January 18, 2013

I Believe Manti Te'o & I Don't Care Who Knows it.

Until yesterday I had no idea who Te'o was. I remember briefly hearing about him during the whole Heisman Trophy thing but that's it. I don't religiously follow college football and if I did, I'd be loyal to my state, not Notre Dame. So believe me when I say, I knew nothing of this sad story during the football season, etc. I'm not standing behind a favorite player or anything like that. I believe him because I have seen this happen before.

I don't understand why women do this, but they absolutely do. Men do too but not with the single-minded devotion to fooling someone as women do. Perhaps it's boredom. Maybe it's unhappiness in a marriage or relationship. A self-esteem issue? Maybe all 3. I don't pretend to understand it, but it truly does happen.I've seen it at least 3 times in fact.

Pogo.com is a great place to play games and have fun but it's also a bad place for a person who's looking for friends and companionship to be. Yahoo Chat used to be just as bad, might still be if it exists, but Pogo is worse. A good friend of mine was duped on Pogo. He met the "girl of his dreams" he thought. His friends were happy for him at first, but it became increasingly clear that something wasn't right. They didn't live far from each other, just a few hours in fact, but every time they were supposed to meet, something horrible happened! Her grandma died, a tornado hit the house, she got in a bad wreck, you name it. Were it me..........if it seemed fairly clear that trying to meet someone was bringing these things into my life, I would have stopped wanting to meet lol, but this girl just kept on as if she really wanted to meet him and was just being plagued by bad luck. As friends, we tried to tell him to just go there and force a meeting to get to the truth or leave it alone and move on but he thought we were just being mean and insisted she wasn't lying.  This went on about 6 months and he was very much emotionally invested in this woman. They talked online in chat and on the phone. That was it though. No video chats or anything that could without question identify her. He saw pictures that were supposedly of her but they were awful good quality for snapshots which she explained as a family member being a photographer. The whole thing just stunk! Eventually, he followed our advice and showed up on her doorstep. The ONLY things she was honest about were that she was female and her address. He had her address simply because she liked gifts and money so she gave him the correct one which was ultimately her undoing.

When he showed up at her door, her husband was just as surprised as my friend was. My friend learned that this woman who had taken 6 months of his life with lies was a married Mom of 6 kids, weighed about 400 pounds,had less than half her teeth and she was about 25 years older than she was supposed to be. Yes........she was almost 50! My friend was devastated!

Another instance was a woman who was also married. She had a string of guys on pogo who believed she was a single mom just trying to get by.  She had all of us fooled for a long time too! She used her own real pictures and seemed to be real. Turned out her husband was a trucker and gone most of the time. She finally settled on one guy online and they were talking of marriage and children. She was so genuinely excited that she wouldn't be single anymore and her kids would have a father. Perhaps she meant it. Maybe her husband was around THAT little. No one really knows for sure. What we do know is that she was finally busted when her boyfriend told her to put up or shut up. He never told anyone why he became suspicious that she was lying, but he was definitely ready to know the truth. So she said she was traveling to see him from Tennessee to Texas. She said she was only going to drive at night to avoid traffic and that seemed plausible, but we noticed, after supposedly driving all night she was in pogo playing games all day. Maybe she was a vampire? Didn't need sleep? Long story short, she never made it to the big meeting. Her phone died, her computer died, she couldn't reach him by any means once she reached Dallas where he lived and supposedly turned back around and went home.  She too was plagued by horrible incidents of bad luck when meetings were planned long before this "trip".

Yet another.......well it involves a bullrider lol. A guy who claimed to be very good friends with Ty Murray and his wife Jewel. Claimed he spent a great deal of time in their home and spent holidays with them as well. To this guys credit, he didn't seem to pursue relationships. He just liked to have people "like" him. There were questions about his honesty because of all the Ty Murray and rodeo talk but all in all he seemed like a good enough guy. Then...........he DID pursue someone. A very nice girl who was most definitely honest with him. Rather than tell her the truth and see if they could make it as who he really was, he killed himself off. She was devastated. She'd come to love this man over the phone and the computer via chat and the pogo game rooms. She didn't know he was a liar and a phony. We all felt so bad for her but there wasn't anything we could do to help her. She genuinely grieved. She's happily married now but it took years for her to move on and trust again.

These people weren't stupid for falling for the lies. They were naive perhaps, too trusting, maybe desperate to believe this person they were presented with was real and available and interested in them. I don't mean desperate in a bad way........I mean it in a "longing" way. They just wanted to believe!

Yes it's silly in a way. Many people will ask themselves listening to the Te'o story how he could develop feelings for someone he never met. It happens! People are saying he lied by implying they met. Ask yourself, if it were you, would you want to tell America that your girlfriend was online only? He is a public figure, a very marketable football player and I feel positive based on things that I have seen happen that he was absolutely duped and had no part in the scam. Was he naive? Probably. But that's not a crime and I don't see being trusting as something to make fun of someone for. I feel sorry for him. I really do and I hope that whoever is behind it all comes forward and admits to what they have done.

So yes..........based on what I KNOW can happen, I believe he deserves at least the benefit of the doubt. I believe the college told him to continue the ruse after he found out about the issue because they needed to figure out how to deal with it. I believe he was going to come forward with the information on his own but some geeky, jock hating reporters are out for blood to make this guy look bad. The reporter I saw yesterday was practically drooling on himself telling what he thought about the story! I could be wrong........maybe he knew, but he's a football player........not an actor........and I think his emotions were genuine and deserve some respect and even some sympathy rather than being treated like a joke. That's just my opinion, for whatever it's worth.


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