Lies and Damn Lies: Did My Fake Girlfriend Say Notre Dame Drugged UCLA?

As surreal details emerge regarding train-wreck con artists Lance Armstrong and Manti Te’o, it is crystal clear why, in journalistic circles, sports is known as the toy department. Coming to grips with their influence-peddling idolatry, it was nauseating to watch the self-flagellation of self-absorbed mainstream media mavens duped by deplorable Sir Lie-a-Lot and Mythti Te’o. Have you ever seen ashen-faced ESPN interviewer Jeremy Schaap so unsteady trying to explain well-tailored Manti's off-camera "dead" spin?

Bringing the definitions of fantasy football and mock drafts to new creative levels, the biggest questions regarding Manti's "Love Story" are whether take-my-breath-away Brent Musburger thought the dame dodging druggies passed the “smokin’” test and when Notre Dame will have a cheesy promotion with a Cuckoo-a Bobblehead Night? The only thing seemingly missing from the bizarre series of events involving Armstrong was "The Big O" giving his real ex-girlfriend Sheryl Crow a forum for the know-it-all singer to lecture us again how many “squares” to use to clean our can.

As the circle-the-wagons media that usually props up the party line had their credibility clocks cleaned, the triple-guessing critiquing of their crafting fables was equally extreme. Granted, you want to get it right but never-ending fact-checking can result in a worthwhile story withering on the vine. Did the authors or their editors need to take a research shovel to Hawaii with intentions of “digging” six feet down after graveyard closing hours to prove a death? Perhaps their sanction for transporting hero-worshipping lies across both oceans should be to ride bikes wherever they are while donning seven colorful "Leis 4 Manti" (equal to Lance’s consecutive Tour de France titles) each day until the sun goes down on our paradise 50th state.

There are yellow shirts for race leaders and yellow journalism from racy writers. Putting it bluntly, anyone with a functioning brain, covered or not with a crash helmet, knows Biker and Faker capitalized on cancer emotions to embellish their credentials. Many gullible observers, including pick-of-the-litter sportswriters, bought the unethical junk they were selling. If only the high-and-mighty media could avoid lax standards by forcing their subjects to take truth serum. Then, they wouldn’t need to worry about "Book of Catfish" hubris aspiring to duplicate something along the lines of George Castanza’s dead-girlfriend routine featuring more than 1,000 phone calls to Cuckoo-a.

Doesn’t seem possible, but it could have been worse in dealing with these sociopaths. Lance could have added you to his Guinness Book of World Records for lawsuits despite telling the truth about him while Manti may have injected Miss (Won’t See You In) September in a performance-enhancing John Cappelletti-like Heisman speech if this burgeoning scheme had helped him win the prestigious trophy.

Make no mistake, slow-reacting Notre Dame became fond of the fictitious flame, too, and should have had Elton John’s “Candle in the Wind” as background music whenever anyone interviewed its latest legend. Maybe not as enthralled with the “Ghost” movie storyline as much as the media, but the school should have done more to determine the veracity of the LB's online oasis’ demise other than its cursory probe. Surely, the timing raised a red flag (perhaps green in South Bend) so implausibly close to the authentic death of his Grandma (alleged four hours); especially when the reckless romance failed to blossom to the point where he even bothered to attend her funeral. After all, there was a high-priority Michigan game to tackle in one of the more outlandish overstatements. Did Grandma make the same stay-there-and-play request as Cuckoo-a?

Instead, all we got was cook-up-a-hook-up Te'oing plus preposterous pap resembling nothing but grabbing air against 'Bama. "Slept with her on the phone praying while she was hospitalized," but some loyal boyfriend he turned out to be if a visit "never really crossed my mind." Please! The entire public doesn't have concussions. An absence of pre- and post-game preparation isn't a Te'o flaw insofar as he signed with an agent promptly after the BCS title tilt. Lo and behold, the orchestration by him and his handlers resulted in the first on-camera interview being conducted by Perky Couric, who knows as much about football as the average male's imaginary gal pal. About all we learned was that Manti didn't have a fake floozy as much as he had a real boy toy pretending to be a female (Dr. Phil meet weepy and creepy "Rhonda" Ruseasosopo). Since the lamestream media boasts the distortion flexibility to magnify either the negative or positive, Manti needed to refrain from making light of fact Hawaii is far off the mainland U.S. plus also memorize all the books and newspapers he reads (particularly online).

For a college hoops pundit hoping his favorite sport doesn't catch the latest "truth flu," the widespread deception makes one want to borrow a bike from "Mr. Apology", wheel over to the Golden Dome's archives with "Deadhead" Bill Walton and pore over the play-by-play plus double check video to make absolutely certain the integrity of the Irish ending UCLA’s 88-game winning streak 39 years ago this weekend. In the present convoluted climate, methinks the upset might not have really happened and that you doth protest too much at this cynicism. At the very least, don't dare tell us "Touchdown Jesus" is phony or else we'll all be in trouble.