This story can be spun in dozens of ways. But one thing clearly emerges for me: Humans are vulnerable; we create our reality indirectly, using words and images, building on dreams. By our nature, our language permits the twinned characteristics of fiction and deception.
I understand why Lance Armstrong felt he needed to dope. I don't understand why he needed to lie (and tweet) with such conviction that I believed in him. I understand why Manti Te'o needed to build a great "brand." I don't understand why he needed a fake social media girlfriend to do it.
We know that the key to positively influencing adult behavior lies in getting individuals to practice existing skills in novel contexts. Our solution, therefore, is simple: We must take our existing complex thinking and problem-solving skills and use them more often.
Steubenville and what is going on at Notre Dame show us exactly what "widespread lack of consequences for sexual assault" means and will continue to mean for children going to colleges and universities in the United States.
The problem is this: Whenever I see someone young enough to be my kid in a difficult situation, I tend to imagine my own kid in the same spot.
Manti Te'o's numerous comments on his girlfriend to varying media outlets have seemed to contradict each other. And Deadspin.com's lengthy report suggests that Te'o is not a victim of anyone but his own wrongdoing. The following are 10 questions I would like to ask Manti Te'o.
Imagine, for a moment, if Lance Armstrong, cancer survivor, had merely raced in the Tour de France and finished, even it was last? Is that not compelling enough for us?
Ordinarily, a football star's girlfriend could be counted on to be pretty amazing. The word is that this one is unbelievable.
Online impersonation with the intent of engaging in a relationship is becoming more common. Similar to identity theft, catfishing is when someone "assumes" a real person's identity and/or creates a new online persona to engage in an online relationship.
There are plenty of cases of people who have fallen for people online who aren't who they say they are.
-- Speculation is heating up in the gay blogosphere that the explanation behind Manti Te'o's bizarre saga of a dead ex-girlfriend who never existed ma...
The conundrum is how much it matters that someone who has done such real good for real people is now revealed to have built much of his achievement and image on a foundation of deception, cheating and lies.
Lance Armstrong may have pulled a fast one (or seven) on us, and Manti Te'o may be the weirdest liar in the history of sports, but please don't fret: You can trust your sports heroes.
I don't know if Manti Te'o is gay. I won't even speculate or guess. But whether he is or is not, to me, isn't the question here at the moment as we await more answers from Te'o.
If the Notre Dame linebacker at the center of the "girlfriend hoax" story indeed constructed an elaborate cover story for his gay closet, as so many gay men do in worlds that demand they be heterosexual, the emotional jolt of humiliation and embarrassment at being exposed will be overwhelming.