The story of Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te'o has gone from fascinating to sad to better left alone in the span of a week. We will try to limit our coverage of Te'o to truly newsworthy developments moving forward; his first on-camera interview since the scandal erupted certainly is newsworthy.
Te'o's interview with Katie Couric, which aired Thursday, was surreal. This is the last time I'll ever watch the show, much less for work. Here's a recap of what Te'o said:
- Te'o on embellishing his love for girlfriend Lennay Kekua, who turned out to be fake: "What I went through was real. The feelings, the pain, the sorrow. That was all real."
- Te'o confirmed he talked to the admitted hoax perpetrator Ronaiah Tuiasosopo after Deadspin.com broke the story.
"He didn't say why, he just explained he wanted to help people," Te'o said. "It was his way of helping people. ... Obviously it didn't really help me out. I really didn't say anything. I was still speechless. What I believed to be my reality wasn't reality at all."
- "The biggest lie I'm sorry for is the lie that I told my dad," Te'o said. He told his father he had met Kekua.
- The interview was at its strongest when Couric pressed Te'o on why he had not visited the love of his life in the hospital when he was nearby in California on the way home to Hawaii last year. Te'o said it was a long drive and then his layover for his flight wasn't long enough. Couric expressed incredulity.
"It doesn't make sense to me either at this point," Te'o said. "It was a conversation that I didn't want to have with my parents."
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- Te'o was asked if he was gay. "No. Far from it," he said. "Faarrrrr from it."
The sad reality: Being a pathological liar or the most gullible man in the world probably is more acceptable in the NFL than an openly gay man.
"If he somehow made that voice, that's incredible. That's incredible talent to do that ... every single day," Te'o said.