Manti T'eo: Dead girlfriend hoax, web of lies not for Detroit Lions
Judging Manti T'eo on the type of season he just completed with the Notre Dame Fighting Irish can be tricky, especially for those who thought the linebacker would be a great addition to the Detroit Lions' defense.
One could measure T'eo on his performance, which, in part, led Notre Dame to a 12-0 season and BCS title game appearance with the Alabama Crimson Tide.
T'eo was instrumental in the Irish's 20-3 win over the Michigan State Spartans, a game that's been widely considered the "point" in which Notre Dame gained a full head of steam, subsequently gaining national attention and enhancing its BCS aspirations.
The Lions' linebacking corps could use a guy like T'eo, all 6-feet, 2-inches and 255 pounds of him. He had seven interceptions this past fall, including a pair in the Irish's 13-6 victory over the Michigan Wolverines.
He was a leader of men, a force that would be welcome in the Motor City, given past personnel issues.
Well, that thought would have been logical prior to Wednesday, Jan. 16, the date in which T'eo's feel-good, rise-above-adversity story of coping with the death of his grandmother and 22-year-old girlfriend, Lennay Kukua, while Notre Dame defied the odds was said to be a fraud.
Let's spare the crazy details here. But, if you're interested, read Deadspin's incredibly damning report that tears apart any bit of credibility the story may have had.
In short, T'eo fabricated the relationship with Kukua, who, according to several following reports and Deadspin, never existed in the first place.
It was all for show.
One. Big. Hoax.
Passing this story and moving forward to the NFL Draft, the Lions should absolutely look past T'eo -- who, at the very least, has quite the imagination and was incredibly gullible to believe such falsehoods regarding his relationship with "Kukua" -- and set their sites on athletes that don't weave tall tales to get personal attention.
There was enough drama to last three seasons in 2012. The last thing GM Martin Mayhew and coach Jim Schwartz need to deal with is another headcase -- which, at this time, seems to be a pretty accurate word to describe T'eo, who now claims he was the victim in this bizarre web of lies.
At this point, players with a marijuana habit or affinity for giving spectators the middle finger while grabbing and/or pointing to their crotch (Dominic Raiola, yeah, that last part is for you) looks a little better.
Those guys are more Detroit's style. Not T'eo.
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