Today’s Thoughts of the Day takes another look at the Manti Te’o situation now that we have more details, as well as talking more Lakers drama and a heartwarming story in Michigan.
- I have changed my perspective on the Manti Te’o controversy almost completely. The Katie Couric interview today only confirmed this to me. Now that we have more insight on the situation, as well as more evidence, it is clear that Manti did not create the hoax. The man behind it, Ronaiah Tuiasosopo, clearly had some psychological issues, and the whole thought that a guy would do that is just bizarre. He projected his own insecurities onto an unsuspecting college kid, making it very believable that he was indeed Lennay. I know Manti wasn’t completely honest, and he kept the hoax going, but we need to give him a break. He was emotionally attached to someone he thought was real and loved with all his heart. Was he naive? Extremely. But can he be forgiven for being naive? Absolutely. This shows Manti’s character in many ways because it shows how caring he is and how selfless he is, always putting others before himself. He may be the brunt of jokes for a year or two, but eventually the common public will forget about it and move on, just like every other major bombshell of a sports story. Does it hurt draft stock or anything related to the NFL? Absolutely not. Remember, some guys who have criminal records or a history of drug use still get drafted based on talent, a lot of times in the first round. Manti is not even close to a criminal; he’s a top-10 pick and that won’t change. As for my post last week, I was wrong on many things in that post. I was wrong calling him a straight-up liar, and I was wrong not even mentioning the part of the Deadspin story referencing Tuiasosopo. It was a rush to judgment that I regret and will definitely learn from. I believe in Manti Te’o.
- The Los Angeles Lakers are still losing, and it’s been hard on Kobe Bryant and Dwight Howard for sure. The Lakers called a team meeting before Wednesday’s game at Memphis, and it did not go well. ESPN reported that several players spoke up, including Kobe and point guard Steve Nash. Kobe asked Dwight Howard if he was bothered by playing alongside him, according to the Los Angeles Times, which first reported the meeting. Howard was despondent, didn’t respond directly to Kobe’s question, and then tore his labrum in a loss against the Grizzlies. I am going to make the bold statement right now: there is no way that the Lakers will make the playoffs. There is just no way that Dwight Howard can turn around his horrible season, and there is no way Kobe or Steve Nash can play with him. The Lakers need to unload him as soon as they can, or they will continue this embarrassing season.
- Finally, a heartwarming story from Rochester, Michigan, where an 8th grader with Down Syndrome made two three-pointers in a game. This is what sports is all about: