kid from Notre Dame has quite the story but if someone investigated his phone records, this would be over pretty quick.
    As far as Lance goes, he ruined the lives of fellow racers, collected millions and dated Sheryl Crow. That is the three strikes rule. Time to go away, Lance. Actually, four strikes. Nobody should treat Amy’s Dad and his trust like that. Shame on him.


    • lucysfootball

      And broke up with Sheryl Crow! In a dickish fashion!

      Dad’s still upset about this, I didn’t even dare mention it again. I am SO MAD AT LANCE ARMSTRONG. No one’s allowed to mess with Amy’s Dad, no one.


  • mfennvt

    The thing about the Manti T’eo that makes me extra pissed is that while the media is freaking out about an imaginary girlfriend, a real woman killed herself due to bullying by members of Notre Dame’s football team after she reported being sexually assaulted by one of their teammates. But that’s apparently not as newsworthy.


  • Andreas Heinakroon

    I don’t know who anyone of the people above are, because I’m a dirty foreigner. But it seems like everyone is trying to trick everyone else over there in America. I find that most worrisome.


    • lucysfootball

      I didn’t know who the sportsy people were, either, Andreas, and I’m totally Merkan. Don’t even worry. I knew who the catfish guy was because I watched the movie. (You should watch that movie. It’s interesting. You might like it.) And YES, so much trickery. SO MUCH. It’s worrisome, though, because I think some of it has to be fake trickery. My internet people are normal. Well, WEIRD, the way I like ’em, but not INSANE. How are there so many weirdos? This is perplexing. Unless you’re all catfishing me, I guess.


  • becomingcliche

    I have been appreciative of the liars and fakers recently. I’ve been teaching my middle school classes about ethics and integrity in the online world. The last few weeks have been GOLD.


    • lucysfootball

      Ooh, what a fun class! I love that! I’d love to take a class like that, seriously, how interesting would that be! What a cool place to have such a topic! I bet the kids love talking about that, too – I know the topics that had real-world applications were the most interesting to me as a kid!


  • Kris Rudin

    I totally feel your dad’s pain re Lance. He was my role model when I was doing my own bike racing. I made a bracelet with “WWLD” on it (instead of those WWJD ones) – because he said “what am I on? I’m on my bike 8 hours a day”. I named my bike Lance. My coach called me Lance because when I first met her I was wearing a US Postal Service Jersey. I read his books. I was inspired every July when I’d watch him race, and he was Magnificent. He said he was clean AND I BELIEVED HIM. Now he makes me sick just to think of him. What a jerk. I mean, who can we ever believe, anymore?


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