My Video project will be about the story that was getting all the news lines in sports for the past couple months about famous Hawaiian Notre Dame football player, Manti Te’o and I will be revealing the full story from beginning to it’s current status without the blurry lines that the story consisted of as it was being revealed a few months ago. My blog is focused mainly on sports related news, hence the name, “Between the Lines”, so I thought this would be a perfect story to write about a month after all the information has been released on it.
As the majority of the nation now knows former Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o became famous during this past college football season due to his tragic story of his Grandmother and and girlfriend’s death that occurred only days apart. His encouraging and inspirational decision to play the weekend after both of these deaths hit national headlines and became at the time what was the feel good story of the year. His inspirational story along with his excellent on field play made Manti Te’o arguably the most famous college football player since Tim Tebow. Everything was set up for a story book ending with Manti being a Heisman Trophy nominee and a projected early first round NFL Draft pick when a few months after the first story broke a second even more shocking story about Manti T’eo hit National Headlines. It was revealed on Sports Center that Manti Te’o’s alleged girlfriend that had supposedly passed away Lennay Kekua in September of 2012, in fact never existed in the first place. When this story broke it was huge news because it was only weeks before Manti Te’o and the Notre Dame football team was on their way to the NCAA BCS National Championship against Alabama and their season was marked by their inspirational leader Senior Captain Manti Te’o and his heart warming story of how he played through adversity. When the story was first revealed it was very unclear as to whether Manti Te’o was in on the hoax from the beginning in order to catch National headlines or whether it was simply a cruel prank on a slightly naiive individual. As more of the story was unveiled it became slightly more clear that it was the latter rather than the former and eventually it was released that Manti Te’o’s supposed late girlfriend did not actually exist and instead it was an imposter male who had been pretending to be his girlfriend for the past two years. However in an interview after Manti Te’o supposedly received a picture of who he thought was his dead girlfriend that revealed she was still alive, Manti proceeded to answer the interviewers questions as if she was still dead and he never received any confirmation otherwise. Manti Te’o proceeded to try and clear up his image as much as possible and even did an interview with Katie Couric explaining how he was the victim and how he had been duped by this imposter for the past couple years. He even played tapes of his dead girlfriend who left messages on his answer machine. Teo’s girlfriend impersonator was later revealed to be male, Ronaiah Tuiasosopo who did a tell-all interview with Dr. Phil where he revealed he was in love with Manti Te’o and that was why he had been pretending to be his girlfriend the past two years. This story is even bigger with the newest popular trend referred to as “Catfishing”. This term became popular with the movie “Catfish” and the MTV show “Catfish: The TV Show” where various individuals are in long term online relationships with people whom they have never met before. In many of these situations the person who they believe they are talking to are actually not who they had been claiming to be. This is a result of the new Internet age where more and more people are having interactions on Social Media such as Facebook or Twitter or dating websites and less face to face interaction. This Manti Te’o story was one of the biggest stories of the year. Notre Dame went on to lose horribly to Alabama in the National Championship and now Manti Te’o is questionable to be a first round draft pick in the upcoming NFL Draft. Many teams looked at Manti Te’o for both his football talent, but also to be an emotional leader for their team and potentially the face of their Franchise, but with this story getting released it is hard to look at Manti Te’o as anything, but a distraction and potentially a joke.
I will cover this story from beginning to the end starting with when the Manti Te’o story first broke and became popular all the way to his current draft status that is up in the air. I will clear the air on what are facts and what was just a rumor, as much as possible. I will include a video of a slide show of pictures and video with my voice as the audio going through the story step by step. Some of the picture I will include are this one that Manti Te’o received revealing his “dead” girlfriend was in fact still alive. Also this picture of Manti Te’o’s girlfriend impersonator Ronaiah Tuiasosopo. I will also include pictures that I personally take that I find are related to the Manti Te’o story. The video’s that I will include in my Project are short clips of Manti Te’o’s interview with Katie Couric, Ronaiah Tuiasosopo’s interview with Dr. Phil, and an interview that Diane O’Meara, the woman from the photograph did on NBC’s Today Show. My video project will be no longer than 3 minutes long and I will also conduct an Interview relating to this story and include that in my project.
The links to the videos that I will potentially use are listed here:
Manti Te’o Interview with Katie Couric:
Ronaiah Tuiasosopo Interview with Dr. Phil:
Diane O’Meara Interview on NBC Today Show: