Wednesday, January 30, 2013

"I'm a Real Boy!" ... With a Fake Girlfriend

I came up with a cool idea last week. I'm glad that even though it might be a little late, The Daily Iowan published it anyway.

This Manti Te'o story is so bizarre. I actually first wrote about Manti Te'o about two and a half years ago. In an op-ed column I wrote about Mormon football players at schools other than BYU, and whether they took a two-year break to go on a mission even though they were at an environment that wasn't as conducive. At the time, I thought it was too bad that Te'o was so adamant about going on a mission until he completely changed his mind, even though Notre Dame was all for it all along. I was a little disappointed in him.

Then, this year, it was great to watch Te'o be so successful and lead the Fighting Irish to the national championship, and bring more attention to the Church. It was almost another Jimmer Fredette moment. I thought, "Well, maybe it's a good thing he didn't go on a mission. The timing worked out perfectly for him to be a leader on the team when it went to the national championship, and he could represent the church this way, instead of being a missionary."

Now that all this fake girlfriend stuff has come out, though, all I can think is, "It's a good thing he didn't go to BYU." I have a feeling if it happened at BYU, BYU would receive more of the brunt of the scandal than another school would. Notre Dame seems to not be too big of a target, because there wasn't really anything that would be the school's fault. But BYU being a Church school, having a unique place among the nation's universities and the NCAA, and being in the spotlight relatively recently thanks to Jimmer, I think BYU would have been dragged through the mud a little bit. Te'o and the Church would have been lumped together.

As for Lance Armstrong: I used to like him a lot. But recently, it's more like, "meh." I know a lot of people are completely over the steroid era of baseball, and have more tolerance for steroids and doping now. They aren't as shocked anymore, and maybe have even accepted it as inevitable. I'm not shocked, and I'm not going to stand outside Cooperstown and chain myself to the door to prevent Barry Bonds from getting into the Hall of Fame. But, call me old fashioned, but I still expect my athletes to act like men and women, and follow the rules, and not take shortcuts.

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