Interviewing a figment of the imagination
Not unlike a lot of other shallow Americans, I, too, watched Lance Armstrong’s too-little, too-late owning-up on TV. But me, I was lucky enough to watch it along with Manti Te’o’s girlfriend, Lennay.
Now, I don’t mean to say that she was right there in the room with me; she was a little under the weather, so we exchanged notes over the Internet, Twitter, Facebook, that sort of thing. When it was all over, she tweeted me: “OMG, this guy, Lance has got to get real,” she told me after night two, “got to get real like my man, Te’o.” Curious thing, though — she said Manti did not believe Armstrong.
“Even after that teary-eyed confession to Oprah?” “No, I mean that Manti does not believe that Lance ever did any doping. He still believes he was clean when he won all seven of those Tours. Says he does not trust him so there’s nothing that Lance can say now to convince him otherwise,” Lennay explained.
Interesting. But tell me, what does Manti think about his interview yesterday with Katie Couric?
“PLZ, he was so disappointed. He was so sure that Katie would ask him what newspapers he reads so he boned up on that and she never even brought it up — s2pid!” Not all that clear from my conversation with Lennay when she last saw Manti, who, of course, is off trying to get hired by the National Football League. But she said he’s going to have mixed feelings about leaving Notre Dame.
“Yep, he grew very friendly with the little leprechaun who’s the mascot for the football team. Matter of fact, back in September, when Notre Dame played Navy in Dublin, Ireland, the leprechaun introduced Manti to his whole family back in the old country — said they were tinkers, whatever that means. He got real close to the whole leprechaun family and my man, Manti, is trying to raise money now for them ’cause they lost the thatched roofs right off their cottages when Hurricane Katrina blew through there a few years ago. Isn’t that sweet?” Sweet.
“Yes, and wait ’til you hear this. Manti also is hesitant to leave South Bend because, for a couple of years now, he’s been keeping a close eye on the golden dome ever since he learned over the internet that it is made out of solid 18K. Isn’t that something?” Something? Yes.
“No, really, it’s mostly LDR for him and me but he’s awfully cute. I tweeted him that I was ‘dead on my feet’ from working so much and he immediately sent me flowers but everybody’s making fun of them, saying they look like a funeral wreath — I don’t care. He’s just such a big teddy bear. I mean, do you know that he still believes in Santa Claus? That big lug is just like a big kid, isn’t he? Manti told me he’s still trying to figure out who it was in that chair that Clint Eastwood was talking to. And Beyonce, well she’s his favorite-most singer and after hearing her do the National Anthem, he tweeted me Monday night that he’s truly amazed she could sing in that cold without a single flub.” Yeah, that’s quite the deal, but about football …
“Well, Manti texted me that he’s all excited about going to the NFL, really looking forward to it, because he says there’s no way he can tackle those huge guys in the SEC ... says it’s gotta be easier in the pros.” Maybe the Giants or the Jets?
“Well, he texted me that the Giants might be a good fit ’cause he gets a little bit tired the second half of the season, likes
to relax the last few games. But I’m betting on the Jets. Manti tweeted that, what do they call them, Gang Green, well, they’re the real thing; he considers them authentic and he says when Rex Ryan speaks, you can take it to the bank. Also, he likes the way Tebow was able to fit right in.”
All we can do is hope and pray, dear readers, just hope and pray.
John McLoughlin is a freelance columnist and a veteran Capital Region journalist now at NewsChannel13. Opinions expressed in his column are his own and not necessarily the newspaper’s. Reach him at JMcLoughlin@WNYT.com.