The more savvy TPA readers out there may have noticed the absence of a December Guildford award. The reasons for this are weak and varied, but it was largely because the panel of judges spent most of the end of last year – and the start of 2013 – drunk, high, and ‘laxing – as those horrible Gen Y’ers are now saying. It went to Josh Brent anyway (Google it. Heavy stuff. Probably better there was no article), so get the fuck off our case.
Happily this reporter is at least now five days sober (can’t speak for the others) [Ed: personally, it’s one day and counting] and ready to get 2013 off to a rambunctious beginning. And thanks to the misadventures of American college footballer Manti Te’o we can do just that!
2013 got off to a hell of a start with Shane Warne, as reported on TPA, handling his fading relevance by, well, being a dick. There were also unconfirmed reports that the award’s namesake, All Black winger Zac Guildford, was up to his old tricks again – but as no specific details of drunken nudity resulting in midget-raping were forthcoming from across the ditch (and being a dick isn’t quite enough to grab hold of the illustrious trophy), Warne and Guildford were forced to the sidelines by one of the more farcical hoaxes to hit the sporting world since Scott Muller wore a Baggy Green and Lance Armstrong was hailed as the ‘greatest sportsman ever’.
For those not up to date with the saga, Notre Dame’s Te’o was one of the inspirational stories of last year’s college football season. Dealing with the death of his grandmother and his girlfriend Lennay Kekua six hours apart, Te’o went out and kicked some serious gridiron butt (cue Hollywood producer’s hard-on). Kekua reportedly had the misfortune of first being in a serious car accident and then being diagnosed with leukemia as she recovered. Unlucky. God must have hated her. I do hear he/she isn’t fond of Mormons.
It was truly heartbreaking stuff. But some holes started appearing in the story – and not the gaping ones college footballers are more accustomed to. For one, there was no record of the accident, or of any “Lenny Kekua” on a death registry. Plus, the photo of “her” was actually the Facebook profile pic of some random girl who lived on the other side of the country.
Yep, she never actually existed – Te’o’s acquaintance Ronaiah Tuiasosopo had made her up in an attempt to get closer to the star-to-be.
For the record, Te’o’s grandmother did exist, and is dead, but she has sadly been swept into the background in all of this.
Tuiasosopo has since explained all to Dr. Phil (who else? Well Oprah, I guess) that because he was in love with Te’o and wanted to feel closer to him, he created Kekua. Weird, truly weird. But the fact Te’o didn’t even cop on that he was actually in a romantic relationship with a 100 kg bloke, and failed to question why Kekua only had one picture of herself, is very hard to believe. Can someone really be classified as your “girlfriend” if you’ve never actually met them and only seen one picture? I would say, no. Millions of Real Life fans are going to disagree with me there, but they can go fuck themselves, they are wrong.
Te’o has admitted that he went along with the hoax for a while after learning the truth, but if he truly is the victim (and Dr. Phil ensures us he is) can you really blame him? Imagine trying to explain that one to your average American college football fan:
“Now Billy-Bob, remember that dead girlfriend I told you about?”
“Well she never actually existed.”
“I’m gonna fuck you with my shotgun boy…”
So there you go. No one wants to be fucked with a loaded shotgun. Lay off him everybody. At least now he has a Guildford.
By Al McClintock