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Joe Santoro
For the Nevada Appeal

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January 18, 2013
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FODDER: Is the Te'o case a lie or hoax?


Sports fodder for a Friday morning . . . Let us all, for a minute or two, believe everything that Manti Teo's has said about his relationship with his imaginary girlfriend Lennay Kukua. He called her the love of his life yet he now says he never met her in person, that the relationship existed only online and on the telephone. He told everyone in the media how much he loved her and how her tragic death has affected his life., that she was beautiful inside and out. She was supposedly in a serious car accident and he never went to visit her. She was allegedly suffering from leukemia and he never went to visit her. She died and he did not go to the funeral. The relationship supposedly lasted three years and he never went to visit her. Ever. This is how he treats the love of his life?

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Manti Te'o is either the biggest liar in the history of sports (O.J. Simpson, Lance Armstrong, Barry Bonds are, no doubt, loving all this) or he is the most naïve, innocent, childish, gullible, idiot, rube this side of Chicago Cubs season ticket holders. Take your pick. Either way, do you want to make him your first round pick in the NFL draft?

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Whatever truth is finally revealed about Te'o and this bizarre story is one thing. But no matter what we find out, this scandal is already the perfect example of how lazy, inept and gullible college sports reporting has become in this country. It took Deadspin,com to break this story while ESPN and Sports Illustrated and hundreds of newspapers and Web sites bought into the lies without checking the facts. The vast majority of college sports reporters simply report what coaches, athletic directors and players tell them. Many of the reporters attended the school they cover. Many of them have closets filled with shirts, hats and jackets that sport the logo of the school they cover. Many of them are intimidated by the coaches and athletic directors they cover and want to be friends with the athletes. The sports media is to blame for this mess as much as Te'o and Notre Dame might be.

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Note to Colin Kaepernick: Stop kissing your freakish biceps after scoring a touchdown. It's weird. It's a little gross. Have you become that self absorbed? Stop it. Now. Where, in all of those bible verses painted on your body, does it say it's OK to kiss yourself? This is not the humble and gracious Colin Kaepernick we got to know at Nevada for five years. Instead of kissing your bicep go over and kiss the guy who just made the block to get you in the end zone. Just a thought. And good luck in the Super Bowl.

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David Carter is facing a crucial time with his Wolf Pack men's basketball team. The Pack is 0-2 in Mountain West play and is facing a truly must-win situation on the road at Fresno State on Saturday night. A loss Saturday and, well, the Pack could find a permanent home in the bottom third of the conference all season. Carter needs to find a way to put his players in a role where they can be consistent night after night. That hasn't happened yet.

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It's not likely going to happen but the Oregon Ducks would be fools if they don't seriously consider former Pack football coach Chris Ault for their vacant head coaching job. Can you imagine the pistol offense with the Ducks' blinding speed? It would be like having 11 Colin Kaepernicks running the offense. Oregon will likely give the job to offensive coordinator Mark Helfrich and not even give Ault a call. And that is a shame. Ault is one of the more brilliant offensive minds in college football history. And he has a decade or so of outstanding coaching left in him.



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The Nevada Appeal Updated Jan 18, 2013 12:56AM Published Jan 18, 2013 12:55AM Copyright 2013 The Nevada Appeal. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.