Tuesday, January 29, 2013

The Drama Put to Music

Oh, goodness... This is what the Internet is all about.



Follow me on Twitter. It's amazing stuff. @harry_long

Monday, January 28, 2013

I Have Been Blocked By Brooks?

Now for something that absolutely none of you will care about.

I was browsing some sports blogs this evening (I recommend my new find - Heading For the Exits), and ended up checking to see what SportsByBrooks had on the Te'o stuff - because I realized that I hadn't seen anything from him on it.

Well, looks like there may be a reason - his website hasn't been updated since June of last year. Which I thought was really weird, because I used to check his site out all the time. Brooks is a great pot-stirrer, as most Bama and Auburn fans know.

And then I thought, "When was the last time I saw a tweet from him?" I have been following him for years. So, I headed over to Twitter. Turns out that I wasn't following him, which was odd, because I know that his tweets would show in my timeline.

...Or at least they used to.

I began to think that it had been a long time since I'd seen something from him on Twitter. Probably just some mistake. So, I clicked 'follow'.

Only to get this...
Blocked?

That's odd. Is it because of this? (Still my most popular post - I still get hits on it every week, which is crazy, considering nothing ever came of all the Yukon stuff.)

Does anyone else have this problem? Maybe it's not just me. But I thought it was weird, so I asked the source.
We'll see if there's any response. I'll be sure to pass along.

Yeah, this was random, but it's what I was doing tonight.

I'm on Twitter, and it's free to follow. @harry_long

Friday, January 25, 2013

The Crying Game 2: Te'o Truths

Well, it's not quite official, but we are close to getting there...

Manti Te'o was in love with a dude.

Dil could help Manti get through all this.
Or, at least he was in love with a dude pretending to be a girl.

You think that might come up in an NFL locker room? Or be shouted across the field? From the stands?

This is reality. Te'o's going to line up showing blitz, and one of those 340 pound offensive lineman is going to look at him, and start talking in a girl's voice.

Gonna happen. Probably on the first play. And it's going to happen for a long, long time.

I've watched a bunch of clips of the Couric interview and listened to the voicemails on CNN. And I'll say - I'm waffling on some of this. I started out thinking that Te'o was no doubt involved in the hoax. It was just too crazy with too many inconsistencies for him not to know.

There was the "is he gay?" thought process. Which you could at least explain away (and possibly still can) and map out as a plausible reason for compliance of this story/coverup.

Now?

I'm now firmly on the side of him being just really, really dumb.

The line that keeps coming back to me is when he was asked by Schaap why he never went to visit Lennay when she was in the car wreck, in the hospital with leukemia, or just "at all" - Te'o said it "didn't occur to him". That is still just a little hard to swallow.

That, along with his (what comes across to me as) aloofness to this situation, it gives me the impression that the kid just isn't too smart.

Whether or not this qualifies for a blanket "liar" label, I don't know. I think that Te'o is, however, a big time misleader - if that's a word.

I don't think he was as "in love" with Lennay as he claims to have been. I think this deep devotion to his "girlfriend" was intensified by Te'o after the news of her death on September 12th and the storyline that developed.

Te'o described the scene when he found out that she died - there were coaches around and he was visibly upset, smashing a trash can, etc. But I kind of contribute that to the "now what?" phenomenon - he was just a few hours off of his grandmother's death, and maybe his reaction was more of an extension of his grief & anger from his grandmother's death.

You know how it goes from there - everyone plays 'telephone'. Word gets out that poor Manti's grandmother and his friend died on the same day. This is turned into his girlfriend. Then a girlfriend he was deeply in love with. This spreads to the press, and the next thing Manti knows, he's getting questioned about how he is handling the death of his deeply involved-with girlfriend. Manti doesn't deflect or correct, and the snowball rolls.

On a basic level, perhaps Manti just saw this as a potential hook-up for down the line. A mysterious internet-(and phone)-only woman that if he ever ran into her, he could probably score with. I don't think this is necessarily uncommon. Seriously, go to a hot girl's Facebook page - how many comments does she get for her posts? The answer is a lot more than the not-as-attractive-girls get. Truth - there are a lot of Internet creeper dudes just hoping for any opportunity to get the pretty girl's attention.

Manti had this girl's attention, and if it comes through for him, great. This is probably why he put up with getting stood up in Hawaii or why he allowed for the excuses as to why she could never meet up. (If that indeed is what happened.)

Where this theory leaks a little water is in the sheer volume of contact. 500 hours of phone calls? What the hell? How do you manage that on either end?

What was the end game?

If Te'o wasn't in on it, and there was never any money exchanged or extortion attempt - Tuiasosopo wanted a relationship with Manti Te'o. The two in some way knew each other before Te'o and Lennay became "more than friends". Deadspin revealed that Te'o and Tuiasosopo were interacting via Twitter. (Te'o had promoted/retweeted a music video of Tuiasosopo's in December of 2011 - months before the 'relationship' began.)

I would like to see more being made of this. Where and how did Tuiasosopo and Te'o meet or get acquainted? Were they interactive exclusively via social media? Did Tuiasosopo get connected to Te'o via the Lennay connection? (Which was actually Tuiasosopo... confusing, isn't it?)

While Te'o is pulling more people and media into the "I'm a victim" camp - there are still a lot of gaps to fill. I do think he's a pretty dull bulb, which may actually work to his favor. He's been so inconsistent with this story, and because he doesn't do a necessarily good job of covering his tracks or explaining his actions - it actually makes it harder to deduce.

I've said for a long time that "you can't predict crazy, so don't even try". Same kind of situation here. If you try to make sense of all this, you're going to have to make some leaps - because you don't know what's real and what isn't.

And I guess we'll keep on leaping.

Twitter. Do it. @harry_long

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Prince - Screwdriver

Gotta say... I like this. Good, catchy new tune by Prince. A Hollywood Reporter article points out this is Prince's new backing group (they aren't sure of the name) - but it's a good throwback to a fun, party-throwing Prince. Aren't those the songs that everyone liked anyway?



And another thing... don't you miss music videos? I've been wondering the past five years why anyone makes them anymore, because you've got to search to find them. MTV2, FuelTV... always lost in those channels you skip over when you're trying to get to the HDs. At least we have YouTube.

Follow me on Twitter. @harry_long

Saturday, January 19, 2013

And Now For Something Totally Ridiculous

I have perused the articles and interviews, making myself dizzy from the Manti Te'o story. While reading the Jeremy Schaap transcription, I kept getting confused by all the relatives. So, I've made a Kekua family tree.

These are just the people we know about or haven't made up yet - depending on your opinion of how all this went down.


Click to enlarge.

It did occur to me to include Harvey the Rabbit and Randall Stephens in the tree, but it was already so ridiculous, I didn't bother. I plan on trying to put a written timeline together as well, if everyone could just get their story straight.

More to come.

Follow me on Twitter. Because it's the thing to do. @harry_long

Thursday, January 17, 2013

The Morning After - Was It All Real? I Mean 'Fake'?

Well, it's been awhile since I've written anything, and it took a big one to get me over to my Blogger bookmark.

According to the page, I was one of the first 30,000 people to read the Deadspin article on Manti Te'o's imaginary girlfriend. By the time I got to the end of the story, A) I was confused, B) the number had grown to 135,000, and C) I was incredibly delighted.

Because I love chaos. LOVE it.

I'll hopefully have more to say and more time to sprinkle some curiosity over this subject soon. But upon waking up this morning, these are my questions/topics...

1) How on Earth is it possible - in 2012 - to not ever SEE the other person in a relationship?

I'm talking Skype, FaceTime, GoToMeeting, GoogleChat... With all this technology (that surely anyone Te'o's age would have access to and be able to use) readily available, he and his girlfriend pass on all that? No sexting? Nothing?

Come on, now.

2) THIS IS AN IMPORTANT ONE.

Notre Dame held a hastily put-together press conference last night (which I haven't seen in full, but read the report) and released a statement yesterday.

What I noted in terms of the position of Notre Dame:
A) They super-glued themselves to this date of December 26th.
B) Are taking the stance that Te'o was a victim of an elaborate hoax.
C) Notre Dame says that Manti thought it was all real until the first week of December.

Okay - so here's the rub...

Pop quiz: Which of these three
people was most alive in 2012?
Did ANYONE do a story/news item on the Te'o/girlfriend story between December 26th and yesterday? Was it a part of the National Championship coverage? Did anyone ask Te'o about it at the BCS Media Day? And if they did, what did Te'o or Notre Dame say?

I don't know the answer to this yet, but if anyone DID do a story or ask a question, where the hell was Notre Dame on it? Were they complicit or did they facilitate any of it? That's a real question - is it possible that Notre Dame misled the media?

If I were you, I'd always have that date - December 26th - in your mind. Could be nothing, or it could come up as a big part of all this.

UPDATE (1/17/13 09:02): Was browsing the Interwebs and came across Clay Travis' article which has more points on this (some similar, but great minds think alike). Clay did have the YouTube of Te'o's personal struggles being referenced at BCS Media Day.

3) When Te'o gets his Oprah interview, how will he explain the inconsistencies in the timeline?

In particular, the Stanford letter he spoke about in the ESPN feature. Oh, and the death dates being all misconstrued. Now that we have the opportunity for retrospect and with all these different articles that had been put in print over the last four-five months - Te'o has some serious explaining to do. And if he goofs up - watch out.

4) Is Manti Te'o the worst boyfriend ever?

Girlfriend gets in a serious car wreck... doesn't go see her.
Girlfriend has CANCER... doesn't take a visit.
Girlfriend DIES!!!... goes and plays football.

Any girls lining up to date this guy? (Well, at least before he signs his NFL contract?)

5) Where are the priorities of the media?

In a world of so much "gotcha" and aggressive media tactics (we just went through a political season), how does no one - out of all these stories - contact the girl's family? Everyone just took Manti at his word? Seems awfully lazy by a lot of people.

Or was the story too good to worry about it? Star linebacker whose grandmother and girlfriend died within 24 hours of each other? Goes out and plays possibly his best two games of his career? Accuracy and thoroughness had to take a seat on this one - it was just too good. Call Rinaldi.

And there's an extension of this thought - we are talking about the creme de la creme of reporters here. No Jim Gray bullshit - we're talking Gene Wojciechowski, The New York Times, the Gameday crew, on and on. All respected and reputable platforms.

So what else are we not fact-checking? Or is this only done when it's convenient to the story? Is the agenda of having a nice, pleasant story about a boy and his girlfriend more important than the story being true?

How is it that EVERYONE took a nap on this?

6) And here's a good one...

If Manti Te'o was a participant in the hoax... did he capitalize on his grandmother's death? If so, MAJOR asshole move. That's terrible.

One could see if as Te'o's out in all this, however. Te'o can claim (truthfully or not) that he never would have done something like that, that he loved his grandmother, and the perpetrators used this moment of weakness as an opportunity against him.

And that's all fine and good, but what was the purpose of it? Did the perpetrators have some sort of end-game? Just a prank? Extortion? Manti is going to have to answer this.

--

With all of the questions and points raised here, I will say that in the moment of it all, it was probably difficult to imagine that anyone hearing about the grandmother/girlfriend story imagined that it was all fake. When death is involved, people tip-toe a bit because people that you are unfamiliar with personally are unpredictable in how they deal with those situations. That they wouldn't push that point in his presence is probably understandable. But it still seems to me that someone in the media would have reached out to girl's family.

That's all for the moment. I'll eventually fall out of bed and see what the talking heads have to say. But this is a wild one. Can't wait for the next chapter in this story.

I'm on Twitter, and it is not a hoax. Follow me here.