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Wednesday, May 25, 2016

An internet girlfriend and a lying cyclist highlight strange week in sports

Monday, January 21, 2013

Some weeks are more interesting than others, and the last seven days have proven to be ones where things became more interesting as each day passed.

Most by now are very familiar with the entire hoax involving Notre Dame's prize linebacker and future NFL first- round draft selection Manti Te'o. As it turns out, the girlfriend Te'o spoke so thoughtful of never existed. When the news broke in what has now become a full-blown scandal, the media pounced as usual.

Day after day as more facts, rumors and so on made its way to the airwaves, the crazier things became for Te'o. Was he in on the hoax? If so, how did someone so intelligent on the football field become involved in such a bad decision?

It's been said the entire story involving a fictitious girlfriend that supposedly died from cancer was concocted in an effort to bring Te'o more publicity. That theory is one hard to wrap your ahead around isn't it?

The future NFL prospect certainly didn't suffer from a lack of publicity while leading the Irish to the national championship game. Te'o was a finalist for the Heisman Trophy and numerous other college awards as well. He played on an undefeated team with as much or more tradition than any team in college sports, but he needed more publicity?

Sounds shaky to me, but stranger things have happened.

It's unfair and just wrong to assume that Te'o had any part in the fiasco, yet we pounce. The majority of sports programs have questioned all week how much Te'o knew about the hoax, but did he really know anything?

I'm sure it will all come out in the end; it usually does in these types of situations.

One of the problems in the world today is the fact that when someone is down, in most cases we kick, and kick hard. If Te'o had full knowledge of the hoax from the outset, he has some serious issues to deal with. If he didn't know, then I'd like to know how much time was wasted on something that really had no basis for being a story in the first place.

Talk about someone with some serious issues to deal with, and kicking somebody when they're down, I wonder what type of week Lance Armstrong will have over the next seven days. Surely the next week can't be as bad as the one just past.

On Thursday, with much anticipation, I began watching the conversation the now banned cyclist had with Oprah Winfrey. During the initial minute of the show I heard all I needed to.

As Winfrey asked the first handful of questions as to whether ole Lance cheated in the sport by doping, Armstrong answered yes to every question. He indeed cheated by using performance-enhancing drugs to win each and every one of those seven Tour de France championships.

That's great. Thank you, sir. Interview over.

The next hour and 29 minutes should have been spent by Armstrong showing a different side than the one seen, or should it? It depends on who you talk to. Some say leave him alone. He did have cancer after all and we should all be a little more sympathetic some say.

Well, I lost my own mother to cancer and know several people today currently trying to beat the disease. I am and will continue to be sympathetic to those people, but the man lied for years and cost former teammates millions of dollars. Due to his lies, when he knew all along those very ones pointing the finger were telling the truth, relationships have ended and people's lives have been ruined.

As is the case with most anything in life, it all could have been avoided. Sometimes the truth is the hardest thing to say, as Armstrong surely realizes today.

A strange week to say the least. While a man tries to overcome the embarrassment of a girlfriend that never existed, another searches for forgiveness for deceiving millions of fans all in the name of winning.

A wise man once told me, son, you can fix a lot of things, but you'll never be able to fix stupid. Well, this has certainly been a week dealing with it.

Your comments are welcome at msmith@stategazette.com

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