Archive for the ‘Lennay Kekua’ Category

nebraskacancerkidSpending all day – every day – immersed in sports is a bit like working at Pizza Hut and eating nothing but pizza. If one is unburdened by such matters as personal health and waistline size, pizza is a wonderful thing. Unfortunately, too much of a wonderful thing is likely to leave one no longer believing the wonderful thing to be all that wonderful.

Sports are really, really great. However, the more time you spend reading and writing about a topic, the greater the chance that its ugliness will be realized. This is why our focus often becomes embittered by all of the negative aspects present in sports. We forget why sports are so great to begin with. And so, that’s where The Sports Culture Happiness Index comes to play.

Every week, I’ll present the ten things that are making me happy from the world of sports. It might be a particular article, it could be a winning streak, it may even be an animated GIF. No matter what, it’s from sports, it made me feel good inside, and I hope it does the same for you.

Without further ado, sports the good:

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Part of the appeal of the investigative report on Manti Te’o and the non-existence of Lennay Kekua that Deadspin published on January 16th was its lack of a conclusion. Yes, the wonderful research by Timothy Burke and Jack Dickey left little doubt that a hoax had been perpetrated, most certainly on us, and possibly on Manti Te’o.  However, there was a sense of open sourcing to the story. Like a software developer more concerned with creating something useful than actually making money from the creation, Deadspin left possibilities open for readers to discover on their own. The website quoted someone who was “80 percent sure,” and left hints as to how those using social media might find more information through online searches.

In contrast, it’s been widely judged that ESPN, who was made aware of something fishy to do with Te’o's dead girlfriend a day before Deadspin, fumbled the story by attempting to land an interview with Te’o prior to publishing anything, and generally taking too long to track a story that took place largely through social media and online technology. However, even if they had been timelier with a report on Te’o and Kekua, I doubt that the story would have had the same appeal. I doubt that the story would’ve left room for ownership by anyone else other than ESPN.

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It’s incredibly difficult for me to believe that a grown man would spend almost three years of his life referring to a woman whose face he’d never seen, other than in pictures, as his girlfriend. However, the people with whom I associate and know best are well-educated. They come from middle-class backgrounds. If they have religious affiliations, they’re nominal at best. Most of my friends are computer savvy, and all of them are cynical. At the very least, they exercise enough critical-thinking to avoid internet scams and, for the most part, the scrupulous schemes of others.

They’re not 22-year-old Mormons. They didn’t grow up in Hawaii. They didn’t attend a private academy where they did well scholastically and excelled at football. They weren’t recruited by more than 30 collegiate programs, and they didn’t attend Notre Dame university on an athletic scholarship. They didn’t win a slew of awards in their senior year, and they certainly didn’t finish second in Heisman Trophy voting. It’s highly unlikely that a tear-stained athletic director ever had to stop a press conference so that he could find enough composure to say, “The thing I am most sad of, sad about is that the single most trusting human being I’ve ever met will never be able to trust in the same way again in his life.”

None of them are Manti Te’o. I’m not Manti Te’o. You’re not Manti Te’o. No one is Manti Te’o, but Manti Te’o.

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