I reacted to the Manti Te'o girlfriend hoax story in the same "your fantasy football league just found your eHarmony profile" way that most of the nation did. Honestly it's the vivid, eccentric imagination I expect from a lot of Mormons. I kid, Mormons. Please, save your golden tablet hate mail.
But as I researched the story, and looked through photographs of one of the brightest college football stars in recent memory, something struck me about Te'o's demeanor. So many photos of this young man carry with them an otherworldly weight. He has a troubled, almost pained, look on his face, as if he knows some grim piece of information about the universe that the rest of us have not been privied to.
I couldn't shake this feeling. The hours ticked by, late into the night, and still I searched and searched for an answer to all this. There had to be some connection I wasn't making.
And then it happened. Suddenly Te'o's photos took on a... ghostly new form. I wasn't sure if it was the caffeine sinking its claws into my brain, or my jaw hitting a clench frequency that caused a total logic shut down, or my eyes glazing over with some hallucinatory membrane... but I was seeing differently. Because now I understood that Manti was seeing differently.
Manti Te'o can see the dead. Manti's girlfriend has always been dead to him, but only he can see her.
Look at this man, but with ghosts around him! God, what wreck! First the post game press conference of BCS Championship game where Alabama defeated Notre Dame.
Te'o wasn't tortured by the loss of the football game, he was tortured by the room full of dead people that I assume follow him around everywhere he goes. And every picture is the same!
Do these ghosts look like a new promo for some upcoming CW show? Yeah, well... EVEN MORE FRIGHTENING!
Can you imagine? The horror this man must go through...
Clearly, the media dropped the ball. The lack of fact-checking got us where we are on this story. There were signs everywhere. I mean, let's just look at the phrase "Manti Te'o's girlfriend"...
It's right there in the words themselves! The phrase just screams, "HEY, LOOK AT THAT WORD OVER THERE! SOMETHING IS WRONG WITH THAT WORD OVER THERE!"
And now we know. Manti Te'o's girlfriend* is deceased and only Manti can see her. And he created her elaborate death because no one else can see her anyway and now perhaps it's not as odd when he talks to a girlfriend no one else can see. And there's no record of her existing, because she's probably a ghost from hundreds of years ago. And he probably thought everyone would just accept a crazy story like that, because... well, he's Mormon, and they likes them some crazy stories. (Sorry again, Mormons. Send me your hate mail if you must, but I have no seer stones with which to read it.) Case closed.
Still... how do they... you know... is it a Patrick Swayze/Demi Moore pottery sex thing?
*Just try and never again see the surprise-oh-no-face in the words "Te'o's girlfriend." Can't be done!